Mount Waialeale


Mount Waialeale
Waiʻaleʻale

Waiʻaleʻale (or 'Rippling Waters') Lake, the namesake of Mount Waiʻaleʻale.
Elevation 5,066 ft (1,544 m)
Location
Location Kauai, Hawaii, United States
Coordinates 22°04′26″N 159°29′55″W / 22.07389°N 159.49861°W / 22.07389; -159.49861Coordinates: 22°04′26″N 159°29′55″W / 22.07389°N 159.49861°W / 22.07389; -159.49861

Mount Waiʻaleʻale (pronounced [wɛiˈʔɐleˈʔɐle] in Hawaiian, literally, "rippling water" or "overflowing water" (Pukui, Elbert & Mookini 1974220) and also often spelt Waialeale in English without the ʻokina) at an elevation of 5,148 feet (1,569 m), is a shield volcano and the second highest point on the island of Kauaʻi in the Hawaiian Islands. Averaging more than 452 inches (11,500 mm) of rain a year since 1912, with a record 683 inches (17,300 mm) in 1982, its summit is one of the rainiest spots on earth.[1]

Contents

Climate

Climate and Rainfall Statistics

The summit of Waiʻaleʻale features a tropical rainforest climate (Koppen Af), with substantial rainfall throughout the course of the year. (Bodin 1978: 272) quotes 11,684 millimetres (460.0 in) per year figure as being the 1912-45 average, an average that quite possibly will have changed since then, while The National Climatic Data Center quotes this figure as a 30 year average.[2] The Weather Network and The Guinness Book of Weather Records (Holford 1977: 240) quotes 11,455 millimetres (451.0 in) rain per year, while (Ahrens 2000: 528) quotes 11,680 millimetres (460 in, 12 m) as the average annual rainfall at Mount Waialeale and (Kroll 1995: 188) claims 13,000 millimetres (510 in) falls here. Similarly, The Weather Network and the Guinness Book of Weather Records quote 335 days with rain here while (Simons 1996: 303) suggests that rain falls on an incredible 360 days per year here.

The local tourist industry of Waialeale has promoted it as the wettest spot, although the 38-year average at Mawsynram, Meghalaya, India is higher at 467.4 inches (11,870 mm). Both Mawsynram and Cherrapunji in Meghalaya are recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as having higher average rainfall. Mawsynram's rainfall is concentrated in the monsoon season, while the rain at Waiʻaleʻale is more evenly distributed through the year.

Climate data for Mount Waialeale
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 79.9
(26.6)
81.2
(27.3)
83.3
(28.5)
79.6
(26.4)
82.2
(27.9)
81.8
(27.7)
82.6
(28.1)
83.1
(28.4)
83.6
(28.7)
83.4
(28.6)
81.9
(27.7)
81.1
(27.3)
83.6
(28.7)
Average high °F (°C) 77.9
(25.5)
77.7
(25.4)
77.6
(25.3)
78.2
(25.7)
79.3
(26.3)
80.5
(26.9)
81.1
(27.3)
81.7
(27.6)
81.0
(27.2)
78.9
(26.1)
77.4
(25.2)
79.0
(26.1)
79.19
(26.22)
Daily mean °F (°C) 69.8
(21.0)
70.2
(21.2)
70.5
(21.4)
70.8
(21.6)
71.6
(22.0)
72.8
(22.7)
74.0
(23.3)
74.4
(23.6)
74.6
(23.7)
74.2
(23.4)
72.6
(22.6)
70.8
(21.6)
72.19
(22.33)
Average low °F (°C) 61.7
(16.5)
62.7
(17.1)
63.4
(17.4)
63.4
(17.4)
63.9
(17.7)
65.1
(18.4)
66.9
(19.4)
67.1
(19.5)
68.2
(20.1)
69.5
(20.8)
67.8
(19.9)
62.6
(17.0)
65.19
(18.44)
Precipitation inches (mm) 24.78
(629.4)
24.63
(625.6)
27.24
(691.9)
47.24
(1199.9)
28.34
(719.8)
30.65
(778.5)
35.87
(911.1)
32.75
(831.9)
24.14
(613.2)
31.76
(806.7)
36.33
(922.8)
30.10
(764.5)
373.83
(9,495.3)
Source no. 1: NOAA[3]
Source no. 2: Weatherbase[4]

Causes

Several factors give the summit of Waiʻaleʻale more potential to create precipitation than the rest of the island chain:

  1. Its northern position relative to the main Hawaiian Islands provides more exposure to frontal systems that bring rain during the winter.
  2. It has a relatively round and regular conical shape, exposing all sides of its peak to winds and the moisture that they carry.
  3. Its peak lies just below the so-called trade wind inversion layer of 6,000 feet (1,800 m), above which trade-wind-produced clouds cannot rise.
  4. And most importantly, the steep cliffs cause the moisture-laden air to rise rapidly - over 3,000 feet (910 m) in less than 0.5 miles (0.80 km) - and drop a large portion of its rain in one spot, as opposed to spreading the rain out over a larger area if the slope were more gradual.

Ecology

The great rainfall in the area produces the Alakaʻi Wilderness Preserve, a large boggy area that is home to many rare plants. The ground is so wet that although trails exist, access by foot to the Waiʻaleʻale area is extremely difficult.

A number of rare local plant species are named for this mountain, including Astelia waialealae, Melicope waialealae, and the endemic Dubautia waialealae.[5]

Citations

References

External links


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Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Mount Waiʻaleʻale — Geobox|Mountain name = Waiokinaaleokinaale native name = other name = category = etymology = image caption =Waialeale(Lake) or Rippling Waters, the small lake that is the namesake of Waialeale. country = US state = HI region = Kauai district =… …   Wikipedia

  • Waialeale, Mount — geographical name mountain 5200 feet (1585 meters) Hawaii in central Kauai …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • rain — rainless, adj. rainlessness, n. /rayn/, n. 1. water that is condensed from the aqueous vapor in the atmosphere and falls to earth in drops more than 1/50 in. (0.5 mm) in diameter. Cf. drizzle (def. 6). 2. a rainfall, rainstorm, or shower: We had… …   Universalium

  • Kauai — /kah ooh ah ee, kow uy/, n. an island in NW Hawaii. 38,856; 511 sq. mi. (1325 sq. km). * * * ▪ island, Hawaii, United States Hawaiian  Kaua‘i        volcanic island, Kauai county, Hawaii, U.S. It lies 72 miles (116 km) northwest of Oahu island… …   Universalium

  • Hawaii — /heuh wuy ee, wah , wah yeuh, hah vah ee/, n. 1. a state of the United States comprising the N Pacific islands of Hawaii, Kahoolawe, Kauai, Lanai, Maui, Molokai, Niihau, and Oahu: a U.S. territory 1900 59; admitted to the Union 1959. 965,000;… …   Universalium

  • Kawaikini — is the highest point on the Hawaiian Island of Kauai and in Kauai County and measures 5,226 feet (1,593 m) in elevation.[1] It is the summit of the island s inactive central shield volcano, Mount Waialeale.[2] Other peaks on Kauai include:… …   Wikipedia

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