|A destroyed house floats down a Hawaii creek during epic|
flash floods earlier this month. Photo via Twitter
This storm is now reported to perhaps have broken the United States record for the most rain within 24 hours.
The National Weather Service office in Honolulu, Hawaii says a remote rain gauge in Waipa, near the north shore of Kauai recorded an incredible 49.69 inches of rain within 24 hours on April 15. That would break the United States 24 hour record, which has been 43 inches in Alvin, Texas on July 25-26, 1979.
Some of you might have thought the epic rains of Hurricane Harvey in Texas last August beat these records as there were media reports of 50 inches of rain in that disaster.
I checked, and that 50 inches was a storm total from Harvey, not rainfall in just 24 hours. Some places in Texas got 30 inches of rain within 24 hours, which is incredible and extreme, yes, but not the record.
The new Hawaii record is preliminary, not official. There's an outfit called the National Climatic Extremes Committee that will convene, review the data, and determine its validity. If this committee decides everything checks out, then this will become the new 24 hour United States rainfall record.
No word yet on when the committee will come up with a decision.
Whether or not that 49 plus inches of rain is real, there's no doubt the flash flooding on Kauai was extreme.
Military troops and helicopters airlifted at least 220 people stranded by flooding and massive landslides. Many tourists were also stranded. Dozens of homes were destroyed, and many others were demaged.
One woman said she was forced to climb to the roof of her house, and was eventually rescued by someone on a Jet Ski.
Tourism, certainly a lifeblood of the region, is taking a big hit. The northern shore of Kauai is a mess, but the southern half of the island is fine, and open for business. And so is the rest of the Hawaii island chain.
Some of the moisture associated with the Kauai disaster was picked up and turned into an "atmospheric river" or "pineapple express" that deluged the Pacific Northwest a few days after the Hawaii disaster, notes the Cliff Mass Weather And Climate Blog.
The atmospheric river produced some relatively minor flooding in Washington State, but nothing like what was experienced on Kauai.
VERMONT, NORTHEAST WATER
In case you haven't noticed, it's wet out there this morning. At least it's not snowing. Just note that there is some high water and minor flooding around. This water has nothing to do with the above mentioned Kauai flood disaster. However, you should stay away from any local floods and not drive through inundated streets.
Widespread flooding is not expected around here with this rain. Even with snow melting off the mountains, there's just not enough precipitation to cause any serious, widespread floods.
That said, the Ausable River in the Andirondacks was under a flood warning, but that has since been canceled. I wouldn't be surprised if some Vermont rivers approach minor flood stage today. Still, current forecasts indicate no real flooding from Vermont rivers today, which is good.
Further north and east, flood watches are up for most of Maine.
It has been a relatively wet April in Vermont. As of midnight last night, the month was running an inch ahead of normal for precipitation this month. It kept raining this morning, showers will continue much of today, and additional showers will come in Friday afternoon or night.