A first step in helping prepare society for climate change is to develop predictions of future conditions with sufficient spatial detail to inform decision makers. This study produced very high resolution climate projections for the main Hawaiian Islands. These projections include rainfall, air temperature, and tropical cyclone patterns for the end of the century. The results suggest that air temperature and the number of heavy rainfall events are most likely to increase significantly in the future warmer world. Additionally, the number of tropical cyclones in the central North Pacific is likely to increase. Climate leaders in the main Hawaiian Islands need to consider the potential for increased numbers of tropical cyclones, along with implications of increased heat stress on public health, infrastructure, and ecosystems, and the increased stress on infrastructure, wastewater, energy consumption, and ecosystems implied by heavy rainfall and hot weather conditions.
This research feature was produced by the Pacific Islands Climate Science Center.
C. Zhang and Y. Wang, 2017 | Dynamical Downscaling of the Climate for the Hawaiian Islands. Part II: Projection for the Late Twenty-First Century | Journal of Climate | https://doi.org/10.1175/JCLI-D-16-0597.1
C. Zhang, Y. Wang, K. Hamilton, and A. Lauer, 2016 |Dynamical Downscaling of the Climate for the Hawaiian Islands. Part I: Present Day | Journal of Climate | https://doi.org/10.1175/JCLI-D-16-0038.1
Y. Wang and Y. Rao, 2015 | A Statistical Analysis of the Effects of Vertical Wind Shear on Tropical Cyclone Intensity Change over the Western North Pacific | Monthly Weather Review | https://doi.org/10.1175/MWR-D-15-0049.1
Featured photo: All the main Hawaiian islands including Oʻahu and Kauaʻi have a wide variety of climates due to topography and location. Photo by Colin Capelle/ CC BY 2.0.