This weekend weather events produced rainfall totals and river peak values not experienced on Big Island since Hurricane Lane in August 2018.
The 24-hour rainfall total at the Hakalau gauge on the Hāmākua Coast measured just shy of 21 inches as of 7 a.m. Sunday, while the Saddle Quarry gauge, upslope of Hilo Bay, registered roughly 22 inches during the same period.
And rain has continued to fall steadily in those areas into the afternoon, prompting residents to compare impacts to what they’ve experienced during Hurricane Lane.
The Wailuku River’s peak values topped out at just below 22 feet. During Hurricane Lane, the same levels peaked around 24 feet. Considering typical water values between two and three feet, that is insane!
So it’s been raining in Hilo pic.twitter.com/YbsEISCORQ— Dr. Stephanie Yelenik (@dendromecon27) January 12, 2020
A stream named Honoli’i also came close to Hurricane Lane peak levels (18 feet), rising to 17 feet.
However, during the Lan, all of this rain fell over several days. In comparison, last weekend, the high amount of rain fell within less than 24 hours. Amazing, no?
The sunday’s storms were so intense that several roads from Puna to Hāmākua remain closed and a flood advisory stayed in effect until at least Monday afternoon.
Heavy snowfall at higher elevation in Hawaii
Almost one year after an unusual winter storm brought snow to Maui, heavy snow hampered access to summits on Big Island.
Winter Weather Advisory posted for 3 inches of snow and blowing snow in HAWAII on the Big Island Summits. So you if are looking for snow.. this is where to go – Hawaii! LOL Have a good weekend. We will keep you posted of any flooding or storms heading our way. pic.twitter.com/bZ30qwi7iK— John Stehlin (@ENNJohnStehlin) January 11, 2020
As of 7 a.m. Sunday, all observatories were inaccessible. Astronomers were unable to traverse the path beyond Park Two. It was blocked by at least six inches of new snow.