NWS: New national 24-hr rainfall record potentially set in Waiapa, Hawaii


Preliminary data downloaded from a remote rain gauge in North Kauai, Hawaii indicate that rainfall during the flash flood event on April 14 and 15, 2018 broke the U.S. 24-hour rainfall record.

The rain gauge, located in Waipa about 1.6 km (1 mile) west of Hanalei, recorded 1 262.12 mm (49.69 inches) of rainfall during the 24-hour period ending at 12:45 pm HST April 15, NWS said.

If certified, this total will break the current U.S. 24-hour record of 1 092.2 mm (43 inches) measured at Alvin, Texas on July 25-26, 1979, and the state of Hawaii record of 965.2 mm (38 inches) at Kilauea (Kauai) on January 25-25, 1956.

The National Climatic Extremes Committee will review the data to confirm if this is a new national record. 

As we reported on Monday, April 16, an upper level low west of Kauai and ample deep moisture have worked together to produce record-shattering rains in parts of Hawaii over the weekend. At least two homes were swept away by raging floodwaters and dozens more were damaged but there were no reports of deaths or injuries.

The hardest-hit area was between Hanalei and Haena and Hawaii Governor David Ige issued an emergency proclamation for the island of Kauai on Sunday, April 15, 2018.

The previous 24-hour record for the island was 318 mm (12.52 inches), set in March 2012. During the same weather event, Hanalei recorded 609.6 mm (24 inches) in a 48-hour period and 838.2 mm (33 inches) in 72 hours. NWS records for the region date back to 1905.

Floodwaters destroy a house in Kauai, Hawaii on April 14, 2018

Image credit: Kresta Kay

Mudslides were reported on several major roads, including Kuhio Highway which was closed at several points.

Power and water outages were reported across the island.

Featured image credit: Kauna Amahata

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