Weekend rain helps January catch up, but more rain will be needed

Plentiful East Hawaii rainfall duing the weekend helped boost the region’s rainfall total for the month — but more rain will be needed to match or surpass an average January.

“I think we’re in better shape,” said Kevin Kodama, hydrologist with the National Weather Service in Honolulu. “The east side was doing better than the west side. The west side’s been pretty dry for, maybe, better than a month.”

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Over the three-day period of Friday, Jan. 19 through Sunday, Jan. 21, unofficial rainfall totals on the island ticked steadily upward in East Hawaii but stayed markedly dry in West Hawaii.

Rainfall totals for those three days, combined, was 1.63 inches at Hilo International Airport, 2.11 inches in Pahoa, 4.06 inches in Mountain View, 10.66 inches at Saddle Quarry, 2.13 inches in Laupahoehoe, and 4.08 inches at the Papaikou Well.

But other locations didn’t receive as much.

Waimea Heights recorded .04 inches the entire three days, South Point had 0.9 inches, and Mauna Loa Observation Station received .03 inches.

Kodama said South Hilo and Puna were about 50 percent to 75 percent of their January rainfall averages as of Monday.

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“A lot of it was from the last three days or so,” he said.

Email Jeff Hansel at jhansel@hawaiitribune-herald.com.