106" of Rain in Kauai

Jan 28, 2005
Haslett, Michigan
Certaintly this is worthly of mention here.

See this Link:


106" of rain on Mt. Waialeale in 3 weeks may not be that unusual for one of the wettest spots in the world..but having recently returned from a vacation from Kauai during the time period-I was suitable impressed! (Note: Article on Hawaii weather in most recent issue of Weatherwise Magazine.)

Moist SE winds would blow cloud lines inland that would explosively develop upon interacting with the higher terrain that was perpendicular to the low-level wind flow. I was most impressed with the rainfall rates coming from very low topped convection caused by warm rain processes. (I only heard thunder once during the ten days I was there.) The cloud build-ups on the mountain certainly looked impressive with sheets of rain evident falling almost every day.

If you are not familar with Mt. Waialeale, this link would be helpful:


Flash flooding has been rampant on the island...unfortunately resulting in death and destruction:


The final day that I was there...a sudden flash flood of about 6" of rain in a few hours fell in the middle of the night in Lihue resulting in a small bright red river of water and mud flowing through parts of the ground floor of the Marriott hotel on the beach resulting in the evacuation of hotel residents on the ground floor at 4 AM. I slept through the whole thing in ignorance on the second floor....
Some pics of Mt. Waialeale with waterfalls pouring down from the storm clouds at the summit..another pic of an intense rain squall moving into the town of Wailua.
Note: Chasing prospects on the Island of Kauai are needles to say..rotten! Roads are very heavily traveled and generally in poor shape, hard to see through the jungle like vegetation..and supercells are few and far between but they do happen every year.

One thing you can do is travel to the base of Mt. Waialeale by car in order to see the World's most perfect rain machine in action.

Take route 580(Kuamoo Road) out of Wailua and head West to the Keahua Arboretum. From there, you cross a spill way...and head into the rainforest on a dirt 4wd road. After a few miles, this leads through the old gate in the movie "Jurassic Park" and then on to an old dam. From there, it is about 1.5 mile hike to the base of the mountain(the "blue hole")where you will see a couple of dozen waterfalls spilling down from the clouds in the "crater' of Mt. Waialeale. Unfortunately, the route is unpassable during any rain storms of consequence. I made it as far as the Jurassic Park gate but had to flee when a sudden storm moved in. I had better luck in a helicopter. Good luck......
This is a cool post, Mike!

Orographics is very interesting.. That and I wish I lived in Hawaii instead of looking at several inches of snow on the ground.

Thanks for the pictures.

Thanks! Here is a few more. One is of the flooded road to Mt. Waialeale..another shows the flood waters at the Marriott-Lihue..another shows all the trees that washed down from the interior ending up on the beach and another shows a large mud flow that had closed a highway.