Advertisement

Out of season front could be the last chance for rain before a very dry summer

Light to moderate rain fell for several hours over much of Kauai and Oahu. It’s unusual for this time of year, but it’s also desperately needed.
Published: May. 18, 2022 at 9:07 PM HST|Updated: May. 18, 2022 at 10:24 PM HST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Light to moderate rain fell for several hours over much of Kauai and Oahu. It’s unusual for this time of year, but it’s also desperately needed.

“Especially after a fairly dry few months we’ve had to finish off the wet season — to get this sort of gloomy, gray with light continuous rainfall, it’s very rare to get this time of year,” said National Weather Service lead forecaster Derek Wroe.

The out-of-season frontal system is drawing up abundant moisture from the south — something we usually see from October through April. But this wet season has been mostly dry.

Much of the state is in drought, with leeward Kohala in exceptional drought — the most severe level.

On Oahu, the Board of Water Supply is asking for voluntary water conservation as it tries to head off mandatory cuts this summer.

And in Central Maui, parched fields provided easy fuel for last week’s brush fires to spread quickly.

“Leeward dryness is going to expand over time, and as we get into the heart of the summer months, so I would anticipate the fire risk increasing,” said weather service hydrologist Kevin Kodama.

As we head into summer, tropical cyclones, or their remnants, are the best bet for significant rainfall, like former tropical cyclone Linda last year. But this year, forecasters are predicting another below-average storm count.

And for the third year in a row, the experts blame La Nina, the large-scale cooling phase of the Pacific Ocean.

“Looking at the projections for sea surface temperatures around the islands, it’s looking like it’s going to be cooler than average, so you’re looking at a reduction in the amount of rainfall as well,” said Kodama.

Of course, anything can be possible with weather, but it’s also possible that this front is the last big rainmaker of the wet season, which makes the dry season ahead even more daunting.

Copyright 2022 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.