Hawaii and USAPI Climate Summary

This webpage serves as a digital version of the quarterly "Hawaii and US Pacific Islands Region Climate Impacts and Outlook". The quarterly outlook draws on the PEAC Climate Center's "Pacific ENSO Update" quarterly newsletter and other sources to bring together seasonal predictions and projections alongside information on recent impacts of weather and climate events in a concise and accessible format. The top four tabs (below) mirror the content that can be found in the current outlook.

This webpage also provides access to information used to develop the quarterly outlook in the form of a “dashboard” that aggregates climate variability-related content via links to products and information from a mix of primarily US agencies, institutions, and organizations.

Climate Impacts and Outlook

Hawaii and U.S. Pacific Islands Region
2nd Quarter 2022

Significant Events and Impacts for Previous Quarter by Locale

pacific overlook

Highlights for Hawaii and the U.S. Affiliated Pacific Islands

Significant Events and Impacts for Previous Quarter by Sector

Flash flooding observed in South Hilo, Hawaii during a heavy rainfall event on April 16, 2022. Rainfall in Hilo for April 2022 was 15.67 inches (167% of normal). Photo credit: M. Wasser, National Park Service.

Poor vegetation health observed along the northwestern coast (currently in Extreme Drought – D3) of the island of Hawai'i at the National Park Service weather station at the Puʻukoholā Heiau National Historic Site on May 17, 2022.Photo credit: D. Simeral, Western Regional Climate Center

Agriculture – In the Hawaiian Islands, persistent rainfall shortfalls in some leeward areas of the Big Island, Maui, and Molokai during the Mar–May 2022 period resulted in agricultural drought impacts including poor vegetation health and poor pasture conditions. In Maui and Molokai, poor wildland forage conditions have led to continued feral deer encroachments onto farmlands resulting in severe damage to crops, pastures, and losses for local producers.

Facilities and Infrastructure – In American Samoa, heavy rainfall on May 17 led to flash flooding of the main roadway in the village of Failolo; landslides in Agugulu; and a rockslide on Ofu Island (according to the NWS Pago Pago)

Water Resources/Wildfire – According to the Hawaiʻi Dept. of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR; March 8), persistent below-normal rainfall in areas of Maui have led to reduced groundwater recharge and surface water flows raising concerns of the effect of drought on local domestic water supplies and for agricultural irrigation moving into the dry season. As of 5/31/22, the USGS 14-day average streamflows (compared to historical flows for the day of the year) at numerous gaging stations were registering below-normal flows ranging from the 1st to the 24th percentile on the Big Island, Maui, Molokai, and Oahu. The on-going dry conditions are causing growing concern regarding the potential for devastating wildfires, according to DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife. In Kapingamarangi (FSM), short-term dryness during May (1.19 in.), has caused public water tanks to drop to 60% of capacity while private water tanks are reported as very low, according to the NWS Guam. On Majuro (RMI), reservoir storage reached 78% of total capacity on May 31.

Vivid sunset (left) in Guam (June 2022) associated with volcanic dust from the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha‘apa (HT) eruption. Lidar image (right) from the Cloud-Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observations (CALIPSO) mission showing the volcanic plume from HT eruption reaching into the stratosphere (altitude of 31 km [19 miles]). The sulfate aerosols in the stratosphere are expected to affect the radiative balance in the atmosphere and possibly Southern Hemispheric ozone over the next year. Image/content credit: M. Lander, Univ. of Guam (left); NASA/CALIPSO; NOAA Tonga Rapid Response Experiment (right).

Regional Climate Overview for Previous Quarter

Monthly sea surface temperature anomaly map for 5/08/22 to 6/04/22 (left) and seasonal outgoing long-wave radiation anomalies for Mar–May 2022. Areas with more rain/clouds than normal are depicted in green while areas with fewer clouds/less rain are depicted in brown. Source: IRI. (right). Sources: NOAA PSL, NOAA NCEP Climate Prediction Center, IRI

Across most of the equatorial Pacific Ocean, sea surface temperatures (SSTs) were below normal with La Niña conditions present. All four Niño regions registered negative SST anomalies on the NOAA CPC update (5/30/22) at the end of the MAM period: Niño 3.4 region at -1.0ºC; Niño 3 at -0.9ºC; Niño 1+2 at -1.1ºC; and Niño 4 at -0.8ºC

