Forecasters say rain from Guillermo won't fall on areas that need it most

Bobby Ferreira
Bobby Ferreira
Kevin Kodama
Kevin Kodama

Bobby Ferreira has been a rancher is whole life and manages a ranch on the south side of Maui.

He, along with others ranchers and farmers across the state, are praying they wake up to some much-needed rain from Tropical Storm Guillermo.

"It's kinda critical. You get two worries, you get worries about water for calves, you get worries about water for people," Ferreira said.

Ferreira has been pumping water for three months now. He said less than an inch of rain has fallen on Kaupo in the last month, making it difficult to feed his cattle.

A severe drought has been crippling the southern end of Maui and southern parts of Kauai from Kalaheo to Waimea.

With Guillermo heading north/northwest, which is northeast of the island chain, experts at the National Weather Service say the parts of Hawaii that need rain the most probably won't get it.

"Guillermo's rainfall right now looks like it will mainly fall over the windward slopes of the islands. And really the areas that need it the most, the areas that are currently under severe are the leeward sections, for instance, Kaupo on the island of Maui and then the southern sections of Kauai, and with this system, it doesn't look like they're gonna get a whole lot of rain from Guillermo," hydrologist Kevin Kodama said.

Forecasters say one to five inches of rain is predicted for Oahu and Kauai and two to seven inches expected for Maui County and the Big Island.

But that doesn't necessarily mean it's a good thing.

"Again, we're talking about a tropical storm; we're talking about the unknown, the uncertainty. This thing could change paths, this thing could strengthen," said Executive Director of the Hawaii Farm Bureau Brian Miyamoto.

"One of the other concerns is the wind, wind can do damage to greenhouses, to equipment, to your infrastructure," Miyamoto said.

For drought relief, Kodama says a gradual-type of rain is more beneficial, not all of it at one time. So a tropical-cyclone-type of rainfall may not be the optimal way for drought relief.

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