Categorized | Agriculture

Crop Report: Rains brought relief to the Big Island

Weather Review
Heavy rains fell for part of the week with thunderstorms leaving the majority of precipitation on Maui and Oahu, with Kauai also receiving drenching rains. The Big Island was left out of any significant downpours, aside from the Mt. View area which received nearly two inches over 24 hours midweek. Based on location, rains caused problems for farmers that received excess amounts. Locations without adequate drainage experienced some flooding and pooling of water, while mud and rockslides also occurred in some areas. Statewide, drought conditions were slightly shifted showing a decrease in drought intensity, save sections of the Big Island.

According to the National Weather Service latest seasonal assessment, “Increased odds for above median precipitation during the rainy season in Hawaii favor some improvement of protracted drought conditions.”

HIGHLIGHTS: A record rainfall of 1.01 inches was set in Honolulu [Oahu] on Thursday, January 13th. This broke the old record of .71 inch set in 1971. IN ADDITION: A record rainfall of 1.92 inches was set in Lihue [Kauai] on Wednesday, January 12th. This broke the old record of 1.37 inches set in 1959.

Hawaii County
While much the of the Island received little rain, on the leeward coast of the Big Island, abnormally dry [D0] conditions were removed. However, abnormally dry [D0] conditions were extended in the northeastern part of the Big Island. The Waimea Irrigation System water level was marked at 46.5 feet on Friday, January 14th; a decrease of 3 percent from the previous Thursday’s reading of 48 feet. The current conservation status is unrestricted.

Maui County
Inclement weather struck Maui County early in the week with heavy rains creating a mess for farmers and city officials. Heavy winds gusted near 50 miles per hour in some areas. The Molokai Irrigation System water level was marked at 18.5 feet on Friday, January 14th; an increase of 9 percent from the previous week’s reading of 17 feet. Phase III mandatory conservation measures remained in effect. Measures included a MANDATORY 30 percent conservation in usage from all non-homestead users.

Honolulu County
Rains were widespread on Oahu. Southern areas saw the least amount of rain, while the rest of the island was hit heavily midweek. The Waimanalo Reservoir Irrigation System water level was marked at 47.5 feet on Friday, January 14th; an increase of 7 percent from the previous week’s reading of 44.5 feet. Phase II mandatory conservation measures remained in effect. Measures included a MANDATORY 20 percent reduction in use and water service limited to weekdays between the hours of 7 AM and 3:30 PM.

Kauai County
High winds, gusting near 40 miles per hour, and heavy rains were present midweek causing damage in some areas.

Agricultural Highlights

Orchards
Crops were in fair to poor condition as winds and rains caused damage in some areas.

Vegetables
Crop conditions were generally in poor to fair condition based on location. Heavy rains and winds caused damage to some fields. Root rot was a concern. Livestock and Pasture Penetrating rains saturated fields. While not beneficial for some crops, rains were so widespread that some areas lacking rain previously received some, aiding in pasture recovery.

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