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Drought Information Statement  Issued: 01/12/2023 07:36:44 AM HST

AXHW70 PHFO 121736

Drought Information Statement
National Weather Service Honolulu HI
736 AM HST Thu Jan 12 2023



A strong December storm system brought much needed rainfall to the
drought-affected areas of the state. Noticeable improvements have
been reported by several observers and detected by satellite-based
sensors. In Maui`s central valley, exceptional drought, or the D4
category on the U.S. Drought Monitor map, eased to severe
drought, or the D2 category, following the storm. Extreme drought,
or the D3 category, has eased over southwest Molokai to severe
drought. On the Big Island, localized areas of extreme drought
improved to moderate drought, or the D1 category. In the west half
of the state, severe drought along the lower leeward slopes of
Kauai have improved to moderate drought, and moderate drought on
Oahu has been removed.

Following the December storm system, conditions across the main
Hawaiian Islands have been generally dry. Without the return of
significant rainfall in the near future, recent improvements to
drought conditions will end, and the trend will revert back to the
intensification and expansion of drought impacts.


Kauai County
The latest satellite-based vegetation health data showed
improvements in conditions along the lower leeward slopes of the
island. Short term streamflow data indicated well below normal
levels across the island, but the 28-day data indicated most sites
in the near normal range.

Rainfall has been near to above average over the Waianae Range,
and near to below average over the Koolau Range. Short term
streamflow data indicated most sites to be at near to above normal
levels. Satellite and ground observations showed that the leeward
areas had decent regrowth following the December storm system.

Maui County
Reports from central Maui indicated that forage conditions have
improved following the December storm, but they have not fully
recovered. Despite the recent rainfall, streamflow in West Maui
has not been sufficient to keep the Mahinahina Water Treatment
Facility in operation. Satellite-based vegetation health data
showed some improvements to conditions over the west half of
Molokai, but not a return to normal levels.

Hawaii County
Producers operating in the South Kohala District, and the Honokaa
and Paauilo areas in the lower Hamakua District reported good
forage growth over the past month. Conditions in the lower Kau
District have also improved according to vegetation health data.
However, the December storm did not produce much rain over the
east-facing slopes of the island, and some farmers from
Laupahoehoe to Volcano reported dry conditions and low catchment


Due to the shutdown of the Mahinahina Water Treatment Facility,
the Maui County Department of Water Supply deployed two water
tankers to provide water to local residents. These tankers will
remain in place until the treatment facility reopens.
Additionally, the Upcountry and West Maui service areas remain
under a Stage 1 Water Shortage, issued by the Maui County
Department of Water Supply on June 24, 2022. The department asked
that consumers refrain from using water for irrigation, watering
lawns, washing vehicles, or other non-essential activities.


The Long-Lead Hawaiian Islands Outlook issued on December 15, 2022
by the NOAA Climate Prediction Center showed probabilities
favoring above normal temperatures and rainfall into spring 2023.
The next long-lead outlook will be issued by the Climate
Prediction Center on January 19, 2023.

Despite recent dryness, the rainfall outlook indicates that
drought conditions should continue to ease across the state,
especially in the February through April 2023 time frame.

The next Drought Information Statement will be issued on February
10, 2023 or sooner if necessary in response to significant
changes in conditions.

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
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