National Weather Service: Hawaii in for a wetter-than-average winter

National Weather Service: Hawaii in for a wetter-than-average winter
Hawaii is in for a wetter-than-average winter, National Weather Service forecasters said Friday. (Source: Hawaii News Now)

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Hawaii is in for a wetter-than-average winter, National Weather Service forecasters said Friday.

The forecast comes after a drier-than-normal summer ― the 11th driest in the last 30 years ― which has left much of the state experiencing drought conditions.

NWS senior hydrologist Kevin Kodama said the wetter weather this winter is thanks to a La Niña system, with cooler than normal seas surface temperatures in the equatorial Pacific.

It’s the first La Niña to form since 2017.

Several areas across the state, including parts of Maui, are going through a drought, but experts say while rain is in the forecast, there may not be enough for full drought relief.

The conditions depend on the strength of La Niña.

“With a stronger La Niña event, we can have a higher than normal trade wind frequency during the winter months and if the La Niña is going to be on the weaker side, then we’ll be able to see more weather systems that could provide significant rainfall to the leeward areas,” said Kodama.

The NWS also says ocean surface temperatures around the islands remain slightly above average for now, which means warmer temperatures and higher humidity.

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