Hawaii News

Kaua’i sees mostly below average rainfall in November

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It was a dry November for Kaua‘i.

Nearly all of the rain gauges on the island recorded below average totals for the month, according to the November rainfall summary from the National Weather Service in Honolulu. Leeward sites were especially dry, with several low elevation gauges reporting totals of less than 10% of average.

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The U.S. Geological Survey’s rain gauge on Mount Waiʻaleʻale had the highest monthly total of 23.67 inches, or 63% of average. The agency’s Kilohana gauge had the highest daily rainfall total for the month with 5.53 inches Nov. 24 associated with a cold front passing through that day.

The Anahola rain gauge posted its lowest November total in its 31-year data record. Līhuʻe Variety Station and Wainiha had their lowest November totals since 2012.


To see all of the rain gauge totals from around the island for November, click here.

A low pressure system aloft just north of the main Hawaiian Islands destabilized airmass from Nov. 2-4, resulting in enhanced rainfall within the low level easterly flow. Periods of heavy rainfall along the windward slopes of the Big Island, Maui, and Oʻahu produced minor flooding but no reports of significant damage.

Atmospheric conditions stabilized Nov. 5, with moderate to fresh trade winds persisting through Nov. 15, then weakening to light to moderate speeds Nov. 16. A weak surface low pressure trough over the state induced by a low pressure system aloft became the focus for heavy rainfall Nov. 17 and 18 on Maui and Moloka‘i, but fortunately there were no reports of damage.


Then, on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 24, a cold front swept across the islands, bringing strong northeasterly winds but not enough rainfall to produce flooding. The winds weakened rapidly, becoming light within two days. A slow-moving surface trough moved over the state from the south on Nov. 27 and 28 accompanied by a deep tropical airmass that helped fuel heavy rainfall over portions of Kaua‘i and east Maui, but there were no reports of significant flooding.

Rainfall totals for 2022 through the end of November on Kaua‘i also were below average at most rain gauges. Many of these totals were between 40% and 70% of average. The Mount Waiʻaleʻale gauge had the highest year-to-date total of 251 inches, or 69% of average.

To see the year-to-date rainfall totals from around Kaua‘i, click here.


Two months into the wet season, there are still portions of the state under significant drought. Maui County and the Big Island have the worst conditions. For more details, refer to the Drought Information Statement.

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