Low rainfall, no drought

LIHUE — Some rainfall levels for Kauai in July were the lowest they’ve been since 2006, but experts say the island isn’t in extreme drought.

“The leeward sides are abnormally dry, but the north and east part of Kauai, it doesn’t look like it’s in a drought,” said Leigh Anne Eaton, meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

Mount Waialeale gauge had the highest monthly total of rainfall for July, with 22.83 inches; but that’s 59 percent of average and the lowest total at that site since 2006.

The highest daily total rainfall was 2.31 inches at Wainiha, taken on July 24. In July, Wainiha received 6.69 inches, 75 percent of average.

Rainfall numbers across the island were erratic in July. For example, Mana received just .2 inches of rain in July, 39 percent of average, but the gauge at Puu Opae clocked 147 percent of average rainfall with 1.56 inches.

Measurements from Vidinha Stadium in Lihue showed 84 percent of average rainfall in July, with 4.21 inches but at the Lihue Airport, data shows only 50 percent of average rainfall, with a total of .94 inches.

Hanalei received 115 percent of average rainfall, with 7.52 inches received in July, and Princeville received 97 percent of average, with 4.76 inches.

On Kauai’s eastern side, Anahola received 74 percent of rainfall with 1.74 inches and Moloaa received 64 percent of rainfall with 1.86 inches. Kapahi received 68 percent, with 4.9 inches documented in July, and Wailua was at 87 percent of average rainfall, with a total of 5.32 inches.

Omao received 2.85 inches of rain in July, 67 percent of the average; Hanapepe received .9 inches, or 61 percent of average; and Waimea received .55 inches in July — 131 percent of the total.

“It’s just below average with some areas of the islands getting more rainfall than others,” Eaton said.

And rainfall really isn’t on the horizon for the weekend — save for passing showers that should dissipate with ample breezes.

“We have some trades on deck,” Eaton said. “We’re seeing the typical summer conditions that everyone is used to.”

It’s a return to regular trends after the last couple of years of abnormally high numbers of tropical events affecting the weather, she said, even though there wasn’t a direct hit from any tropical storms.

But the tradewinds are in full swing this summer.

“High pressure to the north/northeast of us is delivering local breezy tradewinds with embedded showers,” Eaton said. “It’s standard summertime temperatures and we’ve got some areas that may see a little higher wind gusts.”

The breezes will provide a bit of relief from temperatures 2 or 3 degrees above normal, especially in Lihue, where the last couple of weeks have tossed up temperatures near 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

“Lihue has been reaching or tying high temperatures with our old records back in the 50s,” Eaton said.


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