Categorized | Agriculture, Weather

Exceptional drought on Leeward Maui

MEDIA RELEASE

Weather Review
According to the US Drought Monitor Summary, exceptional drought was introduced in southwestern Maui this week in response to reports of 90 percent pasture losses and herd culling levels exceeds 30 percent in areas. The drought monitor reported no other major changes. Irrigation levels were marked slightly lower on the Big Island as well as Molokai, but were up on Oahu. The Molokai Irrigation system has slowly been bled away with little rainfall on the Island where the western two thirds was under extreme [D3] drought conditions. Pasture and crop conditions are generally poor on the Island which the majority of the Island has received approximately 5 inches or less over the past 6 months. Light showers were present for the northern islands early in the week, while the Big Island saw rainfall throughout the week. Maui remained mostly dry during the week. Rainfall totals were typically unchanged over the State, save the Big Island which received more precipitation on the leeward coast and less on the windward coast than the past week in excess of an inch.

Hawaii County
The Big Island received no major changes in conditions over the past week. The Windward side did not receive last week’s large totals of rain, but still managed to receive over two inches in some locations. The leeward side was beneficiary to showers, with the Kealakekua gauge receiving over 2.5 inches of rain, extending the usual midyear maximum the Kona Coast receives. The Waimea Irrigation System water level was marked at 47.5 feet on Friday, October 15th; a decrease of 1 percent from the previous week’s reading of 48 feet. The current conservation status is unrestricted.

Maui County
Breezy to windy trades were present for the better half of week on Maui. Windward showers were light and passing while leeward areas of Maui, as well as the other islands in the county received little to no rain. The Molokai Irrigation System water level was marked at 12.5 feet on Friday, October 15th; a decrease of 4 percent from the previous week’s reading of 13 feet. Phase III mandatory conservation measures remained in effect. Measures included a MANDATORY 30 percent conservation in usage from all non-homestead users.

Honolulu County
The Waimanalo Reservoir Irrigation System water level was marked at 26 feet on Friday, October 15th; an increase of 4 percent from the previous week’s reading of 25 feet. Phase III mandatory conservation measures remained in effect. Measures included a MANDATORY 30 percent reduction in use and water service limited to Mondays, Wednesday, and Fridays between the hours of 7 AM and 3:30 PM.

Kauai County
Partly cloudy skies early in the week were accompanied by light to breezy trades and passing showers. More than halfway through the month, the Lihue airport has received only .11 inch of rain, which is 5 percent of the normal 2.19 inches for the month of October.

Agricultural Highlights

Orchards
Orchards were in good conditions Statewide. Clear skies and irrigation aided development. Progress of orchards with little or no irrigation was mixed.

Vegetables
Crop conditions were mostly good as irrigation in dry areas were mixed with clear skies and steady trades. Livestock and Pasture Pastures in lower elevations and in leeward areas were in poor condition but there were exceptions which varied by location.

Full report in PDF form here

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