Report: Much needed rain returns to Maui in April with 21+ inches at Puʻu Kukui
May 5, 2023, 1:32 PM HST
The April 2023 Hawaiʻi Rainfall Summary report shows Maui got some much needed rainfall in April after a overall dry period the month before.
The rain gauge at Puʻu Kukui got the county’s highest monthly total of 21.38 inches and the highest daily total of 6.37 inches on April 2. The monthly total was 56% of average, according to State Senior Service Hydrologist Kevin Kodama with the National Weather Service’s Forecast Office Honolulu who compiled the report.
The 13.60 inches recorded at ʻUlupalakua Ranch marked a new record for the highest April rainfall at the location, according to the rainfall summary report.
The report notes that nearly all of the gages in Maui County had near to above average rainfall totals for 2023 through the end of April. The USGS’ rain gage at West Wailuaiki Stream had the highest year-to-date total of 91.24 inches (102% of average), according to the report.
“On April 18, the trade wind pattern across the main Hawaiian Islands broke down as a late season cold front approached the state,” Kodama wrote. “The front was unusually active given the time of the year and managed to move across Kauaʻi, Oʻahu, and Maui County on April 19 before stalling and dissipating near the Big Island on April 20.”
Maui and Hawaiʻi Island had the highest precipitation estimates when the front passed over the state last month.
Over a 48-hour period ending on April 20, Maui saw more than 5 inches of rain at Kepuni Gulch in Kahikinui; and more than four inches was reported at ʻUlupalakua and Puʻu Kukui. The rain event also resulted in the closure of the Piʻilani Highway between Mile 29 and 31 due to flood waters on April 20. Wind gusts of up to 57 mph were also reported in Maui County during the event.