Conditions Look Dry as We Head in to Summer - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Conditions Look Dry as We Head in to Summer

Dean Okimoto Dean Okimoto
Tom Birchard Tom Birchard

By: Paul Drewes

(KHNL) - Hawaii typically heads toward drier weather over the summer that comes after seven months of unusually dry conditions. And that has many concerned about what could also come along with a drought.

As we head into summer, the islands are drying up.

"We got about one-third the normal rainfall this year. It's been very dry and our water bill is way up," says Dean Okimoto, Nalo Farms.

Hawaii is also heating up, and as temperatures soar, so could prices for island produce and fruits because it costs a lot more to make them.

"Our costs go up dramatically ‘cause we have to use city water, which is four times as expensive as irrigation water," says Okimoto.

More water is needed for farms because for the past seven months, very few Windward and Leeward spots around the state even got close to normal rainfall totals.

"Usually winter is our wet season, but we saw most areas got less rain than we normally see and we're concerned going into the summer months ‘cause that's the normal dry season," says Tom Birchard, National Weather Service.

It's not just agricultural land that is drying out; months of below normal rainfall means many Leeward areas have turned into cinder boxes waiting to go up in flames. One brushfire erupted in Ewa last week.

And it could get worse for the Leeward sections because usually the showers come in with the easterly trade winds.

"Now that we're into the summer months, trade winds usually dominate -- so most moisture will be Windward and very little will spread to Leeward areas," says Birchard.

That leaves some hoping it's not going to be a long, endless, sunny summer and that the fall rains come soon.

"It's going to get worse before its gets better over the summer," says Okimoto.

Some farmers are so concerned about the dry conditions in two parts of the state that they are already under 10 percent voluntary reductions in water usage in order to save some of the precious resource for the hot and dry days ahead.

  • Hawaii News Now headlinesNewsMore>>

  • In latest tests, Hawaii students make strides in language arts but stumble in math

    In latest tests, Hawaii students make strides in language arts but stumble in math

    Wednesday, September 19 2018 9:51 PM EDT2018-09-20 01:51:00 GMT
    (Image: Hawaii News Now/File)(Image: Hawaii News Now/File)
    (Image: Hawaii News Now/File)(Image: Hawaii News Now/File)

    The percentage of Hawaii public school students proficient in math stayed the same for a third year in 2017-18, but schools saw strides in English and literacy proficiency scores.

    More >>

    The percentage of Hawaii public school students proficient in math stayed the same for a third year in 2017-18, but schools saw strides in English and literacy proficiency scores.

    More >>
  • Federal agency says it lost track of 1,488 migrant children

    Federal agency says it lost track of 1,488 migrant children

    Wednesday, September 19 2018 7:08 PM EDT2018-09-19 23:08:09 GMT
    Wednesday, September 19 2018 9:49 PM EDT2018-09-20 01:49:26 GMT
    (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson, File). FILE - In this June 20, 2018, file photo, Immigrant children walk in a line outside the Homestead Temporary Shelter for Unaccompanied Children a former Job Corps site that now houses them in Homestead, Fla. A Senate sub...(AP Photo/Brynn Anderson, File). FILE - In this June 20, 2018, file photo, Immigrant children walk in a line outside the Homestead Temporary Shelter for Unaccompanied Children a former Job Corps site that now houses them in Homestead, Fla. A Senate sub...
    Federal agency can't account for 1,488 migrant children placed in homes around the country.More >>
    Federal agency can't account for 1,488 migrant children placed in homes around the country.More >>
  • Trump says 'hard to imagine' Kavanaugh guilty of allegation

    Trump says 'hard to imagine' Kavanaugh guilty of allegation

    Wednesday, September 19 2018 12:37 AM EDT2018-09-19 04:37:34 GMT
    Wednesday, September 19 2018 9:48 PM EDT2018-09-20 01:48:41 GMT
    (AP Photo/Alex Brandon). In this Sept. 6, 2018 photo, Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh reacts as he testifies after questioning before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington. Official Washington is scrambling Monday to assess...(AP Photo/Alex Brandon). In this Sept. 6, 2018 photo, Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh reacts as he testifies after questioning before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington. Official Washington is scrambling Monday to assess...

    Trump has already rejected the idea of bringing in the FBI to reopen its background check of Kavanaugh. Should he order such a review, it would likely delay a confirmation vote until after the election.

    More >>

    Trump has already rejected the idea of bringing in the FBI to reopen its background check of Kavanaugh. Should he order such a review, it would likely delay a confirmation vote until after the election.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly