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Drought Information Statement  Issued: 11/12/2020 11:18:33 AM HST


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Drought Information Statement
National Weather Service Honolulu HI
1118 AM HST Thu Nov 12 2020

...EXTREME DROUGHT PERSISTS ON THE BIG ISLAND AND MAUI COUNTY...

.SYNOPSIS:
Much needed rainfall returned to the leeward slopes of Kauai and
Oahu in late October. There was enough rain to ease conditions
from severe drought, or the D2 category in the U.S. Drought
Monitor map, to moderate drought, or the D1 category, along the
lower leeward slopes of Kauai. However, the lack of trade winds
and their attendant showers reduced stream flow significantly.
This resulted in hydrologic drought at D1 and D2 levels along the
north-facing slopes of the island. On Oahu, leeward rainfall
allowed severe drought to improve to moderate drought from
Nanakuli to Makua Valley, but remained at severe drought levels
over the area from Ewa to Mililani. Moderate hydrologic drought
covered the slopes of Oahu`s Koolau Range due to low stream flows.

Maui County and the Big Island continued to have the worst
drought conditions in the state. Extreme drought, or the D3
category, is currently depicted over the west half of Molokai, the
lower leeward slopes of Haleakala on Maui, and along lower south-
facing slopes of Lanai. Severe drought covered the rest of Maui
due to a combination of agricultural drought and hydrologic
drought. Over the past month on the Big Island, extreme drought
developed over the lower slopes of the South Kohala District and
near South Point. Severe drought due to agricultural impacts and
low stream flow covered most of the northern half of the Big
Island from Hilo to Upolu Point. Moderate drought was over much of
the southern half of the island from Hilo to Pahala.

.SUMMARY OF IMPACTS:
Kauai County
Satellite-based vegetation health data indicated improved conditions
along the lower leeward slopes of Kauai between Hanapepe and Waimea.
However, stream flow data from Hanalei River, Wainiha River, and
Waialae Stream indicated recent 7-day flows below the 10th percentile.

Oahu (City and County of Honolulu)
Vegetation conditions have improved over portions of the Waianae Range
in west Oahu. However, satellite-based vegetation health data indicated
that conditions remain poor over the lower leeward slopes from Ewa
to Mililani. Stream data also indicated low flows persisting along
the Koolau Range, especially along the leeward slopes.

Maui County
Ground and satellite-based reports indicated very poor vegetation
health over the west half of Molokai, the lower south-facing
slopes of Lanai, the lower leeward slopes of the West Maui
Mountains, most of Upcountry Maui, and the Kaupo area of
Haleakala. Anecdotal reports mentioned that cattle and axis deer
were dying in west Molokai. Stream flows were also low, especially
along the windward slopes of the West Maui Mountains.

Hawaii County
Ground reports indicated that some pastures in the leeward side of the
Waimea Plain were approaching 50 percent loss. Kawaihae and other
leeward Kohala areas also had very dry pastures. Through November
9, 7-day flow levels in Wailuku River were below the 10th
percentile, but have improved a bit since then.

.DROUGHT MITIGATION ACTIONS:
The U.S. Department of Agriculture declared Hawaii County and Maui
County as Primary Natural Disaster Areas in March 2020. The
declaration allows the Farm Service Agency to extend emergency
credit to producers affected by drought conditions.

The Maui County Department of Water Supply has maintained its
Stage 1 Water Shortage status for Upcountry and West Maui. The
declaration requests residents in the affected areas to cut back
on non-essential water use until further notice.

The Honolulu Board of Water Supply has maintained its conservation
request for all residents on Oahu due to the ongoing drought. The
request asks for reduced consumption to help ensure adequate long
term supply. The request was issued on October 7.

On October 29, the County of Hawaii Department of Water Supply
issued a Water Conservation Notice for its South Kohala customers
due to the prolonged lack of rainfall. The notice requests that
customers reduce water use by at least 10 percent.

.LOCAL DROUGHT OUTLOOK:
The Long-Lead Hawaiian Islands Outlook issued on October 15 by the
NOAA Climate Prediction Center showed probabilities favoring above
normal rainfall through the rest of 2020 and into spring 2021.
Probabilities continued to favor above normal temperatures across
the state through the rest of 2020 and into early 2021 due to the
forecast of above average sea surface temperatures around the
Hawaiian Islands. The next long-lead outlook will be issued by the
Climate Prediction Center on November 19.

Based on the forecast, drought should ease over the west half of
the state and the east-facing windward slopes of Maui and the Big
Island. Leeward areas of Maui and the Big Island may have drought
persist over the next several months with only a limited easing of
dry conditions.

.NEXT ISSUANCE DATE:
The next Drought Information Statement will be issued on December 10,
2020 or sooner if necessary in response to significant changes in
conditions.

.RELATED WEB SITES:
Additional information on current drought conditions may be found
at the following web addresses:

U.S. Drought Monitor: droughtmonitor.unl.edu/
Hawaii Drought Monitor: dlnr.hawaii.gov/drought
USGS Hawaii - Recent Conditions: hi.water.usgs.gov/recent/index.html
Climate Prediction Center long-lead Hawaii outlook:
www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/predictions/90day/fxhw40.html
Hawaii Drought Impact Reporter: hawaii.droughtreporter.unl.edu/

.ACKNOWLEDGMENTS:
Information for this product was compiled from a number of sources including
the county boards and departments of water supply, U.S. and State
of Hawaii agriculture agencies, the U.S. Geological Survey, and
the media.

.CONTACT INFORMATION:
If you have questions or comments about this drought information statement, please contact:

Kevin Kodama
National Weather Service
2525 Correa Rd. Suite 250
Honolulu HI 96822
Phone: 808-973-5276
Email: Kevin.kodama@noaa.gov


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