Drought Information Statement
Issued by NWS Honolulu, HI

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AXHW70 PHFO 131848

Drought Information Statement
National Weather Service Honolulu HI
848 AM HST Thu Jun 13 2019


Several of the leeward areas around the state remained dry during
May, resulting in the expansion or intensification of drought. On
the southern flank of the Big Island`s Kau District, the existing
severe drought, or the D2 category on the U.S. Drought Monitor
map, worsened to extreme drought, or the D3 category. Very dry
conditions along the lower leeward sections of the Waianae Range
on Oahu resulted in a degradation from moderate drought, or the D1
category, to severe drought from Waianae to Kapolei. Similarly,
moderate drought in leeward Molokai worsened to severe drought
from Kaunakakai westward to Laau Point. Existing severe drought
over the lower leeward slopes of Haleakala expanded eastward to
the Kaupo area, and severe drought over southwest Kauai remained
in place.

Some parts of the state received above average May rainfall which
helped stabilize, or in some cases eased, drought conditions. This
includes the lower windward slopes of the Big Island, where
moderate drought was removed, and the island of Lanai, where D2
conditions eased to the D1 level along the southwestern slopes.


No significant changes. Non-irrigated pastures from Hanapepe to
Kekaha remain in poor condition based on rainfall data,
satellite-based vegetation health data, and reports from the Farm
Service Agency. The ongoing dry conditions pose a significant
risk for brush fires, as shown by the recent incident near the
town of Koloa.

Satellite-based vegetation health data indicated that conditions remain
worse than the seasonal average along the leeward slopes,
especially in the area from Waianae to Kapolei. There have been
several fire in central and west Oahu over the past month.

Maui County
Reports from the agriculture sector indicated that pasture
conditions remained in poor condition along the lower leeward
slopes of Haleakala from Kihei to Kaupo. This is consistent with
satellite-based vegetation health data. The Maui County Department
of Water Supply declared a Stage 1 Water Shortage for Upcountry
Maui. The declaration requests residents to voluntarily reduce
water consumption by 10 percent. A resident on Molokai reported
that the vegetation is very dry along the southern slopes of the
island and the risk for brush fires is high.

Big Island.
Ranchers operating near South Point have been reporting extremely poor
pasture conditions, with little to no useful feed. One rancher
had to sell part of his herd due to lack of forage. The Farm
Service Agency estimated a pasture loss of around 90 percent in
the area. This is consistent with rainfall and satellite-based
vegetation health data over the past month.

According to the NOAA Climate Prediction Center (CPC), El Nino
conditions are present in the Pacific Ocean. The forecast from CPC
favors a continuation of El Nino through at least the summer and
possibly through the end of 2019. The El Nino is expected to
remain a weak event based on a consensus of the main dynamical and
statistical models.

The Long-Lead Hawaiian Islands Outlook issued on May 16 by the
NOAA Climate Prediction Center shows probabilities favoring below
normal rainfall over the west half of the state and above normal
rainfall over the eastern half through the summer. For the Big
Island and Maui, the above normal rainfall will likely remain
confined to the windward areas while most leeward areas remain
dry. The Kona slopes region is expected to be the only leeward
area that will have above normal rainfall since this area has a
summer wet season, and warmer than average sea surface
temperatures should enhance afternoon showers. Probabilities favor
above normal temperatures across the state through the summer,
mainly due to the forecast of above average sea surface
temperatures around the Hawaiian Islands. The next long-lead
outlook will be issued by the Climate Prediction Center on June

Data from the U.S. Geological Survey indicated that all of the
monitored streams on the Big Island had below normal flow levels
for the month of May. Windward Haleakala gages had near to below
normal flow, while west Maui streams had near to above normal flow
levels. Windward Oahu and all of the monitored Kauai streams and
rivers had near to above normal flow. In contrast, leeward Oahu
stream gages indicated below normal flow. Based on the
precipitation outlook, flow levels in windward streams are
expected to be near to above normal, while leeward streams may
have below normal flow through summer 2019.

The next Drought Information Statement will be issued on July 12,
2019 or sooner if necessary in response to significant changes in

Additional information on current drought conditions may be found at
the following web addresses:

U.S. Drought Monitor: droughtmonitor.unl.edu/
Hawaii Drought Monitor: dlnr.hawaii.gov/drought
USGS Hawaii - Recent Conditions: hi.water.usgs.gov/recent/index.html
Climate Prediction Center long-lead Hawaii outlook:
Hawaii Drought Impact Reporter: hawaii.droughtreporter.unl.edu/

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.

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
Email: Kevin.kodama@noaa.gov


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