East Hawaii News

Big Island Sees Near to Below Average Rainfall in June

July 12, 2022, 5:00 PM HST
* Updated July 12, 1:05 PM
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Courtesy of the National Weather Service

Much of the Big Island saw near to below average rainfall in June, according to the monthly precipitation summary from the National Weather Service in Honolulu.

June rainfall totals were near to below average at most of windward and lower Kaʻū rain gauges and at several sites in North and South Kohala, according to the summary prepared by NWS senior service hydrologist Kevin Kodama. Rain gauges along the slopes of North and South Kona had mostly well-above average totals.

The Waiʻaha rain gauge in West Hawaiʻi had the highest monthly total of 17.99 inches, or 341% of average, and the highest daily total of 4.44 inches on June 22. The Hōnaunau rain gauge in West Hawaiʻi and Pali 2 rain gauge near Volcano had their highest June totals since 1997 and 2004, respectively.

Most Big Island gauges also had recorded near to below average rainfall totals for the year through the end of June.

The U.S. Geological Survey rain gauge at Honoliʻi Stream in East Hawai’i had the highest year-to-date total of 92.92 inches, or 84% of average. The total from Kawainui Stream in North Hawai’i was not too far behind at 91.30 inches, or 117% of average.

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“The main Hawaiian Islands had trade winds on most of the days in June,” Kodama wrote in his summary. “The sole break in the trades occurred on June 8 and 9, when the near-surface winds veered to a southeasterly direction. Prior to this break, the trades were light to moderate, and after the break the speeds were mainly in the moderate to fresh range.”

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Low pressure systems aloft provided additional instability over the island chain during the second half of the month, which enhanced some of the rainfall embedded within the trade winds. However, most of the daily totals were still less than an inch.

The state’s biggest rain event of the month occurred the afternoon of June 22 along the slopes of South Kohala and North and South Kona. The highest totals of 1-4 inches were in Hōlualoa and Waiʻaha in North Kona.

The event produced some minor flooding, but no reports of significant damage, according to the summary.

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Severe to extreme drought also continued to affect portions of the state in June. The worst conditions were in the leeward sections of Maui County and the Big Island.

For more details about drought areas, click here to see the Drought Information Statement.

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