National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

Drought Information Statement  Issued: 05/07/2020 09:45:55 AM HST

AXHW70 PHFO 071945

Drought Information Statement
National Weather Service Honolulu HI
945 AM HST Thu May 7 2020


Rainfall during the first half of April helped continue slow
improvements in drought conditions over portions of Maui County.
Severe drought, or the D2 category on the U.S. Drought Monitor
map, eased to moderate drought, or the D1 category over the
southwest corner of Molokai. Moderate drought continued in the
leeward sections of Kahoolawe. Localized dry conditions resulted
in the return of moderate drought in a small area of the North
Kohala District.

Kauai County and Oahu
There are no drought areas.

Maui County
Satellite-based vegetation health data showed that pastures and general
vegetation in the far western and southwestern portions of the
island have improved over the past month. The satellite data also
indicated a modest improvement in vegetation health over the
leeward sections of Kahoolawe, but still below average conditions
for this time of the year.

Hawaii County
A rancher reported deteriorating pasture conditions in the North
Kohala District near Mahukona. This report was consistent with
the satellite data. Portions of the South Kohala and Hamakua
Districts indicated drier than average conditions, but there were
no reports of drought impacts at this time.

On March 18, 2020, the U.S. Department of Agriculture declared
Hawaii County and Maui County as Primary Natural Disaster Areas.
The declaration allows the Farm Service Agency to extend emergency
credit to producers affected by drought conditions during recent

The Long-Lead Hawaiian Islands Outlook issued on April 16 by the
NOAA Climate Prediction Center shows probabilities transitioning
to below normal rainfall during the summer and early fall of 2020.
With more persistent trade winds expected during the warm season,
rainfall will tend to favor the east-facing windward slopes, with
most leeward areas becoming seasonally drier. The exception is the
Kona slopes region of the Big Island which is expected to have its
summer wet season. Probabilities continue to favor above normal
temperatures across the state into fall 2020 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 May 21.

Based on the forecast, leeward dryness will set in resulting in a
potential worsening and expansion of current drought areas in Maui
County and the Big Island through the summer. Drought conditions
may also return to the leeward areas of Kauai and Oahu during the

This will be the final Drought Information Statement until severe drought
returns to the main Hawaiian Islands. Based on the forecast, this
may be in the summer of 2020.

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

U.S. Drought Monitor:
Hawaii Drought Monitor:
USGS Hawaii - Recent Conditions:
Climate Prediction Center long-lead Hawaii outlook:
Hawaii Drought Impact Reporter:

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 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