Rain does little to ease drought

The statewide drought appears to be easing as cooler La Nina conditions bring more rain to Hawaii, according to the National Weather Service.

But farmers and ranchers said a protracted amount of rain is needed before they can recover from several years of extremely dry conditions.

Some areas, such as southwestern Kauai and leeward sections of the Big Island and Maui, did not receive significant rainfall in October, continuing extreme drought conditions, National Weather Service officials said Friday.

Late Thursday, thunderstorms along with lightning passed by Hawaii, and most of the anticipated heavy rainfall missed the islands.

The weather service reported 0.15 inches of rain Thursday at Honolulu Airport and 0.6 inches at Lihue Airport but none for airports in Hilo and Kahului.

In October, while many places reported less than normal rainfall, some areas exceeded their normal monthly average, including Haiku on Maui with 5.71 inches — 12 percent above normal — and Honaunau on the Big Island with 5.54 inches of rain, 7 percent above normal.