by David Corrigan & Stephanie Salazar
KAWAIHAE, Hawaii: It looks like the northwest area of the Big Island has again slipped into “extreme drought” conditions, according to the most recent map issued by the U.S. Drought Monitor.
As you can see, the Kawaihae area is again under a D3 drought… the extreme label is one level up from severe, but luckily it has not reached the point of exceptional, as it did in 2010. The U.S. Drought Monitor says mounting agricultural impacts led to the introduction.
The area is used to getting by on minimal rainfall. One of the driest places in Hawaii, the leeward side of Kohala often looks like a dessert.
Here at the Pu`ukohola Heiau National Historic Site, its as if the clouds dissipate even before they materialise on most days.
We recently spoke to Greg Cunningham with the National Park Service, to talk about this year has been better than 2010.
Of course, we conducted this interview before the new drought designation was announced. But, looking at this dusty video from a special ceremony at the heiau held in 2010, it is obvious that conditions were bone dry here on the Kohala coast one year ago.