Remember 2015 and 2016? The warmest years on record. 2015 and 2016 were the warmest years ever, the world over and in Hawai‘i. It was so hot in Honolulu that emergency public service announcements were issued to curtail escalating air conditioning use that stressed the electrical grid. It was an El Niño year. Strong El Niño years in Hawai‘i bring more hot days, intense rains, windless days, active hurricane seasons, and spikes in sea surface temperature.
What’s coming? Some model projections for the late 21st century indicate that surface air temperature over land will increase 1.8° to 7.2°F (2° to 4°C). Frequency of intense El Niño is projected to double in the 21st century, with the likelihood of extreme events occurring roughly once every decade.