Rain leaves Hawai‘i drought-free for the first time since 2015

Thanks to recent plentiful rainfall, Hawai‘i is completely drought-free for the first time in more than two years. The latest U.S. Drought Monitor update, issued Thursday by the National Drought Mitigation Center (NDMC) shows not one single place in the islands suffering from drought or even unusually dry conditions — a situation not seen in the Aloha State since December 2015.

The west side of Hawai‘i island was the last stronghold for persistent drought before significant rainstorms over the past few weeks caused drought and abnormally dry conditions to back off.

Daily maximum rainfall records were set in Honolulu and Kahului on 19 February 2018 and in Kahului on 15 February. Elsewhere a flash flood in Maui’s Waihe‘e Valley on 18 February caused significant damage to homes and property. Overall, groundwater levels have risen, and stream flows are mostly above normal, according to the U.S. Geological Service (USGS).

“It’s a wetter-than-normal season, but it’s not over yet,” said Pao-Shin Chu, Hawai‘i state climatologist and professor of Atmospheric Sciences.

Read more about it in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser (subscription required).