Record rain

LIHUE — How wet was it in August on Kauai?

The wettest in more than 50 years.

Gregory Hall, in charge of the National Weather Service data collection office at the Lihue Airport, said the final tally was 9.86 inches, which broke the old mark of 8.13 inches set in August 1959.

The downpours helped dampen the drought that’s been gripping the island.

“We caught up quite a bit in August,” he said Friday.

August normally sees about two inches of rain on Kauai. But this year, it soaked the island’s parched grounds and gave it back its green glow.

Much of the rain, 5.36 inches, fell Aug. 24 and the first few hours of Aug. 25 at the airport.

Twenty-three days in August had measurable rainfall; five days saw more than a half-inch of rain, and three with more than one inch of rain. Records for rainfall were set on Aug. 18, 24, 25, 28 and 31.

Despite the gushers from above, the island is still behind on rain. This year, January through August, 17.65 inches of rain have fallen. The normal rainfall on Kauai for that timeframe is 21.63 inches, so Kauai is down four inches. Last year’s rainfall total for January through August was 24.23 inches.

Kauai usually receives about 40 inches of rain a year at the airport. September is off to a wet start, with .16 inches of rain through the first three days of the month.

The dry season runs March through September, with the rainy season stretching from October to February.

The source of all that rain wasn’t attributed to the tropical storms swirling around the Pacific, but also upper level troughs swinging down the island chains, the effects of El Nino. It could erase the rain deficit.

“If we continue on the trend, maybe catch up before the year’s end,” Hall said.

Hall said there are thunderstorms in the ocean all around Kauai.

“Once the sun goes down, all that activity is going to start developing over the land rather than the ocean,” he said.

Scattered showers are expected today and more rain is in the forecast for tonight.

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