Categorized | Agriculture, Weather

Hawaii’s drought conditions hold steady as days lengthen

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Weather Review
On April 3, 2012, the U.S. Drought Monitor indicated no change in drought conditions from those of the previous week. Land area classified as having no drought present across the state remained at 45.33 percent. While on the opposite end of the spectrum, land in the extreme drought category totaled 5.83 percent this week. This is the third consecutive week with no change in reported drought conditions. The seasonal drought outlook for Hawaii from April 5, 2012 through June 30, 2012 showed ongoing drought with some improvement for leeward areas in Hawaii and Maui Counties.

Hawaii County
This week was fairly dry island-wide until rains picked up in windward areas over the weekend with strengthening trade winds. The highest recorded 24- hour rainfall total was 1.90 inches on Sunday at the Kawainui Stream gage in the north Kamuela area. The light rains coupled with intermittent sun continued to encourage growth in windward areas. Leeward conditions were hazy and very dry on the whole, though light to moderate rains fell in the Honaunau/Kealakekua area every day, hopefully bringing some relief from the drought. The Waimea Irrigation System’s water level was marked at 50.00 feet (51.7 million gallons) on Monday, April 9, 2012, an increase of 0.50 foot or 2 percent from the reading taken April 2, 2012. Conservation status was unrestricted.

Maui County
The weather was mostly sunny and fair for most parts of the island Maui. Some areas did experience increased cloud cover and some haze from the south Kona winds during most of the week. By Friday the normal trade winds were beginning to return and brought some brief showers over isolated windward sections of the island. The pastures for most parts of the island have continued to show re- growth. Some pastures along the west side of Maui have also shown some improved condition. The increasing length of the days has benefitted growth and development of most crops. The Molokai Irrigation System water level was marked at 16.50 feet (363.0 million gallons) on Monday, April 9, 2012, unchanged from the reading taken on Monday April 2, 2012. Phase III – water conservation measures remain in effect for non- homestead users.

Honolulu County
Very clear skies and little precipitation during the first half of the week gave way to overcast skies and isolated showers in the weekend. The Waimanalo Irrigation System water water level was marked at 48.00 feet (36.0 million gallons) on Monday, April 9, 2012, up 1.00 foot or 2 percent from the reading taken on Monday the previous week. A Phase II – Mandatory 10 percent reduction in irrigation water use remains in effect.

Kauai County
Receiving slightly more precipitation than last week, the island of Kauai received an average rainfall of 0.68 inch most of which occurred in the later portion of the week.

Agricultural Highlights

Orchards and Vegetables
Lots of sunshine and intermittent showers produced ideal growing conditions across large areas of Hawaii this week.

Livestock and Pasture
Pasture conditions continue to improve, showing signs of re-growth in many areas. However, some areas still remained in drought stages and additional moisture is required to boost available pasture.

Hawaii Weekly Crop Weather Report for April 8, 2012

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