Natural Phenomenon: Rainfall


Ships passing through the archipelago kept rainfall records; Dr H. B. Guppy did this on HMS Lark over several months in 1882 for Santa Ana, Ugi, Makira and Bougainville Strait. (Guppy 1887, 352-370; AR 1897-98, 10) Ships' masters also kept rainfall and climatic readings. Records of rainfall have been kept at Tulagi since October 1897 and at all subsequent government stations, as well as more intermittently at missions and plantations. Starting in 1907 more extended observations, including barometrical and thermometrical readings, were taken at Tulagi, and later at Honiara. These were supplied to the Australian Commonwealth Meteorological Office in Melbourne and later Canberra, and to London. Rainfall can vary significantly, even in places just a few kilometres apart. Tulagi's average rainfall between 1898 and 1910 was 3,064.5 millimetres (120.65 inches). (BSIP Handbook 1923, 23-24) Rainfall is heavy throughout the islands, particularly in inland areas and on the windward side of the main islands. Coastal areas of the larger islands lying on the lee of the prevailing winds are usually drier than other parts of the islands. Honiara has an average rainfall of about 2,286 millimetres (90 inches), but elsewhere the annual total can be as high as 7,620 millimetres (300 inches). Rain can fall in large deluges over a few hours, and with extensive catchment areas in the mountains the rivers tend to flood rapidly, sometimes with little warning. (AR 1967, 84-85) See also Climate.

Related Concepts

Published resources


  • British Solomon Islands Protectorate, Handbook of the British Solomon Islands Protectorate, Western Pacific High Commission, Suva, 1923. Details
  • Guppy, Henry B., The Solomon Islands: Their Geology, General Features, and Suitability for Colonization, Swan Sonnenschein, Lowrey and Company, London, 1887. Details


  • British Solomon Islands Protectorate, British Solomon Islands Protectorate Annual Reports (AR), 1896-1973. Details