Summary of the dry season (May – Sept. 2012)
* 2011-2012 La Nina event ended in April
* Many sites had below average rainfall totals, especially in the leeward areas.
* Leeward drought redeveloped or worsened in all four counties.
* Most windward rainfall totals were below average but adequate to meet most needs.
* Windward rainfall frequency was near normal but daily totals were often below normal. This has been a characteristic of summer rainfall for several years.
* ‘Severe Drought’ has affected portions of the state continuously since June 2008
* Big Island: “Extreme drought” (D3 category in U.S. Drought Monitor) expanded from the South Kohala District and Pohakuloa into the North Kona District. Also redeveloped in the southern portion of the Ka‘u District. Mainly affecting agricultural operations.
* Maui County: “Extreme drought” maintained its presence over the leeward slopes of Haleakala and developed over southwest Lanai.
* Kauai: “Severe drought” (D2 category) developed over the southern and eastern lower slopes. Mainly impacting livestock operations.
* Oahu: “Moderate drought” (D1 category) developed over the southwest half of the island then eased in September to just the leeward slopes of the Waianae Range. Mainly impacting livestock operations.
Outlook for the wet season (Oct. 2012 – April 2013)
* NOAA Climate Prediction Center (CPC): El Nino has been trying to develop since spring but progression has slowed recently.
* Borderline ENSO-neutral to weak El Nino conditions projected through the winter months.
* Drier than normal through early 2013
* Potential for heavy rain events increases in late winter through early spring, especially if ENSO-neutral conditions dominate
* Drought recovery more likely on Kauai and Oahu
* Like the 2011-2012 wet season, some drought recovery expected on the Big Island and Maui County, but full recovery may not occur due to the intensity and longevity of existing drought conditions
Wet season preparedness reminders
* Clean gutters and drainage ditches
* If you live in a flood-prone area, identify your evacuation routes ahead of time
* Plan for more rainy weather impacts
* Increased road travel times or possible detours due to flooding
* Outdoor activities may be postponed, canceled, or adjusted
* The wet season always brings increased potential for lightning strikes
* Be prepared for power outages
* Move indoors during a thunderstorm
* June 4, 2011 storm produced more than 22,000 lightning flashes in 30- hours over and near the main Hawaiian Islands
* Monitor media, NOAA Weather Radio, and Internet sources for changes in weather conditions
— Find out more:
NOAA National Weather Service Honolulu: www.weather.gov/hawaii/
NOAA Weather Ready Nation: www.nws.noaa.gov/com/weatherre… NOAA Climate Prediction Center: www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/
U.S. Drought Monitor: droughtmonitor.unl.edu/
HI Dry Season Rainfall Maps: www.prh.noaa.gov/hnl/hydro/pag…