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Kona Storm in Hawaii # Hawaii Climate News

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Kona Storm in Hawaii

Residents and visitors to Hawaii may have heard of the Kona Low or Kona Storm, which is a storm that can cause severe weather changes on the Hawaiian Islands, especially during the winter months, and should always be taken seriously.

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To break down the word Kona Low to its most basic components, “Kona” refers to a town on the Big Island of Hawaii’s western coast, which is much drier than the island’s eastern coast. While “Low” denotes a region where barometric pressure is lower than normal, causing rising air and, in turn, severe weather.

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A Kona Low brings moist south to southwest breezes to the Hawaiian Islands, including Oahu, Molokai, Maui, and the Big Island, in stark contrast to the typical east-northeast trade winds that prevail the majority of the time.

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“The common trade winds usually cause more rainfall on the northern and eastern side of the islands, while the western and southern portions are drier,” a Meteorologist said. “However, the prevailing winds of a Kona Low can bring flooding rainfall to the western and southern portions of the islands.”

Kona Storm
Kona Storm

Even in a major Hawaiian metropolis like Honolulu, Kona Lows have a tendency to draw into tropical moisture from the south that is pushed north into the southern and western parts, resulting in severe rains.

Another feature of the southern and western parts of the Islands that makes them vulnerable to floods is that the prevailing winds in the region are not conducive to rainfall for the majority of the year. As a result, certain sections of Hawaii have less vegetation and shallower soil, which increases the risk of flooding when heavy rains fall on the region owing to runoff.

Because the numerous volcanoes that dot the Hawaiian islands have severe inclines and extreme differences in height, landslides and mudslides are frequently a serious worry during a Kona Low event, when torrential rains strike the western and southern regions of the islands.

 

kidhours – Kona Storm

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