July weather setting records

Less than halfway into July, records — mostly for heat — have been falling on a near-daily basis somewhere in Hawaii.

While most of the state’s attention has been focused on Honolulu and Kahului, Maui, where 90-degree-plus days seem to be the norm as of late, Hilo also quietly found its way into the record books.


For two days in a row, July 5-6, Hilo International Airport recorded afternoon high temperatures of 88 degrees, sweltering by Hilo standards. That broke the record for July 5 set in 1968 and tied the previous high for July 6 set in 2008.

In addition, the remnants of former Hurricane Barbara, which passed the Big Island early this week, didn’t wreak the type of havoc seen last year when the rain from former Hurricane Lane pelted East Hawaii for four consecutive days. However, the gauge at Hilo International Airport tallied 1.4 inches of rain on Monday. That broke the previous record of 1.27 inches set in 1967.

It doesn’t appear any record high temperatures are in the foreseeable future for Hilo.

The five-day forecast from the National Weather Service in Honolulu predicts afternoon highs of about 84 degrees today through Thursday.

Some scattered showers also are in the forecast, mostly during the nighttime hours. The chances of rain, according to the forecast, increase later in the week, with an 80% chance of showers predicted from Tuesday night through Friday. Those showers are predicted to be relatively light, however — between a tenth and a quarter of an inch.

A month into hurricane season, there have been three named tropical cyclones already in the Pacific — Hurricanes Alvin and Barbara and Tropical Storm Cosme, all of which faded into history.

As of late Friday afternoon, forecasters at the Central Pacific Hurricane Center were tracking Tropical Depression Four-E. At 5 p.m., Four-E was located about 355 miles southwest of Manzanillo, Mexico, packing maximum sustained winds of 35 mph and moving to the west-northwest at 13 mph. That movement is expected to last through today, with a westerly turn Sunday.


Little change in strength is forecast during the next 48 hours but the cyclone could become a short-lived tropical storm sometime today, according to forecasters. It is expected to weaken by tonight and become a remnant low-pressure system by Sunday, with no effect on island weather.

Email John Burnett at jburnett@hawaiitribune-herald.com.

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