Drought Information Statement
Issued by NWS Honolulu, HI

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AXHW70 PHFO 032243
DGTHFO
HIC001-003-007-009-042200-

DROUGHT INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE HONOLULU HI
1243 PM HST THU MAR 3 2016

...SEVERE DROUGHT RETURNS TO THE STATE OF HAWAII...

SYNOPSIS...

A LONG PERIOD OF DRY WEATHER CONDITIONS CAUSED BY THE ONGOING
STRONG EL NINO EVENT HAS PRODUCED LARGE AREAS OF DROUGHT ACROSS
THE STATE OF HAWAII. OVER THE PAST SEVERAL WEEKS...MODERATE
DROUGHT...OR THE D1 CATEGORY ON THE U.S. DROUGHT MONITOR MAP...HAS
BEEN SPREADING OVER LEEWARD SECTIONS OF ALL THE ISLANDS AND COVERS
MORE THAN HALF OF THE STATE. DROUGHT IMPACTS IN SEVERAL AREAS HAVE
REACHED THE SEVERE LEVEL...OR THE D2 CATEGORY ON THE U.S. DROUGHT
MONITOR MAP...ON THE BIG ISLAND AND MAUI.

OVER THE NEXT SEVERAL WEEKS...DROUGHT CONDITIONS WILL LIKELY
INCREASE IN AREAL COVERAGE AND INTENSITY. PROSPECTS FOR EASING THE
DROUGHT IN THE LEEWARD AREAS ARE WANING AS THE STATE HEADS TOWARD
THE END OF THE OCTOBER THROUGH APRIL WET SEASON.

SUMMARY OF IMPACTS...

KAUAI.
RANCHERS HAVE BEEN REPORTING DETERIORATING PASTURE CONDITIONS
ALONG THE LOWER ELEVATIONS OF EAST KAUAI FROM KEALIA TO LIHUE AND
ALONG ALL OF THE LOWER ELEVATION SLOPES ON THE SOUTH AND WEST
SIDES OF THE ISLAND.

OAHU.
THERE HAVE BEEN NO AGRICULTURE-RELATED IMPACTS REPORTED SO FAR BUT
GENERAL VEGETATION CONDITIONS ARE DETERIORATING...ESPECIALLY OVER
WEST OAHU FROM EWA TO KAENA POINT. BRUSH FIRE RISK IS INCREASING
AS RAINFALL DEFICITS CONTINUE TO BUILD.

MOLOKAI AND LANAI.
PASTURE AND GENERAL VEGETATION CONDITIONS IN WEST MOLOKAI HAVE
BEEN DETERIORATING BASED ON SATELLITE-BASED VEGETATION HEALTH DATA
AND ON REPORTS FROM THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE/S FARM
SERVICE AGENCY. GENERAL VEGETATION ON THE WESTERN HALF OF LANAI
HAS ALSO BEEN DETERIORATING ACCORDING TO SATELLITE DATA.

MAUI.
PASTURES ALONG THE LEEWARD SLOPE OF HALEAKALA WERE IN POOR
CONDITION AND LARGE SECTIONS WERE UNUSABLE...ESPECIALLY IN THE
AREA FROM WAILEA TO KIHEI ALONG THE COAST AND UPSLOPE TO THE KULA
HIGHWAY NEAR KEOKEA AND WAIOHULI. DRY VEGETATION ALSO FED A LARGE
BRUSH FIRE WHICH SCORCHED OVER 5600 ACRES IN THE KAHIKINUI AREA OF
SOUTHEAST MAUI DURING THE LATTER HALF OF FEBRUARY. THE MAUI COUNTY
DEPARTMENT OF WATER SUPPLY HAS AN ONGOING REQUEST FOR A VOLUNTARY
10 PERCENT REDUCTION IN WATER USE FOR UPCOUNTRY MAUI CUSTOMERS.

