How wet was February in Hawaii? One spot got 52 inches of rain

HAWAII (HawaiiNewsNow) - Last month was wet in Hawaii. Really wet.

In fact, it was one of the wettest Februarys Hawaii has experienced in a decade, the National Weather Service said this week.

The state saw several severe storms — and bouts of flooding.

The first heavy downpour, from Feb. 4 to 6, dropped 7 inches on some spots in Kauai and an average of 2 inches on the other islands.

On Feb. 15, flooding forced the closure of Kamehameha Highway in Waikane Valley.

On Feb. 18, Maui's Waihee River had its highest discharge in over 15 years, according to data from the U.S. Geological Survey. Flooding in the river damaged several homes and buildings in its path. Two people were stranded as a result of the powerful flood waters.

The last major bout of heavy rainfall, from Feb. 22 to the 25, hit Kauai and Oahu.

PHOTOS: Severe weather causes flooding across Hawaii

The drenched conditions created a few landslides, the most significant closing Kuhio Highway between Wainiha and Lumahai on Feb. 23. Heavy showers continued on Feb. 25 over Oahu with 2 to 5 inches of rainfall occurring over the windward slopes of the Koolau Range.

Although the rainfall totals were less than half of the previous week's, the sopping wet soils produced about the same level of flood response in several windward Oahu streams. Kamehameha Highway at Waikane Stream was closed again for several hours.

According to NWS, February's relentless rains largely contributed to Hawaii being drought-free for the first time in two years.

On Kauai alone, Mount Waialeale — the "wettest place on Earth" — recorded nearly 52 inches of rain last month.

That's the highest total since 1989.

On Oahu, the Ahuimanu gauge saw nearly 12 inches of rain in just 24 hours.

Several other rain gauges recorded their highest numbers since 1991.

Experts say a weak La Niña weather pattern caused a wetter than usual wet season, which runs from October through March.

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