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Dry conditions shouldn’t affect coffee crops

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KAILUA-KONA >> A new forecast says Hawaii’s Big Island can expect below-average rainfall this winter. But it’s not likely to experience severe drought.

The National Weather Service says there is a 55- to 60 percent chance of El Nino conditions developing. But the forecast calls for a weak event that would not dry out the islands as past events have.

West Hawaii Today reports Kealakekua had the wettest May on record this year and Hilo had its wettest June since 2005. New monthly rainfall records were set at 16 sites around Hawaii since spring.

Lower-than-average rainfall is expected to last through April, with some drought development expected early next year.

But weather service hydrologist Kevin Kodama says farmers shouldn’t expect effects like the 2009-10 El Nino that damaged Kona coffee crops.

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