Sizzling temperatures during record-setting summer - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Sizzling temperatures during record-setting summer

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

The soaring temperatures and humidity have produced about 50 high temperature records statewide this summer, according to the National Weather Service.

Servers at Da Spot worked up a sweat blending refreshing smoothies on the UH Manoa campus. The food truck is equipped with a fan to help keep employees cool.    

"We all like try to position ourselves so we can get the best angle of the fan blowing on our face. Definitely helpful. I would probably be on the floor right now if we didn't have that," said employee Mackenzie Ferguson.

"It really is significantly warmer than what we typically have," said meteorologist Chris Brenchley of the National Weather Service. "The top tier of the warmest summers that we've seen."

According to the National Weather Service, last month was the hottest August ever recorded in Kahului, which had an average temperature of 91 degrees. It was also the hottest August ever measured in Hilo with an average temperature of nearly 87 degrees.

Once the humidity is factored in, it feels a lot hotter than the actual temperature.

"We started to see those heat index values in the high 90's, even in the triple digits," said Brenchley.

The warm ocean temperatures around the state are contributing to the problem.    

"What we're seeing is temperatures of the ocean up 3 to 5 degrees above what we typically see this time of year, so our air temperatures are consequently raised as well several degrees," explained Brenchley.

Another factor is the light trade winds. The state climatologist has been tracking the average number of trade wind days annually since 1981.

"The northeast trade wind dropped from about 200 days to just a little bit over 150 days so we do see almost 25% less, fewer trade wind days," said Prof. Pao-Shin Chu.

Brenchley said it could take several months for ocean temperatures to drop. The unusually warm weather may stick around until early winter.

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