With over four feet of rain, the small town of Hanalei on the Hawaiian island of Kauai may have broken the all-time U.S. record for rainfall in 24 hours earlier this month.
A rain gauge about a mile west of Hanalei recorded a whopping 49.69 inches of rain during a 24-hour period from April 15-16, the National Weather Service in Honolulu said.
“This total, if certified, will break the current U.S. 24-hour record of 43 inches at Alvin, Texas, on July 25-26, 1979, and the state of Hawaii record of 38 inches at Kilauea, (Kauai) on Jan. 24-25, 1956,” the weather service said.
The U.S. record in Texas was set during Tropical Storm Claudette.
In order to become a national or state record, it must be certified by the National Climatic Extremes Committee, which is part of NOAA’s National Center for Environmental Information (NCEI).
That could take some time: “We would be very deliberate. I don’t think we will have definitive findings until several weeks and perhaps a small number of months,” said Deke Arndt, chief of the climate monitoring branch at NCEI.
The gauge is operated by the Waipa Foundation, a non-profit organization on Kauai, not the weather service, so there’s a chance the record might not pass muster. “Data from the gauge are not telemetered for real-time display and are used for watershed modeling and monitoring studies,” the weather service said.
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SOURCE: USA Today, Doyle Rice