National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

Drought Information Statement  Issued: 11/09/2021 02:53:38 PM HST


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Drought Information Statement
National Weather Service Honolulu HI
253 PM HST Tue Nov 9 2021

...EXCEPTIONAL DROUGHT DEVELOPS ON MAUI...

.SYNOPSIS:

Following a period of wet trade wind conditions during the first
half of October, drier and more stable conditions settled in over
the state during the second half of the month and into early
November. Leeward areas of the island chain remained generally
dry. On the island of Maui, the ongoing dryness resulted in the
deterioration of extreme drought, or the D3 category in the U.S.
Drought Monitor map, to exceptional drought, or the D4 category.
Elsewhere in Maui County, extreme drought remained firmly in
place over the leeward areas of Molokai and Lanai, and the
Upcountry and Kaupo areas of Maui.

On the Big Island, severe drought continued to impact a large
area covering portions of the South Kohala, North Kona, and
Hamakua Districts. Smaller areas of severe drought were over the
South Point region as well as the Hilina Pali region of the Hawaii
Volcanoes National Park. Severe drought also covered the lower
leeward slopes of the Waianae Range on Oahu, and the lower leeward
slopes of Kauai from Hanapepe to Waimea.

.SUMMARY OF IMPACTS:

Kauai County
Non-irrigated pastures and general vegetation were in poor
condition along the lower leeward slopes of the island. This was
based on ground observations and from satellite-based vegetation
health data. Dry forage conditions were also occurring in the
Kealia and Anahola regions of the island.

Oahu (City and County of Honolulu)
Vegetation conditions remained dry along the leeward slopes of
Oahu based on ground observations and satellite-based vegetation
health data. A producer operating in the Makakilo region of the
island reported that some cattle escaped into a residential area
for better forage. Public water supplies have been sufficient so
far as they are dependent on more resilient ground water sources.

Maui County
Conditions remained very poor across the leeward areas of Maui
County in terms of pasture and general vegetation health. Over
the past month, an organic farmer in the Pulehu area of Maui
reported fruit and vegetable production down to only a quarter of
normal. In the Kula area, a pumpkin farmer reported production to
be only about half of normal. West Molokai continues to have very
little rainfall over the past month. Previous ground observations
indicated very poor forage conditions.

Hawaii County
Leeward areas of the Big Island have been dry over the past month.
Satellite-based vegetation health data indicated poor conditions
near South Point, over the Pohakuloa region, and the area from
Waimea to Puuanahulu.

.DROUGHT MITIGATION ACTIONS:

Over the past several months, the U.S. Department of Agriculture
declared Hawaii County, Maui County, and Honolulu County to be
Primary Natural Disaster Areas due to drought conditions. The
declarations allow farm operators in these counties to be eligible
for certain assistance from the Farm Service Agency.

On July 2, the Maui County Department of Water Supply declared a
Stage 1 Water Shortage for Upcountry Maui. The declaration
prohibits consumers from using water for irrigation, watering
lawns, washing vehicles, and other nonessential activities.

.LOCAL DROUGHT OUTLOOK:

The Long-Lead Hawaiian Islands Outlook issued on October 21, 2021
by the NOAA Climate Prediction Center showed projections
transitioning from below normal rainfall in the near term to above
normal rainfall near the end of 2021. Probabilities are also
tilted toward above normal rainfall from January through mid-
spring 2022. Probabilities favor below normal temperatures into
mid-fall, and are tilted toward above normal temperatures in early
2022. The next long-lead outlook will be issued by the Climate
Prediction Center on November 18.

With the exception of the Kona slopes of the Big Island, leeward
areas of the state are expected to have a continuation of drought
conditions for the rest of 2021. Even with the arrival of the
October 2021 through April 2022 wet season, the strength of the
existing drought is such that multiple rain events will be needed
to fully recover, especially in Maui County. Windward areas should
have sufficient rainfall to mitigate the development of
significant drought conditions.

.NEXT ISSUANCE DATE:

The next Drought Information Statement will be issued on December
8, 2021 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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