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Big Island November Rainfall Summary

December 5, 2019, 6:00 AM HST
* Updated December 4, 6:24 PM
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It rained, but didn’t always pour, on Hawai‘i Island throughout November.

Kevin Kodama, senior service hydrologist at the NOAA/National Weather Service Honolulu Forecast Office, characterized the first half of the month as dry and the second half as wet in his monthly rainfall report.

“On Nov. 16, a complex pattern involving a cold front approaching Kaua‘i, a surface trough near the Big Island and a low pressure system aloft combined to produce heavy rainfall and thunderstorms across the state,” Kodama said.

Thunderstorms developed over the Big Island on Nov. 18 but did not cause significant flooding, he continued.

“The event finale occurred on Nov. 19 when heavy rainfall closed Highway 11 for a few hours at Kawa Flats near the southeast coast of the Big Island,” Kodama said.

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Big Island rainfall fell short of average monthly totals throughout November, the report said. Much of South Hilo and Puna was subject to more than 10 inches of rainfall, which were actually below average totals as November is part of the rainy season across Big Island windward shores.

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The USGS’ Saddle Road Quarry rain gauge collected 14.98 inches, 115% of average and the highest total throughout Hawai‘i County. The Mountain View rain gauge posted the highest daily total of 3.40 inches on Nov. 23. The Honoka‘a rain gauge posted its lowest November numbers in 11 years, the report said.

For 2019 through the end of November, most of the rainfall totals across the Big Island remained near to above average, the report continued. The Saddle Road Quarry rain gauge has the highest year-to-date total during that time of 157.87 inches, or 123% of average.

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