Most rain from a tropical cyclone in the U.S. and Hawaii, 1950-2018. Graphic: The Weather Channel

By Jason Samenow
27 August 2018

(The Washington Post) – Hurricane Lane, which collapsed in spectacular fashion as it drew close to Hawaiian Islands, could have been much worse. Had it held together and edged slightly farther north, severe rain, wind and surf would have bombarded Oahu and Maui. Instead, those islands were grazed.

Even so, bands of torrential rain repeatedly slammed into the Big Island’s eastern half over a period of five days. The total amount of rain, measured in feet, soared to historic levels: 51.53 inches were measured on Mountain View, about 15 miles southwest of Hilo.

This preliminary total ranks as the third highest for a tropical storm or hurricane in the United States since records began in 1950, according to the National Weather Service office based in Honolulu.

Hurricane Harvey, which engulfed Southeast Texas a year ago with a maximum rainfall of 60.58 inches, and Hurricane Hiki, which unloaded up to 52 inches on Kauai in 1950, are the only two wetter storms.

Mountain View was not the only recipient of extreme rainfall from Lane. Several other mountain locations on the east side of the Big Island also logged totals over 40 inches.

Even locations near sea level were deluged by extreme rainfall amounts. Hilo International Airport reported 36.76 inches of rain between Aug. 22 and 25, its wettest four-day period on record. […]

That two of the three most extreme rainstorms from hurricanes have occurred in the past two years is consistent with what scientists expect in a warming climate. Studies have shown tropical cyclones are likely to become more larger and more intense while producing heavier rainfall as the planet warms. [more]

Hawaii’s rain from Hurricane Lane, topping 50 inches, is among most extreme in U.S. records

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