Drought in Hawaii
Drought fears rise as lack of January rain sets records. Last month’s weather may have been great for the beach, but the lack of rain made it the driest January on record in several locations in Hawaii. “Drought impacts, mainly to the agriculture sector, started on Kauai, Maui and the Big Island and will likely spread and intensify over the coming weeks.”
All of Oahu’s rain gauges recorded below average rainfall. Only .03 inches fell at the Honolulu Airport, about 1 percent of the normal 2.3 inches for January, setting a new record for the month. All of the rain gauges at lower elevations on Oahu — from Downtown Honolulu to Waianae — got less than 10 percent of normal rainfall. The highest rainfall total of 5.6 inches was recorded at Poamoho, but that is still 31 percent of the average for January.
Farmers in 17 of Maguindanao’s 36 towns lost their rice and corn crops to the now two-month dry spell, feared to cause widespread hunger without downpours until summer. Field workers are still validating reports on the extent of crop damage in the other 19 Maguindanao towns. Rats have also destroyed vast swaths of rice and corn farms in Maguindanao in January.