Hawaii Fact 29 of 50: Hawaii is home to the earth’s wettest spot

Kauai’s Mount Waialeale is such a rain magnet, averaging 451 inches of rain per year. That’s an average of 1.2 inches of rain per day. The rainiest year recorded was in 1982 with 681 inches. This volcanic mountain and weathered crater stands at 5,148 feet which puts it in a prime position to catch the moisture produced by the combination of elevation and tradewinds.

Wai'ale'ale from helicopter

In the Hawaiian language, Waialeale means rippling waters. If you get a chance to see this remote, behemoth of rain, you’ll understand the name as you see many whisper-thin waterfalls plugging straight down for hundreds of feet.

How can you see Waialeale on your Kauai vacation? The easiest and safest way to see it is via a helicopter tour of the island. Most Kauai helicopter tours take their passengers to see this phenomenon.

Data source: my visit to the Kokee Museum


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About Sheila Beal

Sheila Beal is the founder and editor of Go Visit Hawaii. You can connect with Sheila Beal on Twitter, Go Visit Hawaii on Facebook, or Sheila Beal on Google+.

One comment

  1. Wow! – 681 inches!? That’s crazy!

    Related fact. Hawaii does not get its tap water or drinking water from desalinating ocean water. No need to drink ocean water when you get rain like that.

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