Late last week (10/16/20), NOAA announced their wet season outlook for the State of Hawaii, which is anticipating above-average rainfall for the 2020-2021 wet season. However, the rainy conditions are not predicted to be enough to lift Maui out of the current drought conditions.
Hawaii’s wet season typically ranges from October through April, but will largely be impacted by the La Nina conditions expected for this year’s wet season. The start of more consistent rainfall is expected to begin around December. It is still unclear how the La Nina conditions will impact the state; only time will tell which islands will bear the brunt of the La Nina conditions.
Maui County Wet Season Outlook
Heading into the summer months, Maui’s drought conditions were already in full effect from the absence of rainfall during the winter and spring months. By the end of September, the Valley Isle’s drought conditions were the worst in the state, largely exacerbated by a bleak wet season.
2020’s dry season (May to September) ranks as the 11th driest over the last 30 year’s. On a positive note, this year’s dry season was nowhere near record breaking drought conditions.
Maui will be at the mercy of La Nina as many experts will be closely monitoring the situation to determine which side of the island will see the majority of the rainfall. Strong La Nina conditions will favor rainfall on the windward side, while weak conditions indicate more rainfall in the leeward areas.
In July, West Maui and Upcountry were asked by the Maui County Department of Water Supply to conserve water due to the limited amount of rainfall. By September, a Stage 1 water emergency was declared for both areas with mandatory water use restrictions imposed.
Although Hurricane Douglas brought some rain in July that alleviated Upcountry reservoirs, there were few other weather events that supplemented the reservoirs. While the heavy rains that come with a hurricane-force storm, Maui would better benefit steady, persistent rain throughout the coming months.
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