Waipā Garden in Kauai, Hawaii Now Holds the 24-Hour Precipitation Record for the United States

Heavy rains and convection that occurred between April 14 and 15th pushed Waipā Garden in Kauai, Hawaii to set the new record for the greatest 24-hour rainfall total.

Map showing the relative location (red triangle) of the Waipā Garden rain gauge. Map created using Natural Earth data.

Map showing the relative location (red triangle) of the Waipā Garden rain gauge. Map created using Natural Earth data.

A rainfall gauge located at the Waipā Foundation, just west of the town of Hanalei in northern Kauai measured a total rainfall during that period of 49.69” (1262 mm).  The previous record was 43 inches at a location near Alvin, Texas, on 25-26 July 1979 as a result of the landfall of Tropical Storm Claudette.


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Waipā Garden tipping-bucket type rain gauge located in a grassy meadow about 300 yards inland from Hanalei Bay. Photo: Waipā Foundation, August 2014

Waipā Garden tipping-bucket type rain gauge located in a grassy meadow about 300 yards inland from Hanalei Bay. Photo: Waipā Foundation, August 2014

Most of the rainfall that led to the new 24-hour rainfall record fell in three bursts:

  • 1300-1900 HST on the 14th, when just under 20 inches of rain was recorded
  • 0000-0500 on the 15th, when about 18 inches of rain was recorded
  • 1030-1245 on the 15th, when about 8 inches of rain was recorded
Rainfall accumulation at Waipā Garden during 14-15 April 2018. The observations bracketing the 24-hour period are noted in red. Data from the Waipā Foundation.

Rainfall accumulation at Waipā Garden during 14-15 April 2018. The observations bracketing the 24-hour period are noted in red. Data from the Waipā Foundation.

The 24-hour rainfall record was certified by the National Climate Extremes Committee (NCEC).

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