NOAA: Hawai’i Drought-Free During Dry Season
Drier conditions are ahead in Hawai’i following the wettest dry season in the state over the last 30 years.
The National Ocean Atmospheric Administration announced its 2015-16 Wet Season Rainfall Outlook for the State of Hawai’i Wednesday morning.
Throughout the state, the majority of locations received above average rainfall, along with above average tropical cyclone activity near Hawai’i and above average sea surface temperatures that have helped to increase rainfall.
Hawai’i’s busy dry season kept the state off of the United States Drought Monitor map, making Hawai’i drought-free for the first time since April 15, 2008. Not only was Hawai’i recorded as drought-free, but many locations experienced the wettest August and September on record, with monthly totals more than doubling previous records.
NOAA officials say the wet weather was largely the result of rain bands brought in by tropical cyclones. These rain bands brought in enhanced moisture from the deep tropics as warm ocean temperatures provided extra moisture for rainfall production.
As the 2015-16 wet season gets underway, NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center says El Nino is here and is expected to continue.
Despite the extra wet dry season, Hawai’i’s wet season is forecast to be a lot drier than usual. Below average rainfall is expected through the spring and the development of drought conditions are forecast to be favorable beginning in late 2015, with the brunt of the dry weather in early 2016.
NOAA officials say the strongest El Nino since 1997-1998 has been felt this year, with the potential to end up being the strongest in the past 50 years.