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Wet season pulls Hawai‘i out of drought

LIHU‘E — An epic wet season eliminated all drought in the state of Hawai‘i before moderate conditions returned to neighboring islands in early spring.

The October 2022 through April 2023 wet season started off with “severe or extreme drought in portions of all four counties statewide,” according to a summary from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which was referring to the counties of Hawai‘i, Honolulu, Kaua‘i and Maui.

But with La Nina in place for all of last year and the early portion of this year, conditions were ripe for a robust wet season that ended up producing above average rainfall at most locations.

The wet season was broken down into three distinct periods, with the October and November time frame weighing in with mostly near to below average totals.

Rainfall totals picked up in December and January, with wet conditions from mid-December cold fronts and dry from late December through the early part of January.

Mother Nature then unleashed in February through April with near to “above average rainfall at many locations,” the summary stated.

All the activity produced the ninth wettest season in the last 30 years across the islands.

Most rain totals on Kaua‘i were 120 percent to 150 percent of average. Lihu‘e Airport recorded its eighth wettest season in the last 30 years, as it clocked in with 32.77 inches of rain from October 2022 through April 2023.

Most of O‘ahu totals were 80 percent to 110 percent of average.

Daniel K. Inouye International Airport posted its 16th wettest season with 11.59 inches.

Maui totals were mostly 90 percent to 120 percent of average. Kahului Airport notched its 13th wettest season with 13.96 inches, while Moloka‘i Airport put up its second wettest season at 25.68 inches.

But the wettest, by far, was Hilo Airport on the Big Island, with 87.29 inches of rain for its 11th wettest season.

Most windward totals were 80 percent to 120 percent of average.

Most Kohala and Hamakua totals were 60 percent to 80 percent of average, while the rest of island totals were 130 percent to 170 percent of average, the summary showed.

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Wyatt Haupt Jr., editor, can be reached at 808-245-0457 or whaupt@thegardenisland.com.
Source: The Garden Island

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