During MAM, above-normal sea levels were observed across much of the equatorial western Pacific and central South Pacific while normal to below-normal levels were observed across the tropical eastern Pacific and central North Pacific. In the Hawaiian Islands, near-normal sea levels (monthly means) were observed during MAM. In the western Pacific, monthly mean sea levels were above normal (10-30 cm) throughout MAM with numerous daily extreme-high sea level records broken during the period including in Palau (3/3–5), Guam (3/3–4, 4/12–13), Kapingamarangi (3/1, 3–4, 18, 4/2–4, 16–20), Kwajalein (3/3–5, 4/2), and in Pago Pago (3/1–5, 3/27, 29–31, 4/1, 3, 2–26, 28–30). In the Hawaiian Islands, daily extremes were broken in March at Mokuoloe (3/1, 29), Kahului (3/1–3), Nawiliwili (3/1–2), and Hilo (3/1), according to the University of Hawaiʻi Sea Level Center.

During the MAM period, most of the U.S. Affiliated Pacific Islands were drought-free except for Moderate (D1) observed in northern RMI (Wotje) and in southern FSM at Kapingamarangi, according to the U. S. Drought Monitor. Median precipitation for the MAM period was near to above normal across areas of the tropical western Pacific including in Palau with Airai recording 57.84 in. (192% of normal). In FSM (for MAM), Yap observed 33.55 in. (174% of normal), Kapingamarangi 16.78 in. (47% of normal), Pohnpei 78.99 in (144% of normal, 5th wettest), Lukunor 36.69 in. (104% of normal), Kosrae 90.93 in. (167% of normal, 4th wettest), and Chuuk 50.89 in. (148% of normal). In the Mariana Islands, Saipan observed 12.14 in. (202% of normal) and Guam 9.37 in. (88% of normal). In the RMI, Majuro observed 50.35 in. (196% of normal) for MAM, while Kwajalein logged 32.45 in. (188% of normal). In American Samoa, precipitation was below normal (20.24 in., 61% of normal, 5th driest) at Pago Pago for MAM despite near-normal rainfall during May (9.32 in.; 96% of normal). Across much of the Hawaiian Islands, below-normal rainfall was observed during MAM, exacerbating drought-related conditions in leeward areas. Conversely, above-normal rainfall was observed during Apr-May on the windward side of the Big Island in the North Hilo, South Hilo, and Puna districts. For the MAM period, Lihue observed 7.45 in. (76% of normal), Honolulu 1.83 in. (46% of normal), Molokai 1.87 in. (33% of normal), Kahului 0.46 in. (10% of normal), Kailua Kona 2.09 in. (93% of normal), and Hilo 32.63 in. (112% of normal).

Tropical cyclone (TC) activity has been below normal in the South Pacific basin east of 135ºE) (east of 135ºE) with 7 named storms since December and an Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) Index of 21.9 (normal is 68.8 by 5/31/22 based on 1991-2010 climatology). In the Northwest Pacific (west of 180ºE), TC activity has been slightly below normal with 2 named storms early in the season bringing the ACE Index to 17.4 (normal 26.7) by 5/31/22. In the Northeast Pacific, the first hurricane of the season, Hurricane Agatha, made landfall along the coast of Oaxaca, Mexico on May 30.

Regional Climate Outlook for Next Quarter

ENSO forecast model predictions – May 2022
Source: IRI/CPC.

According to the majority of ENSO prediction models (see IRI/CPC forecast above), there is a high probability that weak La Niña conditions continue into the Northern Hemisphere summer 2022. The odds for La Niña are forecasted to decrease into the late Northern Hemisphere summer (58% chance in Aug-Oct 2022) before slightly increasing through fall and early winter 2022 (61%).

NOAA’s Coral Reef Watch four-month (Jun 2022–Sept 2022) coral bleaching heat stress outlook calls for a high probability (90%) of high heat stress bleaching Alert Level 1 (bleaching likely) in the western Pacific including areas around Palau, and western FSM (Yap). A bleaching Warning (possible bleaching) is forecasted for areas including the central FSM and the southern extent of the Mariana Islands.

