- Associated Press - Thursday, February 4, 2016

HONOLULU (AP) - Dry conditions in January have broken new records across the state for low rainfall.

According to the National Weather Service, all of Oahu’s rain gauges recorded 10 percent below average rainfall last month. Only .03 inches fell at the Honolulu International Airport, down from .18 inches recorded in January during 1986 and 2001. Records for the driest January were also broken at Palisades, Waipio, Kunia, Waianae, Lualualei, Mililani and Aloha Tower.

All the gauges on Kauai posted below average rainfall with most monthly totals less than 20 percent of the January average. Mount Waialeale had its driest January, recording just 3.38 inches.

Maui County also saw below average rainfall at all locations, with new records set at Lahaina and Kula. The Puu Kukui gauge recorded 1.08 inches of rain, which is 3 percent of average and its lowest total since January 1977.

Rainfall was 30 percent below average on the Big Island at all locations.

Kevin Kodama, NWS hydrologist, said the dry conditions are in line with forecast models, which predicted a drier-than-normal winter. The lack of rainfall is being attributed to a strong El Nino, a global weather phenomenon driven by warm surface water in the Pacific Ocean.

El Nino also gave Hawaii a summer with more rainfall than usual and a record hurricane season.

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