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‘A serious situation’: Strong Kona low could be preview of a wet winter season for Hawaii

Forecasters say La Nina also plays a role in the wet weather.
Published: Dec. 6, 2021 at 1:49 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - National Weather Service forecasters says this week’s Kona low activity could be one of many storm systems Hawaii sees this winter.

This is largely due to the combination of the state entering its rainy season and a La Niña year, which typically brings above-average rainfall.

Rain activity is also especially high during a Kona low, a slow-moving system that brings lots of rain.

The NWS is also keeping an eye on heightened flooding potential, specifically in areas that have already experienced downpours.

“Maui and the Big Island, the fact that they already had so much rain there, it would not take a lot of additional rainfall coming up from the south to cause big time problems in areas, which have already seen 9 to 12 inches of rain in some spots,” said NWS science and operations officer Bob Ballard.

Furthermore, as the system moves across the state, Ballard is underscoring the importance of monitoring forecast and weather alerts.

“We are not in our typical tradewind weather,” Ballard said.

“This is a pretty serious situation. It has the potential to produce major flash flooding in a very short time. This is the type of weather where you can get that wall of water coming down a creek or a stream, so we don’t want folks going off into the woods, hiking and camping and being away from weather information.”

The intense activity will mean some relief for areas of sustained drought. However, those areas are also seeing a lot of mud being created due to the lack of ground cover.

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