June rainfall below normal for Hilo, other areas

Despite predictions that East Hawaii would catch up on rainfall during June, Hilo rain totals for the month were less than half of normal.

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Despite predictions that East Hawaii would catch up on rainfall during June, Hilo rain totals for the month were less than half of normal.

The U.S. Drought Monitor describes East Hawaii as “abnormally dry,” with West Hawaii in a moderate drought. A small swath of the northern tip of the Big Island in the region of Akoni Pule Highway now is described as being in severe drought.

National Weather Service data shows the Hilo International Airport received just more than 3 inches of rain in June. On average, Hilo receives a little more than 7 inches of rain in June.

Matthew Foster, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Honolulu, said it’s not unusual for East Hawaii to be a few inches below normal and to then catch up.

“It’s our dry season,” he said.

But the Big Island also is facing the beginning of hurricane season.

All the island needs, he said, is to “get remnant moisture from a tropical storm” and it will be easy to catch up quickly.

“We’ve just been kind of under a trade wind pattern,” Foster said. “It’s kind of normal for this time of year.”

East Hawaii, Foster said, will see fairly dry weather and stable conditions in the days ahead.

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Pahoa recorded 4.65 inches of rain in June, 13.89 inches of rain were collected during the month by the Saddle Road Quarry rain gauge, just 0.08 of an inch of rain fell at Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport and a mere 0.41 of an inch of rain was collected by the Waimea Heights gauge during the month.

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

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