(BIVN) – The late-November kona low weather event that soaked East Hawaiʻi also helped to ease drought conditions on the Big Island.
The previous, wide-spread D2 Severe Drought conditions (with smaller patches of D3 Extreme Drought) were pushed back to mostly D1 Moderate Drought (with smaller patches of D2 Severe Drought).
The rainfall from the kona low eased drought conditions across the entire main Hawaiian islands.
From the U.S. Drought Monitor on December 7:
In the Hawaiian Islands, a Kona Low event brought much-needed moisture to the island chain, where rainfall accumulations during the past week ranged from 1 to 8 inches with the Big Island and Kauai receiving the highest totals. On the Big Island, the Hilo International Airport observed 6.24 inches of rain on 11/30, breaking a daily rainfall record and bringing the monthly rainfall total for November to 14.39 inches. On the map, one-category changes were made across all islands.
The National Weather Service also reported that the Pāhoa Beacon automated rain gage “recorded peak rain rates in excess of 4 inches per hour during the morning of November 30.”
Under D1 Moderate Drought conditions, the U.S. Drought Monitor says concerns about fire danger increase, more bugs are observed than normal, pasture and crop growth is stunted, and water levels decline.