Maui breaks heat record for fifth time this month; drought worsens to exceptional level
August 17, 2022, 2:40 PM HST
* Updated August 17, 4:40 PM
Maui broke a heat record again Tuesday – its fifth time this month.
Tuesday recorded a record high temperature of 95 degrees in Kahului, according to the National Weather Service. It breaks the old record of 91 degrees set in 2016.
Other records this month at the Kahului station were 93 degrees Aug. 13, 95 degrees Aug. 7, 96 degrees Aug. 6 and 93 degrees Aug. 5.
A return of breezy easterly trade wind conditions today brought some relief. The conditions are expected to last through the weekend.
Meanwhile, exceptional drought developed last month in many areas of Maui County, according to NWS’ Drought Information Statement that was issued last week.
Several rain gauges on Maui showed no measurable rainfall in the central valley during the entire month of July, the statement said. As a result, extreme drought, or the D3 category on the U.S. Drought Monitor map, worsened to exceptional drought, or the D4 category.
On Maui, low surface water flows have forced the county’s Department of Water Supply to impose water restrictions for Upcountry and West Maui consumers.
Also, extreme drought persisted last month in leeward areas of Molokai and the southeastern flank of Kahoolawe. Severe drought, or the D2 category, remained over most of Lanai.
Axis deer on Molokai and Maui continued to aggravate operating conditions for farmers by competing with livestock for forage and by consuming produce in non-protected farmlands, according to the statement.
Pastures and vegetation were in poor condition along lower leeward slopes of the county. Ranchers in those areas reduced herd sizes several months ago as drought worsened.