Unseasonably soaked

LIHUE — There’s more where that came from.

A record rainfall slowed traffic and flooded roads late Monday morning until the afternoon sun dried things up, but more downpour is likely on the way.

As of 2 p.m. Monday, the National Weather Service reported that Lihue Airport received 1.45 inches of rain inside a 24-hour window. That beat the one-day record of 1.01 inches for June 2 that was set back in 1962.

It was an unseasonable service trough about 300 miles north of Kauai that disrupted the trade winds and brought the downpour on Monday, according to the NWS. It’s expected to continue today as the trough — or elongated area of low atmospheric pressure —weakens and a dry airmass returns from the east.

“We are looking for the trades to return with the typical trade shower from Wednesday and on through the weekend,” said Chris Jacobson, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Honolulu.

A flash flood warning for the entire island was effective until early Monday afternoon, as persistent rains fell from Lihue to Kilauea.

Linda Keale, manager of Paradise Music kiosk at the Coconut MarketPlace, said she knew the rain was heavier than normal when she finished her Mele No Ka Oi program at KKCR in Princeville at 9 a.m. There was water running over the roads as she drove through Moloaa and Kilauea.

“I didn’t have any trouble getting around but the rain was so heavy that I did a lot of errands before opening the store,” Keale said. “This is an open kiosk and the rain would ruin the inventory.”

By the time she made it to Coconut MarketPlace at 11:30 a.m. the roads were not backed up with water, she said, but the grassy area between the road and the parking lot was flooded.

The primary threat for road and urban flooding could continue today, Jacobson said, although flash flooding shouldn’t last into Wednesday. He added that the amount of rain the island received was unusual for the time of year.

The Grove Farm station northwest of Lihue reported 2.88 inches, while areas of the Wailua Homesteads reported more than 3 inches, according to the NWS. Kapahi reported 2.03 inches; Mount Waialeale reported 2.02 inches; Wailua reported 1.55 inches; Anahola reported 1.41 inches; Hanapepe received 0.83 inches; Puu Opae received 0.68 inches; and Kokee reported 0.46 inches.

Kauai Police Dispatch reported slow traffic on Kuhio Highway between Kapaa and Lihue. The contra-flowing commuting lanes between Wailua and Lihue were especially slow with southbound traffic backed up past Marine Camp and the golf course.

As a precaution, people are asked to stay away from streams and shouldn’t cross fast-flowing or rising water in a vehicle or on foot.

The forecast for Kauai today is for partly sunny with morning showers in windward and mountain areas. Isolated to scattered showers could occur in leeward areas. 

The afternoon temperatures could reach 85 to 90 degrees with the trade winds at 10 to 15 mph. Showers could return by evening.

The remainder of the week notes partly cloudy with chances of showers and increasing trade winds from 15 to 20 mph.


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