Drought Information Statement
Issued by NWS Honolulu, HI

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AXHW70 PHFO 080040
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HIC001-003-007-009-082200-

DROUGHT INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE HONOLULU HI
240 PM HST THU APR 7 2016

...DROUGHT INTENSIFIES DURING MARCH...

SYNOPSIS...

DROUGHT CONDITIONS HAVE EXPANDED AND INTENSIFIED DURING THE PAST
MONTH ON ALL FOUR COUNTIES IN THE STATE OF HAWAII. THE WORST
DEGRADATION OCCURRED ON THE BIG ISLAND WHERE EXTREME DROUGHT...OR
THE D3 CATEGORY ON THE U.S. DROUGHT MONITOR MAP...HAS DEVELOPED
OVER PORTIONS OF THE NORTH KONA AND SOUTH KONA DISTRICTS. THIS IS
THE FIRST TIME D3 CONDITIONS HAVE BEEN IN THE STATE SINCE APRIL 8
2014. SEVERE DROUGHT...OR THE D2 CATEGORY...HAS SPREAD EASTWARD ON
THE BIG ISLAND INTO THE LOWER PUNA DISTRICT AND ALL OF THE KAU
DISTRICT. ON KAUAI...SEVERE DROUGHT APPEARED IN MID-MARCH ALONG
THE LOWER ELEVATIONS OF THE SOUTHERN HALF OF THE ISLAND. MODERATE
DROUGHT...OR THE D1 CATEGORY...COVERED THE SOUTHWEST HALF OF OAHU
AND THE WEST HALF OF MOLOKAI.

BY EARLY APRIL DROUGHT CONDITIONS WERE COVERING 79 PERCENT OF THE
STATE...AN INCREASE OF 25 PERCENT SINCE THE LAST DROUGHT
INFORMATION STATEMENT...AND NEARLY HALF OF THE STATE WAS
CONSIDERED TO BE IN SEVERE DROUGHT.

A HEAVY RAIN EVENT IN LATE-MARCH PRODUCED FLASH FLOODING ON
SEVERAL OF THE MAIN HAWAIIAN ISLANDS BUT IT IS TOO SOON TO
DETERMINE HOW MUCH OF AN IMPACT...IF ANY...IT HAD ON EASING
DROUGHT CONDITIONS. RAINFALL INTENSITIES WERE HIGH AND MOST OF THE
WATER LIKELY BECAME RUNOFF RATHER THAN PERCOLATING SIGNIFICANTLY
INTO THE GROUND. DRY CONDITIONS SUBSEQUENT TO THE FLOODING ALONG
WITH STRONG WINDS IN A COOLER AND DRIER AIRMASS WERE NOT FAVORABLE
FACTORS FOR SUBSTANTIAL EASING.

SUMMARY OF IMPACTS...

KAUAI.
PASTURES WERE IN POOR CONDITION ALONG THE LOWER ELEVATIONS OF THE
SOUTH-FACING SLOPES THROUGH MID-MARCH. IT IS TOO SOON TO TELL HOW
MUCH...IF ANY...IMPROVEMENT IN PASTURE CONDITIONS THE LATE-MARCH
RAINFALL PRODUCED.

OAHU.
VEGETATION CONDITIONS HAVE WORSENED OVER THE PAST MONTH AND DRY
BRUSH HAS SPREAD INTO THE LOWER ELEVATIONS OF HONOLULU. A BRUSH
FIRE ON THE SLOPES OF ICONIC DIAMOND HEAD IS INDICATIVE OF HOW DRY
THE VEGETATION HAS BECOME DURING WHAT SHOULD BE THE WET SEASON AND
NOW POSES A FIRE RISK TO PROPERTIES IN AN URBAN ENVIRONMENT.

MOLOKAI AND LANAI.
NO SIGNIFICANT CHANGES SINCE THE PREVIOUS REPORT. PASTURE AND
GENERAL VEGETATION CONDITIONS IN WESTERN MOLOKAI AND LANAI ARE
POOR BASED ON SATELLITE-BASED VEGETATION HEALTH DATA.

MAUI.
BRUSH FIRES NEAR LAHAINA AND OLOWALU ARE INDICATIVE OF THE POOR
VEGETATION CONDITIONS ALONG THE LEEWARD SLOPES OF MAUI.
OTHERWISE...THERE HAS BEEN NO SIGNIFICANT CHANGES SINCE THE
PREVIOUS REPORT. PASTURES ALONG THE LEEWARD SLOPES OF HALEAKALA
REMAIN 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.
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 ON THE KONA SLOPES OF THE BIG ISLAND HAVE INDICATED THAT
CONDITIONS ARE THE WORST IN RECENT MEMORY...EVEN INCLUDING 2010
WHICH WAS A SIGNIFICANT DROUGHT YEAR FOR THE AREA. KONA COFFEE
GROWERS HAVE INDICATED THAT THE DROUGHT WILL ADVERSELY AFFECT THIS
YEAR/S CROP. A RANCHER OPERATING IN THE WAIKII AREA REPORTED THE
LOSS OF SEVERAL MATURE COWS DUE TO DROUGHT CONDITIONS AND HE HAS
BEEN FORCED TO REDUCE THE SIZE OF HIS HERD. FERAL PIGS AND GOATS
HAVE BEEN MOVING ONTO RANCH LANDS SEEKING OUT WATER AND CAUSING
DAMAGE TO FENCES IN THE PROCESS. EVEN IN THE NORMALLY WET HILO AND
PUNA DISTRICTS...A RANCHER NEAR PAHOA REPORTED SELLING 20 PERCENT
OF HIS HERD DUE TO POOR PASTURE CONDITIONS. ANOTHER RANCHER WHO
WORKS ON THE UPPER SLOPES OF THE SOUTH HILO DISTRICT REPORTED THE
LOSS OF 28 COWS DUE TO THE LACK OF RAIN AND THE POOR FORAGE. IN
UPPER HILO TOWN...AN AQUACULTURE OPERATION LOST STURGEON BECAUSE
OF LOW STREAM FLOW CONDITIONS.

CLIMATE SUMMARY...
ACCORDING TO THE NOAA CLIMATE PREDICTION CENTER...EL NINO
CONDITIONS ARE PRESENT IN THE PACIFIC OCEAN. EL NINO IS WEAKENING
AND WILL LIKELY TRANSITION TO ENSO-NEUTRAL CONDITIONS DURING THE
LATE 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 MARCH 17 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 APRIL 21.

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 MAY 6
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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