When you think about the cities that get the most rain in the US, you probably think of Seattle; however, to your surprise, it is not.
This is because of Seattle’s proximity to the Olympic mountains, its dynamic-wind patterns, and the rain shadow effect.
Even though Seattle does experience heavy rainfalls yearly, it does not have a higher frequency of rainy days. On the contrary, Rochester and Buffalo cities of New York have most of the wettest days of 165.
As you read with us further, you will find out how the Rainiest Cities in America vary with their rainfall rates and notable storms that each city faces.
US Average Annual Rain Fall History
A fact to consider when thinking of the wettest places in the US is that cities with the highest number of rainy days do not mean they receive the most rain; the number of millimeters better indicates total precipitation in the cities.
The total annual precipitation in the United States in 2018 was 34.63 inches, which is 4.6 inches higher than the long-term trend. That concluded 2018 as the wettest year recorded in the United States.
Tennessee, West Virginia, Delaware, New Jersey, and some other major cities all recorded their wettest years on average in 2018. You can also check out precipitation averages for all major US cities for more detailed statistics.
Because of the country's diverse geography, different cities see a wide variety of precipitation patterns, both in terms of quantity and occurrence. Simply put, how frequently a city experiences significant rain with heavy pour determines the rank.
Sadly, heavy rainfall does have negative consequences. Excessive rain can harm agriculture and even wildlife and affect shop sales and participation at outdoor events.
In addition, flooding and unsafe roadways can result from heavy rainfall over a short amount of time. Intense drizzle can also induce soil erosion, mixing fertilizers and pollutants from the ground to waterways.
Top 10 Rainiest Cities in America
While many folks believe that America's Northwest is the wetter country; however, according to statistics from the Climate Corporation, the cities from this region do not rank in the top lists.
On that note, we have compiled below a list of the rainiest cities in America, which Miami and New Orleans surprisingly top; read with us to find why. The list has been ranked by weather data taken from the national weather service and other top weather services.
1. Miami, Florida
Miami sits on top of the rainiest cities with its coastal proximity. The frequent thunderstorms during the summer are characterized by heavy rainfall and make Miami the topper in rank.
You might assume that it rains or snows mostly during the chilly seasons. But, most commonly, Miami gets the most rainfalls during the sunny season and gets pretty rough and dry during the winter. While on the other side, Seattle is the opposite.
The reason for such occurrence is Miami's beautiful subtropical climate conditions. The city experiences a comparatively wetter season between May and October, signified by the highest annual rainfall of about 1712mm.
The tropical weather aids masses of hot air that travel north, primarily from the Atlantic's easterly winds. Afterward, all the winds gather together and proceed forward to push winds to the eastern coast of Florida.
Additionally, other tropical weather conditions like heavy storms and hurricanes add up to the total rainfall that Miami experiences yearly. Up to 15,000 millimeters is Miami's average rainfall amount while it measured.
You will need to gear up with raincoats and an umbrella if you are going for a trip to Miami!
- Annual Rainfall Inches: 67.4
- Annual Rainfall Millimeters: 1712
- Average Annual Rainy Days: 140
2. New Orleans, Louisiana
We have the Louisianan populous American city New Orleans here for our second place. Located by the banks of the Mississippi, New Orleans also possesses a sub-tropical climate that is mostly humid.
New Orleans experiences more rainfall than any other major city in the United States, with an average annual precipitation of almost five feet. It does, however, have significantly fewer rainy weeks than many other wet cities.
For example, Columbus in Ohio gets about 150 days of rain, whereas New Orleans has a shower on an average of 115 days each year.
It is second on our list because the city's annual rainfall amount goes up to about 61 to 63 inches, which is around 1609 millimeters of rain a year. So even for a lesser time, the intensity and amounts are higher than average.
Additionally, New Orleans is more prone to hurricanes than other cities of the US, signifying the heavy rainfall amounts. One notable hurricane in the city that created unfortunate death cases and destruction was Hurricane George of 1947.
The city of Lafayette in Louisiana also has similarities with New Orleans in terms of rainfall stats. Mostly the rainfalls take place in New Orleans starting from January to June (wettest month) during the summer, while October is super dry. Good for the spooky season, we guess!
- Annual Rainfall Inches: 63.4
- Annual Rainfall Millimeters: 1609
- Average Annual Rainy Days: 115
3. Birmingham, Alabama
We know you might be quite surprised about this one; you were probably expecting to see the city of Mobile in Alabama in this place instead. And why won't you? Both in terms of amount in frequency, Mobile has more significant numbers.
