The heat is on

There’s no quick end in sight for hot weather, record temperatures

The heatwave of 2019 continued with two consecutive record-breaking hot days to begin the week at Kahului Airport, and more sweltering days lie ahead.

On Monday, the mercury reached 96 degrees at Kahului Airport, shattering the previous record of 94 degrees set in 1996, according to the National Weather Service.

It was just one degree short of the highest temperature ever recorded of 97 degrees.

On Sunday, a record high temperature of 94 degrees was set at Kahului Airport, breaking the old record of 92 degrees set in 1977.

The normal temperature for Tuesday is 88 degrees, weather service data show.

On Sunday, other areas across the state also hit high temperature marks. Even one of the cooler towns in the state, Hilo, was hot on Sunday, tying the record of 90 degrees set in 1972 for the day.

Honolulu also had record-tying heat of 93 degrees on Sunday, which was set in 1985.

Chevy Chevalier, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Honolulu, said Monday that several dozen high temperature records have been set from April to August. The record highs can be attributed to multiple factors, including higher surface water temperatures around the islands, the interruption of trade winds and more carbon dioxide feeding a general warming trend.

“This all comes together and just makes everything hotter,” Chevalier said.

On July 29, Kahului Airport tied the all-time high temperature of 97 degrees. That was the hottest temperature ever for the month of July.

The forecast for today calls for a high of 92 degrees at Kahului Airport with isolated showers and breezy winds, blowing from the east-southeast 7 to 12 mph then from the east-northeast 15 to 20 mph in the afternoon. Winds could gust as high as 28 mph.

The heat index, which is how it actually feels factoring in humidity, may reach 99 degrees.

Forecasters also are keeping an eye on Hurricane Kiko, a Category 1 system which was 2,105 miles east-southeast of Kahului at 5 p.m. Monday. The system was moving west at 5 mph.

Maximum sustained winds decreased to 85 mph with higher gusts. A slow weakening is expected during the next couple of days.

By the time the Kiko makes it into the Central Pacific, it may be down to a tropical storm, Chevalier said.

* Melissa Tanji can be reached at mtanji@mauinews.com.


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