BIG ISLAND.
FARMERS HAVE BEEN REPORTING VERY POOR PASTURE CONDITIONS NEAR
SOUTH POINT...ALONG THE LOWER LEEWARD ELEVATIONS FROM MAHUKONA TO
KEAHOLE POINT...THE KONA SLOPES FROM CAPTAIN COOK TO THE SUMMIT OF
HUALALAI...AND THE POHAKULOA REGION OF THE HAMAKUA DISTRICT.
COFFEE FARMERS...MAINLY IN THE KONA AREA...HAVE REPORTED A LARGELY
DORMANT CROP DUE TO THE LACK OF RAINFALL. RESIDENTS ON WATER
CATCHMENT SYSTEMS HAVE BEEN HAULING WATER...EITHER THEMSELVES OR
BY HIRING A HAULING SERVICE...TO FILL THEIR TANKS FOR BASIC NEEDS.

CLIMATE SUMMARY...
ACCORDING TO THE NOAA CLIMATE PREDICTION CENTER...EL NINO
CONDITIONS ARE PRESENT IN THE PACIFIC OCEAN. EL NINO WILL LIKELY
WEAKEN AND TRANSITION TO ENSO-NEUTRAL CONDITIONS DURING THE SPRING
OR EARLY SUMMER OF 2016...WITH A POSSIBLE TRANSITION TO LA NINA
CONDITIONS IN THE FALL.

PRECIPITATION/TEMPERATURE OUTLOOK...
THE LONG-LEAD HAWAIIAN ISLANDS OUTLOOK ISSUED ON FEBRUARY 18 BY
THE NOAA CLIMATE PREDICTION CENTER INDICATED THAT PROBABILITIES
FAVOR BELOW MEDIAN PRECIPITATION THROUGH THE SPRING AND ABOVE
MEDIAN TEMPERATURES THROUGH THE SUMMER. THE NEXT LONG-LEAD OUTLOOK
WILL BE ISSUED BY THE CLIMATE PREDICTION CENTER ON MARCH 17.

HYDROLOGIC SUMMARY AND OUTLOOK...
DATA FROM THE U.S. GEOLOGICAL SURVEY INDICATED THAT MONITORED
STREAMS ACROSS THE STATE HAD 30-DAY FLOW LEVELS IN THE NEAR TO
BELOW NORMAL RANGE. FLOW LEVELS ARE EXPECTED TO REMAIN IN THE
NORMAL TO BELOW NORMAL RANGE THROUGH THE SPRING BASED ON THE
PRECIPITATION OUTLOOK.

NEXT ISSUANCE DATE...
THE NEXT DROUGHT INFORMATION STATEMENT WILL BE ISSUED ON APRIL 7
2016 OR SOONER IF NECESSARY IN RESPONSE TO SIGNIFICANT CHANGES IN
CONDITIONS.

RELATED WEB SITES...
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON CURRENT DROUGHT CONDITIONS MAY BE FOUND AT
THE FOLLOWING WEB ADDRESSES /USE LOWER CASE LETTERS/

U.S. DROUGHT MONITOR...WWW.DROUGHT.UNL.EDU/DM/MONITOR.HTML
HAWAII DROUGHT MONITOR...HAWAII.GOV/DLNR/DROUGHT/INDEX.HTML
USGS HAWAII - RECENT CONDITIONS...HI.WATER.USGS.GOV/RECENT/INDEX.HTML
CLIMATE PREDICTION CENTER LONG-LEAD HAWAII OUTLOOK...
WWW.CPC.NCEP.NOAA.GOV/PRODUCTS/PREDICTIONS/90DAY/FXHW40.HTML
HAWAII DROUGHT IMPACT REPORTER...HAWAII.DROUGHTREPORTER.UNL.EDU/

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS...
INFORMATION FOR THIS PRODUCT WAS COMPILED FROM A NUMBER OF SOURCES
INCLUDING THE COUNTY BOARDS AND DEPARTMENTS OF WATER SUPPLY...U.S.
AND STATE OF HAWAII AGRICULTURE AGENCIES...THE U.S. GEOLOGICAL
SURVEY AND THE MEDIA.

QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS...
IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS ABOUT THIS DROUGHT
INFORMATION STATEMENT...PLEASE CONTACT...

KEVIN KODAMA
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE
2525 CORREA RD. SUITE 250
HONOLULU HI  96822
PHONE...808-973-5276
KEVIN.KODAMA@NOAA.GOV

$$


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