National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

Drought Information Statement  Issued: 07/09/2020 08:03:11 AM HST


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Drought Information Statement
National Weather Service Honolulu HI
803 AM HST Thu Jul 9 2020

...DROUGHT BACK IN ALL FOUR COUNTIES ...

.SYNOPSIS:
Drier than average conditions over many areas of the state during
the past month resulted in the expansion and intensification of
drought conditions. The largest area of severe drought, or the D2
category in the U.S. Drought Monitor map, was on the leeward side
of Molokai. Severe drought also returned to the Big Island over
the lower elevations of the South Kohala District, and to the
Kihei area of Maui. Moderate drought, or the D1 category, returned
to the lower leeward slopes of Kauai, and persisted along the
lower leeward slopes of Oahu, Lanai, Maui, and Kahoolawe. On the
Big Island, moderate drought retreated from the lower elevations
of the South Hilo and Puna Districts, but expanded into the mid-
slope region of Mauna Loa.

.SUMMARY OF IMPACTS:
Kauai County Ranchers operating in south Kauai reported dry
pasture conditions. Fire department personnel are concerned about
the elevated wildfire threat due to the presence of ample dry
vegetation following the wet conditions earlier this year. The
areas of higher concern include the leeward areas from Waimea to
Kekaha, and along and near Waimea Canyon Drive.

Oahu (City and County of Honolulu)
The Board of Water Supply noted a recent increase in water
consumption in part due to the drier and warmer conditions.
Satellite-based vegetation health data indicated deteriorating
conditions along the lower slopes of the Waianae Range.

Maui County
Ground observations, supported by rainfall and satellite-based
vegetation health data, indicated poor pasture and general
vegetation conditions along the leeward areas of Molokai from
Kaunakakai to Laau Point. Fire officials reported their first
brush fire of the dry season in west Molokai. Dry vegetation
conditions were also noted along the lower leeward slopes of Maui
and within central Maui. Upcountry Maui farmers reported that deer
have been encroaching into their farm lands due to deteriorating
vegetation conditions.

Hawaii County
Ground observations indicated drying vegetation along the Hamakua
slopes near Paauilo and Honokaa, and along Mana Road upslope from
Waimea. Fire department staff also reported vegetation near
Keamuku drying faster than last year. These observations were
consistent with the satellite-based vegetation health data for
those areas.

.DROUGHT MITIGATION ACTIONS:
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
months.

The Honolulu Board of Water Supply and the Maui County Department
of Water Supply will be starting public awareness campaigns to
help increase conservation through the summer months.

Private and public landowners are in the process of maintaining
and improving fire breaks across the state to help mitigate
wildfire damage.

.LOCAL DROUGHT OUTLOOK:
The Long-Lead Hawaiian Islands Outlook issued on June 18 by the
NOAA Climate Prediction Center shows probabilities favoring 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 windward slopes, with most leeward
areas becoming 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
July 16.

Based on the forecast, leeward dryness will likely persist,
resulting in a potential worsening and expansion of current
drought areas across the state.

.NEXT ISSUANCE DATE:
The next Drought Information Statement will be issued on August 7, 2020
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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