Report: Hawaii's year of heat, rain one for the record books - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Report: Hawaii's year of heat, rain one for the record books

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

It’s no surprise that new federal weather data shows it’s been a hot year in Hawaii.

But just how hot above the norms is worthy of note.

The data, from the National Centers for Environmental Information, shows Hilo had its warmest year since records started being collected in 1949.

The average temperature in Hilo from January to November was 76.3 degrees. By comparison, the average for 1981 to 2010 was 74 degrees.

Meanwhile, Honolulu (average temperature in 2015: 78.8 degrees) had its eighth warmest year in 65 years.

Kahului (77.4 degrees) experienced its sixth warmest year in 60 years, and Lihue (77.1 degrees) saw its second warmest year in 65 years.

The NCEI also looked at rain data and found Kahului had its fourth wettest year since 1946. The report shows Kahului got 28.58 inches of rain from January to November, 14 inches more than the average it got from 1981 to 2010.

Hilo, by comparison, had its 14th wettest year in 66 years, getting more than 133 inches of rain since January. Honolulu had its 22nd wettest year.

Lihue broke the streak, with less rain than normal. The data shows Lihue had its 21st driest year in 65 years, getting 28.71 inches of rain compared to 31.85 on average from 1981 to 2010.

The data didn’t point to larger weather trends, but officials have said Hawaii’s warm year was due in large part to a strong El Niño, the global weather phenomenon.

El Niño is driven by warm surface water in the Eastern Pacific, and typically causes Hawaii to have a wetter-than-normal summer and a drier-than-normal winter.

Climate change is also contributing to rising temperatures globally.

NCEI said November in the islands followed the trends seen all year: The month was wetter and hotter than normal. Lihue, Hilo and Kona had their warmest November on record.

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