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
3rd Quarter 2020

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

Hurricane Douglas approaching the Hawaiian Islands on July 25. Photo credit: NASA.

Flash flooding during a severe storm event (July 31) on the island of Tutuila, American Samoa. Photo credit: Christie Ma Hyrum.

Agriculture – Hot and dry conditions across the island chain in August led to drought impacts—including deterioration of pasture conditions on the Big Island (Ka'u, Mauna Kea slopes), Maui (Kihei-Maalaea), and in western Molokai.


Ecosystems – Anomalously warm ocean temperatures and coral bleaching (at depths >5 meters) were reported around the island of Tutuila in American Samoa during June and July by the National Park Service.


Facilities and Infrastructure – In early June, coastal flooding and erosion occurred on Oahu in some low-lying areas with southern exposures—including Waikiki. In late July, Hurricane Douglas steered north of the Hawaiian Islands with only minimal impacts reported including minor coastal flooding and road damage in east Oahu and minor flooding on Maui and Kauai. On the east coast of Tutuila, sea levels rose rapidly during mid-June causing coastal erosion, inundation, and threatened homes in the villages of Aua, Amouli, and Lauli’i. Additionally, high-intensity rainfall during a storm event on 7/31 caused flooding of roads on Tutuila. On Guam, heavy rainfall on 8/27-28 caused flooding of rivers, streams, roads, and homes.


Water Resources – In August, the majority of household water tanks on Kapingamarangi Atoll (FSM) were at 10% or lower with reports of the community’s emergency reserve water supply being used.


Daily 5 km Satellite Sea Surface Temperature Anomalies (ºC) on August 31, 2020. Source: NOAA Coral Reef Watch

Regional Climate Overview for Previous Quarter

August 25, 2020 USAPI Drought Monitor
Source https://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/CurrentMap/StateDroughtMonitor.aspx?usapi

Across the central and eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean, sea-surface temperatures (SSTs) were below normal with La Niña conditions present and a La Niña Advisory in effect (9/10/20). All four Niño regions were observing negative SST anomalies—with the Niño 3.4 region at -0.9ºC, and the Niño 1+2 and Niño 3 regions with SST anomalies cooler than -1.0ºC. Around American Samoa, waters were approximately +1.0ºC above normal while waters around RMI, FSM, and CNMI ranged from +0.2ºC to +2.0ºC above normal.

Sea levels were above normal in the tropical areas of the north-central Pacific and in parts of the far western Pacific while sea levels were near to slightly below normal along the equator in the eastern Pacific. Near Hawaii, above-normal sea levels were observed including record daily (in June & July) and monthly (July) high sea levels in Honolulu and Kahului as well as record daily high sea levels in Hilo and Nawiliwili during June.

Drought conditions significantly improved across the Marianas, western FSM, and in areas of RMI since early summer. Median precipitation for the period (JJA) was below normal with Saipan observing 15.95 in. (65% of normal) while Guam observed 24.34 in. (71% of normal) for JJA. In Palau, above-normal rainfall was observed across most areas in August with Airai observing 22.13 in. (155% of normal). In western FSM, Yap observed above-normal precipitation in June with 18.56 in. (154% of normal) leading to improvement in drought conditions while rainfall was below normal for JJA with Kapingamarangi logging 14.4 in. (38% of normal) and Pohnpei observing 35.22 in. (76% of normal). Conversely, Kosrae (FSM) observed above-normal precipitation for JJA with 50.32 in. (108% of normal). In the RMI, Majuro observed 35.65 in. (104% of normal) for JJA with the Majuro reservoir at 86% of total capacity by August 31 while Kwajalein saw below-normal rainfall for the contemporaneous period with 20.15 in. (74% of normal). In American Samoa, the JJA period was the wettest on record with Pago Pago observing 42.09 in. (235% of normal). In the Hawaiian Islands, Hilo observed its 6th driest JJA period on record with 13.98 in. (50% of normal) and its 3rd highest JJA average temperature (78.4°F) on record. Elsewhere, JJA precipitation was below normal in Honolulu (75% of normal), Kahului (27% of normal), and Lihue was above normal at 119%.

Tropical cyclone (TC) activity has been below normal in both the Central North Pacific and in the Northwest Pacific regions. In the Northwest, all TC activity has been west or north of Micronesia with only 11 named storms since May and an ACE Index (Accumulated Cyclone Energy) of 41.6 by August 31—about ~50% of normal. In the Central North Pacific region, the only significant TC was Hurricane Douglas—that tracked just north of Hawaii in late July.


Regional Climate Outlook for Next Quarter

According to the majority of ENSO prediction models, La Niña conditions were present in early September and favored (~75% chance) to persist during the Northern Hemisphere fall 2020 and continuing through winter 2020-21.

NOAA’s Coral Reef Watch 4-month (Sept-Dec 2020) bleaching outlook calls for a high probability of high heat stress (Alert Levels 1 and 2) in areas around Guam, and the Federated States of Micronesia by the end of September and are likely to remain through November. For the Hawaiian Islands, a bleaching Warning through most of October and November is expected.

During the period from September through November 2020, rainfall is projected to be near normal to below normal for CNMI, Guam, areas of RMI (Kosrae, Kwajalein, Pohnpei), and the Hawaiian Islands while normal rainfall is forecasted for Yap (FSM). In other areas of FSM (Chuuk), RMI (Majuro), and in American Samoa, normal-to-above-normal rainfall is expected. In the Republic of Palau, above-normal rainfall is forecasted.

During the next six months, many dynamical models suggest development of a La Niña sea-level pattern in the equatorial Pacific with above-normal sea levels in the west and below-normal sea levels in the east. For the islands of the tropical western Pacific as well as Micronesia, there is a likelihood of increasing sea-level anomalies. Around Hawaii, near-normal sea levels are expected to continue for the next 6 months.

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.

Dashboard

Temperature & Precipitation

Recent/Current:

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


Forecast/Projections:

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

Recent/Current:

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


Forecast/Projections:

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

Recent/Current:

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

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


Forecast/Projections:

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:
http://www.weather.gov/peac/update
NOAA NWS Weather Forecast Office Honolulu :
http://www.prh.noaa.gov/pr/hnl/
NOAA NWS Weather Forecast Office Guam:
http://www.prh.noaa.gov/pr/guam/
NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information:
http://www.ncei.noaa.gov
NOAA NMFS Pacific Island Fisheries Science Center:
http://www.pifsc.noaa.gov/
NOAA OceanWatch - Central Pacific:
http://oceanwatch.pifsc.noaa.gov/
NOAA Coral Reef Watch:
http://coralreefwatch.noaa.gov/
USGS Pacific Islands Water Science Center:
http://hi.water.usgs.gov/
USGS Science Center - Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center:
http://walrus.wr.usgs.gov/
University of Hawaii - Joint Institute of Marine and Atmospheric Research:
http://www.soest.hawaii.edu/jimar/
University of Guam - Water and Environmental Research Institute:
http://www.weriguam.org/
University of Hawaii Sea Level Center:
http://uhslc.soest.hawaii.edu/
University of Hawaii Asia-Pacific Data Research Center (APDRC)
http://apdrc.soest.hawaii.edu/

Previous Climate Impacts and Outlook