During the period June through August 2022, below-normal precipitation is forecasted for much of USAPI, including Palau, Mariana Islands (Guam, CNMI), much of FSM, American Samoa, and the Hawaiian Islands. Normal to above-normal rainfall is expected in areas of RMI (Kwajalein, Majuro) while near-normal rainfall is expected in the eastern portion of FSM in Pohnpei, according to the NOAA Pacific ENSO Applications Climate (PEAC) Center. In terms of the 2022 Central Pacific hurricane season (Jun 1–Nov 30), NOAA’s NWS Central Hurricane Center and NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center (May 18) is predicting below-normal (60% chance) tropical cyclone activity with a 30% chance of near-normal activity and a 10% chance of an above-normal season. For the season, 2 to 4 tropical cyclones (4 to 5 is normal) are predicted for the region.

For the next 3 to 6 months, dynamical models (NOAA CFSv2, ACCESS-S2 [Australia]) suggest continuation of above-normal sea level or the western Pacific, especially south of 15ºN (including areas around Guam, Malakai, Chuuk, Pohnpei, Majuro) and extending southeastward through most of the South Pacific Convergence Zone (SPCZ) region, according to the University of Hawaii Sea Level Center.

Information in the dashboard is grouped first by climate variable and/or impact and then by time frame. Click on any tab in the dashboard, it will expand to show an associated selection of panes. (Click again and it will collapse). Click on any figure in a pane to view a full-sized version, and click again to reduce it. Click on the “?” button to view the figure caption. Note that figures are automatically updated as often as the original providers post them on their respective websites (the update frequency is included in the caption). This means, the figures in the print version of the outlook may not be fully consistent with those found here. Click on the source URL to go to the site where the figure originated and find additional data and information.


Temperature & Precipitation


Latest Week of Global Rainfall

source: http://pmm.nasa.gov/TRMM/realtime-3hr-7day-rainfall

Current Total Precipitable Water

source: http://tropic.ssec.wisc.edu/real-time/mimic-tpw/wpac/main.html

NCEP Reanalysis Model - Air Temperature (Surface)

source: https://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/data/gridded/data.ncep.reanalysis.html

NCEP Reanalysis Model - Precipitable Water (Surface)

source: https://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/data/gridded/data.ncep.reanalysis.html

NCEP Reanalysis Model - Air Temperature Anomaly (Surface)

source: https://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/data/gridded/data.ncep.reanalysis.html

NCEP Reanalysis Model - Precipitable Water Anomaly (Surface)

source: https://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/data/gridded/data.ncep.reanalysis.html

NCEP Reanalysis Model - Relative Humidity (Surface)

source: https://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/data/gridded/data.ncep.reanalysis.html

NCEP Reanalysis Model - Sea Level Pressure

source: https://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/data/gridded/data.ncep.reanalysis.html

Tropical Outgoing Longwave Radiation Anomalies (OLRA) During the Last 30 Days

source: http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/precip/CWlink/MJO/enso.shtml

Time-Longitude Section of Anomalous OLR

source: http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/precip/CWlink/MJO/enso.shtml

ESRL 30-Day Average OLR Anomaly

source: https://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/map/clim/olr.shtml

GHCN-M Global Monthly Temperature Anomaly

source: https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/temp-and-precip/ghcn-gridded-products/

Current Total Precipitable Water and Winds

source: http://www.nrlmry.navy.mil/

GPM Three-Month-Mean Satellite-Derived Precipitation Anomalies

source: https://pmm.nasa.gov/data-access/downloads/gpm


IRI Multi-Model Probability Forecast for Temperature

source: http://iridl.ldeo.columbia.edu/maproom/Global/Forecasts/Temperature.html

IRI Multi-Model Probability Forecast for Precipitation

source: http://iridl.ldeo.columbia.edu/maproom/Global/Forecasts/Precipitation.html

CFSv2 Three-Month-Mean Spatial Anomalies (Outlook) - Surface Air Temperature

source: http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/CFSv2/CFSv2seasonal.shtml

CFSv2 Three-Month-Mean Spatial Anomalies (Outlook) - Precipitation

source: http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/CFSv2/CFSv2seasonal.shtml

