Wet months expected with La Nina's return
Wetter-than-normal conditions are forecast for the Hawaii region through April by the national climate forecasters because of La Nina's return with cooling ocean waters.
La Nina began forming nearly three weeks ago in the east-central equatorial Pacific, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Climate Prediction Center reported on NOAA's Web site.
The event is expected to remain until late spring or possibly into summer, the long-term forecasters said.
The NOAA climate experts said it is too early to predict how La Nina will affect spring and summer weather, but conditions often include stronger and more numerous hurricanes, wet weather in the Pacific Northwest and dry conditions in the South, according to the Associated Press.
"With La Nina, there is a slight tendency to have wetter-than-normal conditions," said Kevin Kodama, senior hydrologist at the Honolulu Forecast Office of the National Weather Service.
But he said the relationship between La Nina and the weather "is much more tenuous" than with El Nino, which upsets wind and rainfall patterns globally with abnormal warming of eastern Pacific waters.
As a result, he said "the percent of confidence is not real high" in La Nina's effect on the weather.
"It is part of the wet season, but if you look at January, some places were fairly dry," he pointed out.
Normally wet areas such as the Koolaus, Central Oahu, Nuuanu and Lyon Arboretum in Manoa had more than their usual amount of rain, he said.
But West Oahu, downtown and the airport received less than half their normal rainfall for the month, he said.
"Actually, it was not that wet until the last week or so," Kodama said.
An upper-level low-pressure area moved in and dropped a lot of rain across the state but focused on the east-southeast side of the Big Island, he said.