Most of state is
suffering from
low rainfall

Kauai benefited from rain last month, but the storms did not extend far enough east to relieve dry conditions in other parts of Hawaii, according to the National Weather Service.

"Kauai did well," and some spots on Oahu had rain from July 26 thunderstorms, said Kevin Kodama, senior service hydrologist with the weather service's Honolulu Forecast Office. But except for Kauai, leeward sides of the islands remained dry, he said.

With dry summer conditions, the Honolulu Board of Water Supply is asking consumers to conserve water voluntarily.

On July 15, Maui's Board of Water Supply asked residents in Central Maui, from Kahului and Wailuku to Kihei and Paia, to cut back on water use voluntarily. Farmers and residents from Haiku to Kanaio had been under a voluntary restriction since Dec. 4 when an emergency drought declaration was made along Haleakala's slopes.

Summarizing last month's rainfall in a report on the forecast office's Web site, Kodama said an "unseasonable" low-pressure system northwest of the islands July 25-28 broke a tradewind pattern.

Heavy rains fell on Oahu, Kauai and the Big Island because of that system, as well as moisture from remnants of Tropical Storm Felicia and a tropical disturbance, he said.

Windward sides of the Big Island and Maui received "much-needed rainfall" during periods of wet tradewinds, Kodama said. Remnants of Tropical Storm Enrique also helped raise the rainfall level July 19, he said.

Kauai gauges reported near- or below-normal rainfall during the month, with the highest total of 24.08 inches on Mount Waialeale. The lowest total was 0.45 inches, or 35 percent of normal, at Hanapepe. For the first seven months of the year, Kauai's rainfall totals were near or above normal, ranging mostly from 80 to 110 percent of normal, Kodama said.

On Oahu, rainfall and thunderstorms July 26-28 helped to hike rain amounts to near or above normal totals over northeast-facing slopes of the Koolau Range.

Oahu continued to have below-normal rainfall totals for the first seven months of this year, ranging mostly from 50 to 80 percent of normal, Kodama said. The Manoa gauge has had the most rain on the island so far with 50.55 inches, which is 55 percent of normal, Kodama reported.

Maui's rainfall ranged from 19.34 inches at West Wailuaiki (120 percent of normal) to zero at Kihei, Kodama said.

Kodama said wet trades delivered "much-needed rainfall" to the Big Island and helped push rainfall totals to near- or above-normal levels on the east-facing slopes. Totals mainly ranged from 90 to 150 percent of normal. Honokaa had 8.41 inches, 221 percent of normal, but dry conditions continued on the west side of the island, with Kona's monthly rain totals well below 25 percent of normal for July, he said.


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