- Associated Press - Saturday, July 18, 2015

HILO, Hawaii (AP) - A record-breaking heat wave that began in late June is keeping things sweltering in East Hawaii.

The National Weather Service says rainfall could briefly cool down the region this weekend, but temperatures are still above what is typical for Hilo, the Hawaii Tribune-Herald reported (https://bit.ly/1Oe7q9Z ).

“It’s definitely not normal,” said NWS hydrologist Kevin Kodama.

Hilo either broke or tied 10 separate high-temperature records in late June and July, according to National Weather Service climate data. Although the last record-breaking high was recorded Sunday, Kodama says it has stayed unseasonably warm.

“Especially since July 1, we haven’t had much in the way of solid trade winds. It’s been so unusual, we’ve had such clear skies,” he said. “And how often do you really get that in July in Hilo? It’s supposed to be one of the wettest months of the year in Hilo, second only to March.”

A lack of cooling rain and higher-than-average ocean temperatures have contributed to the heat, explained the hydrologist. He said a typical July should see daily maximum temperatures of about 83 degrees, but this month Hilo hasn’t had single a daily high below 86.

The daily lows have been above average, too, he said, and the high temperatures and lack of rainfall have dried up pasture lands around Kau and Waimea.

A Hawaii County road crew member said Thursday that he hasn’t seen heat like this in his 17 years working with the roads department.

“It’s been very, very hot,” said Fono Masoe, shouting over a noisy cement mixer as his crew filled a sidewalk in Hilo. “It never was like this. It’s like the sun is more close to us.”

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Information from: Hawaii Tribune-Herald, https://www.hawaiitribune-herald.com/

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