View Rainfall Outlook Media Advisory
View Flash Floods Info
View Siren Testing Info

Summary of the dry season (May through September 2017)

  • Statewide: Most locations had near to below average rainfall.
    • Drought present on the Big Island at the start of the dry season.
    • Spread to the other three counties and intensified during the summer.
    • Mainly affecting ranching operations and localized water service areas on
      Maui and the Big Island.
  • 13th driest dry season in the last 30 years (based on rankings from 8 key sites).
    • 2015 dry season was the wettest in the last 30 years.
    • 2003 dry season was the driest in the last 30 years.
    • Expected wet conditions for windward slopes did not occur.
  • Unlike 2015 and 2016, below average tropical cyclone activity in 2017 did not provide a boost in rainfall during the summer months.

Outlook for the wet season (October 2017 through April 2018)

  • NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center (CPC): The current ENSO-neutral conditions are likely transitioning to a La Nina state (cool phase) with a 55 to 60 percent chance of La Nina developing during the fall.
    • CPC issued a “La Nina Watch” on September 14, 2017.
  • After development, La Nina is forecast to persist until the spring when conditions may transition back to ENSO-neutral.
  • There is uncertainty in the eventual strength of this La Nina episode.
  • Probabilities favor above average rainfall through the wet season.
    • Above average rainfall is reflected in the climate model consensus predictions which captures large scale conditions but not Hawaii’s microclimates.
    • Wet seasons during recent moderate to strong La Nina events have had wet conditions over the windward slopes but dry conditions over leeward areas.
    • Weaker La Nina events had more rainfall make it to leeward areas.
  • Recovery from existing drought probable for windward Big Island and Maui.
  • Existing drought may persist or worsen in some of the leeward areas, especially on the Big Island and Maui County.

Wet season preparedness reminders

  • Do not drive on roads with fast-flowing water.
    • Just 2 feet of fast-flowing water can sweep most vehicles off a road.
    • Road may also be severely undercut.
  • Do not walk across flooded streams.
    • If you’re hiking and get stranded, wait for the water to recede.
    • Streams in Hawaii generally recede quickly.
  • Expect more rainy weather impacts.
    • Increased road travel times
    • Possible detours or road closures due to flooding or landslides.
    • Outdoor activities may be postponed, canceled, or adjusted.
  • The wet season brings increased potential for lightning strikes.
    • Be prepared for power outages.
    • Move indoors when you hear thunder.
  • If you travel through a flood-prone area, identify alternate routes ahead of time.
  • If you live in a flood-prone area, have an evacuation plan in case flood waters quickly threaten your home.
  • Stay informed of conditions that could change rapidly
    • Sunny skies can turn cloudy with intense rainfall in less than an hour.
    • Check out the latest forecasts, watches, warnings, and advisories via the media, NOAA Weather Radio, the Internet, or one of several weather mobile phone apps.
    • Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) on mobile phones notify you that you’re in a flash flood warning area.

On the Web:
NOAA National Weather Service Honolulu HI:
NOAA Weather Ready Nation:
NOAA Climate Prediction Center:
FEMA Flood Preparedness Information:
Hawaii Emergency Management Agency:
State of Hawaii-DLNR National Flood Insurance Page:
U.S. Drought Monitor:

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