Kauai News

Kauaʻi Sees Mostly Below Average Rainfall in July

Posted August 10, 2022, 2:00 PM HST ·Updated August 10, 1:25 PM

July was a drier month on Kauaʻi, according to a rainfall summary for the month from the National Weather Service in Honolulu.

“Most of the rain gauges on Kauaʻi recorded below average totals for the month of July,” Kevin Kodama, senior service hydrologist with the NWS, wrote in his rainfall report, adding that many of the totals were in the range of 40%-70% of average.

The U.S. Geological Survey rain gauge on Mount Waiʻaleʻale had the highest monthly total of 23.35 inches, or 60% of average, and the highest daily total of 2.72 inches on July 7. The gauges at Hanapēpē and Hanalei recorded their lowest July totals since 2002 and 2006, respectively.

Rainfall totals on Kauaʻi for 2022 through the end of July were also below average at most of the rain gauges, with many totals in the range of 40%-70% of average. The Mount Waiʻaleʻale gauge had the highest year-to-date total of 168.02 inches, or 74% of average.

“Trade winds persisted through the entire month of July,” Kodama said in the summary’s recap of statewide weather last month. “Intensities were fresh to strong through the Fourth of July, then eased to mostly moderate to fresh levels for the remainder of the month.”

The largest rain event for the state last month was on July 12-13 as remnant moisture of former Tropical Cyclone Bonnie moved across the island chain. Several rainfall totals of 1-4 inches were observed by rain gauges along the windward slopes of the state, with an event maximum of more than 6 inches over the West Maui Mountains.

“A few days later, Tropical Storm Darby provided a brief boost in rainfall over the Big Island as it passed quickly to the south of South Point on July 16 just prior to dissipating,” Kodama said in the summary.

Rain gages along the east-facing slopes of the Big Island recorded about 1-3 inches during Darby’s passage, and there were no significant flooding problems caused by Bonnie or Darby.

But while windward areas of the state received needed rainfall last month, leeward areas remained very dry, with most locations posting rainfall totals at less than 50% of the July average.

“Severe to extreme drought continued in the four main counties across the state,” Kodama wrote. “The worst conditions were in the leeward sections of Maui County and the Big Island.”

For more details, refer to the Drought Information Statement online.

To read the full rainfall summary for July, click here.

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