Hawaii’s rain, floods cited examples of climate change

Hawaii’s rain, floods cited examples of climate change

Honda: Heavy rain is part of the winter wet season in the Hawaiian Islands. But floods that have destroyed homes and bridges and caused massive water logging on several islands this week are also an example of more intense rainstorms, officials and climate scientists say, on the planet. K is becoming more frequent as it heats up.
Two major elements came together in recent days in Hawaii to distribute rain: upper-level disturbances and excess moisture in the lower layers of the atmosphere. Downpairs first affected Maui, moving the island chain northward to Oahu and Kauai, then circling around and colliding with the southernmost part of the Big Island.
Meteorologists on Wednesday extended a flash flood watch for the entire state from Friday because of the possibility of more rain and because the ground was already saturated.
The attack destroyed two Maui bridges and caused extensive damage, with at least six homes on the island.
A 138-year-old reservoir once irrigated sugar fields due to rain has recently been kept empty as its owners prepare to dismantle it this summer. There was so much water that it began to flow from a 57-foot (17.4-m) high structure at one point on Monday, and county officials ordered people to evacuate amid fears of a rupture of an earthen dam during the drift . Eventually, the reservoir did not fail, and the water level fell as rain.
The National Weather Service reported that the area around the dam at Haiku on the northern coast of Mau fell 13.2 inches (33.5 cm) in eight hours.
“This is really an example of climate change at present,” the statement said Suzanne Case, head of the state agency governing the Department of Dam, Land and Natural Resources. “We have flood emergencies because of heavy rain bombs. And we are seeing these islands more and more often – in more frequent and more protracted incidents.”
On Oahu, the cities and towns on the east coast were flooded with covered roads and yards. The rising water in the Opelua Stream, which carries water from the mountains down to the sea, sets an evacuation order for the small town of Haliva, a mecca for big-wave surfers.
Overall, Hawaii has received less rainfall in recent decades and has been battling drought several times. Just Tuesday, the US Secretary of Agriculture approved a drought disaster declaration for parts of Maui County.
A 2010 report from the University of Hawaii’s C. Grant College program stated that rainfall has dropped by 15% over the past 20 years. Yet the same report stated that between 1958 and 2007, rain events increased by 12% with the heaviest rainfall, underlining that the number of more intense rains was increasing.
University of Hawaii professor and state meteorologist, PAO-Shin Chu, said that theoretical studies show that for every one degree Celsius rise in sea surface temperature, atmospheric humidity is likely to increase by 7% .
Hawaii is already experiencing this increased humidity. In 2018, Kauai set a national record for the amount of rainfall recorded over a 24-hour period, when 49.69 inches (1.26 m) fell from 14 April to 15 April. The same storm prevented a landslide event and blocked the only highway connecting the small Goui north. Towns in the rest of the island.
Chua said the frequency of such intense rains and this week is a sign that people should be prepared for such incidents.
“Don’t think it’s like a once-in-a-hundred-year event that you’ll only see once in your lifetime. It’s changing,” Chu said.
Less time is between them, he said. “So it can happen once every 30 years. Who knows?” Chu said.
To better prepare for future disasters, he said it would be important for scientists to understand how the weather was interacting with a warm climate that could cause so much rain in such a short period of time.
Honolulu Mayor Rick Blandiardi said the city would need to work with state partners to keep waterways clear of debris to help prevent flooding.
“We need to get used to these kinds of climate events,” said Blangardi. “The tremendous concentration of rain in a short period of time in concentrated areas can result in flooding anywhere. If we have situations like this, we really need to approach and attack.”

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