NOAA 2004-R299-25
Contact: Delores Clark

NOAA News Releases 2004
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Hydrology experts with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Weather Service in Honolulu are forecasting below average rainfall during Hawaii’s upcoming 2004-2005 wet season, which runs from October through April. NOAA is an agency of the U.S. Commerce Department.

Jim Weyman, meteorologist-in-charge of the NWS Weather Forecast Office in Honolulu, said Pacific Ocean equatorial sea surface temperatures have warmed over the last several months, producing weak El Niño conditions. “The outlook from NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center indicates the warm anomalies of sea surface temperatures associated with the weak El Niño will continue through early 2005,” Weyman said.

NOAA’s operational definition for El Niño is a three-month running time period with mean temperatures greater than or equal to +0.5°C in the central Pacific (between 5oN-5oS and 170oW-120oW). This criterion was met during the period June-August 2004, with a value of +0.7°C.

During El Niño events, Hawaii often experiences a decrease in rainfall from December to March, there is a greater chance of late season or out of season, hurricanes in the central Pacific and more high surf occurrences are likely on the north and northwest shores. The central Pacific hurricane season extends through November 30.

Flash floods are another concern during the wet season. Kevin Kodama, senior service hydrologist at the NWS Weather Forecast Office in Honolulu said, “Although we expect a drier than normal Hawaiian wet season, keep in mind that flash flood events remain a possibility even during overall drought conditions.”

Federal, state, and county governments along with organizations throughout the state are evaluating their responses in the event of a drought or in the event of a localized flash flood occurrence.

“Ultimately, it is each person’s responsibility to be prepared for a drought or a flash flood event,” Weyman added.

NOAA’s National Weather Service is the primary source of weather data, forecasts and warnings for the United States and its territories. NOAA’s National Weather Service operates the most advanced weather and flood warning and forecast system in the world, helping to protect lives and property and enhance the national economy.

NOAA is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and providing environmental stewardship of our nation’s coastal and marine resources.

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