Rainiest Places on Earth

Rainiest Places in the World

Rain brings life. It greens up the earth, makes things grow, and is essential for an abundant life. Children chant for it to go away. Musicians write songs about it. Lovers walk in the seclusion it provides or duck into secret places to get out of it. Hollywood made a movie “Singing in the Rain.” Love it, or hate it, rain affects everyone.

Many places get a lot of rain. According to the Guinness Book of weather records and numerous other sources, Mount Waieleele on the island of Kauai in the state of Hawaii in the USA, where it rains 350 days a year, holds the title of the rainiest spot on earth with 472 inches or 39 feet (12 meters) of precipitation per annum.

Yakutat Alaska boasts of 160 inches of rain annually. Hilo, Hawaii averages around 126 inches and places in India more than 200 inches annually. Mount Washington, New Hampshire gets 103 inches, Qillayute, Washington, 102 inches and Annette, Alaska only 101 inches.

Some places get too much rain for half of the year and suffer from drought the rest of the year. Monsoons, winds that come from the same direction for six months a year, cause torrential rainfall.

The city of Cherrapunji in India sits on the Meghalaya Plateau high above sea level and gets 1042 inches of rain a year. Much of that falls during the monsoon season.

The waters tumble down the mountains into the valleys below. The primitive irrigation system cannot catch enough water to last during the long dry season, forcing the people to travel long distances to obtain life-giving water for drinking, bathing, and cooking.

Recently, the monsoon rains have diminished in quantity, a source of worry to the region, according to BBC news and other sources.

Florida and the southeast endure drought during years without significant tropical storms or hurricanes. In recent years, Georgia and Florida have battled over water rights. This also is happening in California and other western states. Many places ration water to make supplies last until rain returns.

In these areas, fires often run rampant. When the rain returns there is too little vegetation to hold in the water so floods result.

Meteorologists disagree about what are the rainiest places in the world. Different parameters exist for determination. Some lists contain the rainiest inhabited places.

Others cover the wettest period ever, the number of days a year it rains, the total rainfall in a year, or other factors.

Reporting agencies vary greatly in their assessments of the rainiest places. The National Climactic Data Center, the Weather Network, the Guinness Book of Weather Records, and the BBC Weather Center all entertain their own standards for determination.

Where is the rainiest place on earth? It depends on whom you ask and what factors you use in the measurements. Perhaps one-day science will discover a way to even out the distribution of rain so that each area gets a fair share and no place suffers from too much.

Until then, we can thrill to the patter of raindrops on the roof a few days a year, or much more often, depending on the weather patterns where we live. “Rain, rain, go away, but please come back another day.”