National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

Drought Information Statement  Issued: 09/08/2022 01:18:15 PM HST


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Drought Information Statement
National Weather Service Honolulu HI
118 PM HST Thu Sep 8 2022

...EXCEPTIONAL DROUGHT CONTINUES IN MAUI COUNTY...

.SYNOPSIS:
Dry conditions continued for many areas of the state during
August, especially in the east half of the state. Drought
conditions worsened over west Molokai with extreme drought, or the
D3 category on the U.S. Drought Monitor map, going to exceptional
drought, or the D4 category. On the island of Maui, exceptional
drought remained in place in the central valley, but eased
slightly in the Ulupalakua and Wailea areas. Severe drought, or
the D2 category, covered leeward Haleakala on Maui and most of
Lanai.

Drought also worsened on Oahu as extreme drought developed over
the lower leeward slopes of the Waianae Range. Severe drought
increased in size and covered the remaining leeward areas and
eastern tip of the island.

On Kauai, extreme drought remained in place along the lower
leeward slopes from Hanapepe to Barking Sands. Severe drought
covered the rest of the island due to low rainfall and very low
streamflow levels. Drought intensity on the island should ease as
the effects of the late August rainfall take hold.

Moderate drought, or the D1 category, increased significantly over
the past month and covered most areas of the Big Island. Extreme
drought remained over the lower slopes of the South Kohala
District, and severe drought continued over the slopes of Mauna
Kea and the Humuula Saddle.

.SUMMARY OF IMPACTS:
Kauai County
Non-irrigated pastures were extremely dry along the
lower leeward slopes. Even the normally wetter windward slopes
have been very dry recently. Dry pastures were reported in the
Kealia, Kapaa, and Wailua areas. Streamflow levels were very low
across the island during most of August.

Oahu
A leeward Oahu rancher reported that the poor forage conditions
have forced them to reduce their herd size and spend thousands of
dollars on supplemental feed. Their remaining cattle have been
stressed by having to travel farther than usual for suitable
forage. Vegetation conditions along the lower leeward slopes have
continued to deteriorate, increasing the risk for damage from
brushfires near urban areas.

Maui County
The Maui County Department of Water Supply reported that their
Upcountry reservoirs were running low. Low surface water flows
forced the department to request water use reductions for
Upcountry and West Maui consumers in June. Pastures and general
vegetation conditions remain extremely poor along the lower
leeward slopes of the county. Ranchers operating in these areas
reduced their herd sizes several months ago as drought conditions
started to worsen. Feral deer in Molokai and Maui continue to
aggravate operating conditions for farmers by competing with
livestock for forage and by consuming produce in non-protected
farmlands.

Hawaii County
Low August rainfall has started to degrade pastures even along the
normally wetter windward slopes. Water levels in stock ponds in
the Hamakua area were dropping. The large Leilani brushfire that
started in the Pohakuloa region of the island was finally
contained in mid-August after burning close to 20,000 acres over
several days. Earlier this summer, ranchers operating along the
lower slopes of the Kau District reported very poor pasture
conditions. Satellite-based vegetation health data indicated
degraded conditions across most of the South Kohala District and
in the North Kona District to the north of Hualalai volcano. The
satellite data also showed poor conditions on the slopes of Mauna
Kea along the Keanakolu Road.

.DROUGHT MITIGATION ACTIONS:
In an August 30 news release, the Hawaii Department of Agriculture
opened "an emergency loan program to help farmers and ranchers
with the costs associated with the overpopulation of axis deer in
the County of Maui". Due to the prolonged and significant
drought, axis deer have been causing tremendous damage to crops
and rangelands.

U.S. Department of Agriculture has designated all of the counties
in the state as primary natural disaster areas due to drought. The
designation allows funding to be used for emergency loans and
compensation for grazing losses.

On June 24, the Maui County Department of Water Supply declared a
Stage 1 Water Shortage for the Upcountry and West Maui service
areas, with restrictions going into effect on June 30. The
department has asked that consumers refrain from using water for
irrigation, watering lawns, washing vehicles, or other non-
essential activities.

.LOCAL DROUGHT OUTLOOK:
The Long-Lead Hawaiian Islands Outlook issued on August 18, 2022
by the NOAA Climate Prediction Center did not show probabilities
favoring above or below normal temperatures into the fall.
Probabilities continued to favor below normal rainfall into the
middle of fall. Longer range projections favor above average
rainfall at the end of 2022 and into early 2023. The next long-
lead outlook will be issued by the Climate Prediction Center on
September 15.

Based on the rainfall outlook, and because most of the state is
still within the dry season, the current drought conditions are
expected to intensify and increase in coverage over the next
several weeks, especially in the leeward areas of the state.

.NEXT ISSUANCE DATE:
The next Drought Information Statement will be issued on October
13, 2022 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:

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:
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.

.CONTACT INFORMATION:
If you have 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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