(BIVN) – Most locations in Hawaiʻi had near to below average rainfall this summer, and forecasters say drought conditions are expected to extend into the wet season.
Kevin Kodama, Senior Service Hydrologist at the National Weather Service’s Honolulu Forecast Office, gave a media briefing on Wednesday, in which he presented the upcoming wet season outlook for Hawaiʻi. The wet season goes from October 2023 through April 2024.
Kodama said the current El Niño climate pattern “is likely to peak as a strong event and continue into spring 2024”. Models favor “large scale below average rainfall through the entire wet season” with the potential for more than 40 percent of Hawaiʻi to be in severe to exceptional drought by the end of February.” Drought is expected to continue into the 2024 dry season.
Kodama warned that rainfall deficits could impact agriculture and water supply, especially for residents using rainfall catchment systems. “Out of season” fires will also be possible due to the continued presence of dry fuels. “Red Flag days possible late in the wet season as the potential for stronger winds increases,” Kodama explained.