El Nino weather pattern expected to impact Hawaii

El Nino weather pattern expected to impact Hawaii
Jim Weyman
Jim Weyman
Kevin Kodama
Kevin Kodama

By Sean Ibara - Email

MANOA (KHNL) - With our state still very much into hurricane season, experts at the National Weather Service are advising residents to be prepared in the event a storm affects our islands.

Several months ago when the remnants of what used to be Hurricane Felicia brought torrential rains to parts of the State, thousands prepared for the worse. That rain episode did alleviate drought conditions for some areas, but we are still expecting a drier than normal wet season.

That prediction coming from the National Weather Service as they held a briefing session Tuesday for the media on the upcoming wet season, as well as on the El Nino phenomenon.

"Because of the El Nino and El Nino conditions, it causes a great deal of influence on the things that happen in Hawaii in a number of areas", said Jim Weyman, Director of the Central Pacific Hurricane Center.

Three of the most significant impacts of El Nino:

-more than normal activity in the central pacific

-a greater chance of late season storms to develop

-and more formation of storms in the central pacific

Experts say sea surface temperatures near the equator at this time of the year are 2 degrees above average, which is contributing to the weak to moderate El Nino effect.

That effect is predicted to translate into continued drought conditions with many areas seeing less than 50 percent of normal rainfall amounts.

"When you look at some areas for instance South Kohala and south portion of Ka'u they really went from bad to worse and the ranchers have been feeling the impacts there", said Senior Service Hydrologist Kevin Kodama.

But Kodama is quick to point out that a drier than normal season does not mean no rain.

"All it takes is one event just like hurricanes just takes even though we go with below normal hurricane activity, all it takes is one to really ruin your day".