NMME Three-Month-Mean Spatial Anomalies (Outlook) - Surface Air Temperature

source: http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/NMME/

NMME Three-Month-Mean Spatial Anomalies (Outlook) - Precipitation

source: http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/NMME/


Drought & Stream Flow

Hawaii Drought Area Percentage

source: http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/drought/

USGS Monthly Streamflow for Hawaii

source: http://waterwatch.usgs.gov/?m=real&r=hi

Tropical Cyclones & Storms

Tropical Wind Anomalies During the Last 30 Days

source: http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/precip/CWlink/MJO/enso.shtml

South Pacific Tropical Cyclone Tracks

source: http://weather.unisys.com/

NCEP Global Ocean Data Assimilation System (GODAS) - Tropical Cyclone Heat Potential

source: http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/GODAS/

West Pacific Tropical Cyclone Tracks

source: http://weather.unisys.com/

Global Tropical Hazards/Benefits Outlook

source: http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/precip/CWlink/ghazards/

East Pacific Tropical Cyclone Tracks

source: http://weather.unisys.com/

Sea-Surface Temperatures, Ocean Conditions, & Impacts


SST Anomaly Animations - Tropical Pacific

source: http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/precip/CWlink/MJO/enso.shtml

SST Anomaly Animations - Equatorial Temperature Anomaly

source: http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/precip/CWlink/MJO/enso.shtml

Subsurface SST Anomaly - Tropical Pacific

source: http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/precip/CWlink/MJO/enso.shtml

NCEP Global Ocean Data Assimilation System (GODAS) Animations - SST Anomaly

source: http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/GODAS/

TAO/TRITON SST and Winds - Past 21 Days

source: http://www.pmel.noaa.gov/tao/jsdisplay/

Coral Reef Watch Products - Bleaching Alert Areas

source: http://coralreefwatch.noaa.gov/satellite/baa.php

Coral Reef Watch Products - Coral Bleaching Hotspots

source: http://coralreefwatch.noaa.gov/satellite/hotspot.php

Coral Reef Watch Products - Degree Heating Weeks

source: http://coralreefwatch.noaa.gov/satellite/dhw.php

OceanWatch - Central Pacific: Aqua MODIS Ocean Color

source: http://oceanwatch.pifsc.noaa.gov

OceanWatch - Central Pacific: Aquarius Sea-Surface Salinity

source: http://oceanwatch.pifsc.noaa.gov

OceanWatch - Central Pacific: GOES-POES Sea-Surface Temperature

source: http://oceanwatch.pifsc.noaa.gov


CFSv2 Three-Month-Mean Spatial Anomalies (Outlook) - Sea-Surface Temperature

source: http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/CFSv2/CFSv2seasonal.shtml

NMME Three-Month-Mean Spatial Anomalies (Outlook) - Sea-Surface Temperature

source: http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/NMME/

Probability of Coral Bleaching Thermal Stress

source: http://coralreefwatch.noaa.gov/satellite/bleachingoutlook_cfs/outlook_cfs.php

Probablisitic Coral Bleaching Thermal Stress Warning

source: http://coralreefwatch.noaa.gov/satellite/bleachingoutlook_cfs/outlook_cfs.php

Sea-Level & Waves


OSTM/Jason-3 Satellite Sea Level Residuals - 10 Day Averages

source: http://sealevel.jpl.nasa.gov/science/elninopdo/latestdata/


Pacific Region Sea-Surface Heights

source: https://www7320.nrlssc.navy.mil/GLBhycom1-12/

WaveWatch III - Pacific Region Wave Height and Direction

source: http://polar.ncep.noaa.gov/waves/viewer.shtml?-multi_1-pacific-


ENSO & Other Climate Indices

Regional Partners

Pacific ENSO Applications Climate Center:
NOAA NWS Weather Forecast Office Honolulu :
NOAA NWS Weather Forecast Office Guam:
NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information:
NOAA NMFS Pacific Island Fisheries Science Center:
NOAA OceanWatch - Central Pacific:
NOAA Coral Reef Watch:
USGS Pacific Islands Water Science Center:
USGS Science Center - Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center:
University of Hawaii - Joint Institute of Marine and Atmospheric Research:
University of Guam - Water and Environmental Research Institute:
University of Hawaii Sea Level Center:
University of Hawaii Asia-Pacific Data Research Center (APDRC)

Previous Climate Impacts and Outlook