Hawaii wilts under sweltering temps and there’s little relief in sight

Updated: Jun. 11, 2019 at 8:00 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - The summer hasn’t even officially started and it’s already sweltering out there.

What’s up with the hot weather?

Forecasters say the state has broken or tied 35 heat records since mid-May.

The reason: Warmer sea surface temperatures and weak tradewinds.

On Tuesday, thousands flocked to the beach for the Kamehameha day holiday and found themselves dodging under umbrellas and trees for a little shade.

“It’s very, very hot,” said resident Krystal Nakamoto. “I’m from Hilo and it’s hot in Hilo, but this is really, really hot.”

Recent temperatures in Honolulu have ranged from 88 to 90 degrees. In Honolulu on Monday, the thermometer hit 92, breaking the record of 91 degrees set in 1982.

But Kahului has been the state’s hotspot, with 25 consecutive days at 89 degrees or above.

On May 22, Kahului reached 96 degrees ― the hottest day on record for the month of May.

National Weather Service forecasters say the tied and broken high temperature records are related to the El Niño weather pattern.

“In the tropics it doesn’t take much to set a record high because we fluctuate very few degrees season to season,” said National Weather Service meteorologist Melissa Dye.

Meanwhile, Hawaiian Electric says Oahu’s electricity use cranked up in May, with 12 nights spiking over 1000 megawatts. Last May, five nights spiked.

Unfortunately, if you’re looking for relief in the short-term forecast you're out of luck.

Forecasters said tradewinds aren’t expected to return to normal before the weekend.

This story will be updated.

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