You might now wonder how Central Alabama even compares to some of the State's other wet locations? You might have thought of Pacific Northwest, famous for its bland and dull weather.
But, surprisingly, Birmingham has experienced nearly double the amount of rainfall compared to significantly known wetter places like Seattle of Washington State.
Not being too far from New Orleans by the Gulf of Mexico, Birmingham's most rainy month is March, where they get at least 5.3 inches of drizzle. After that, rainfall remains pretty frequent but in comparatively smaller amounts.
So it goes on till October, but it still rains as much as 3 inches during this month. But Birmingham is still on the top three is because it rains more than 55 inches annually which is more than average compared to Alabama's standard.
In October of 2021, one foot and lengthier raindrops drenched all of Alabama. The thunderstorms were accompanied by heavy rainfalls, leading to several flash flood emergencies. During that time, Birmingham experienced rainfall of 7.63 inches; that's crazy rain!
The bottom line is probably, do not underestimate the rain of Birmingham!
- Annual Rainfall Inches: 56.6
- Annual Rainfall Millimeters: 1438
- Average Annual Rainy Days: 112
4. Houston, Texas
Now, let’s move a little downward and far left on the US map and hold our list in Texas, the big metropolis of America!
Even with the busy, chaotic life, residents of hot Houston get embraced by mother nature frequently when heavy rainfalls drench all of the city.
Houston is undoubtedly crowded, but exceptionally, the rain in this place is something that the residents look at pleasantly. Houston is said to be one of those American cities that gets drizzles throughout the year, and we agree.
That is because Houston gets rainfalls ranging up to 55.6 inches every year, which is more than that of Seattle, which adds up to about 35 inches. We know this status must be surprising for all you readers since Seattle has that 'rainy city' name, but weather conditions are dynamic, and they change constantly.
In Houston, June is the wettest month, with about 150milimeters of rain only in that month! This is why Houston stands similar to many cities with a tropical monsoon climate since it is super humid and can experience the heaviest of rainfalls.
While the city of Houston is prone to hurricanes too, it also sees a lot of sunny days; overall, it has a good balance of both drizzle and sunshine. So people could be enjoying the bright sun in the suburbs while people run around with umbrellas downtown during the rainy seasons.
- Annual Rainfall Inches: 55.6
- Annual Rainfall Millimeters: 1413
- Average Annual Rainy Days: 104
5. Memphis, Tennessee
In the middle of our rank, we have the city of Memphis of Tennessee, located just parallel to the riverside of the Mississippi.
The weather conditions are pretty calm and expected in this area. Memphis is the second biggest region of Tennessee. It experiences chilly winters, and in terms of summer, it is super humid and hot with frequent thunderstorms.
The annual precipitation rates are equal to 1365 millimeters, mainly in Memphis. December is the wettest month, with about 55 inches of drizzle during the winters.
Memphis can be considered a comparatively heavy-rainfall area since volumes of wind from the Gulf of Mexico and cooler air from the northern regions meet right in the middle at Memphis. On the contrary, October is named to be the driest month with less than 4 inches of rainfall.
The weather at Memphis is quite dynamic. It rains a lot during the spring reason. However, people face many hurdles due to floods overflowing low-elevated areas.
- Annual Rainfall Inches: 54.9
- Annual Rainfall Millimeters: 1395
- Average Annual Rainy Days: 108
6. Orlando, Florida
On the sixth position, we have Florida’s well-known destination city of Orlando. And yes, you can now say Florida is a relatively rainy state than others.
Orlando experiences very regular thunderstorms, which are comparatively strong but never strong enough to disrupt the spirit of people having fun at the theme parks. Overall, the weather is mostly lovely.
While it's pretty warm during July, June experiences heavy rainfall of about 51 inches making around 13,000 millimeters. August sees the most significant number of thunderstorms which make up most of the annual rainfall in Orlando. November is one of the driest months in Orlando, with less than 2 inches of rain.
Additionally, Orlando is quite prone to Hurricanes as well. June to November are the times when hurricanes might occur in the place. Even though it is not a coastal area, the storms can still be damaged. Back in 2017, Hurricane Irma took over Orlando, which even led to the temporary closing of Disney World.
The weather conditions of Orlando are pretty dynamic, so if you are planning to go on a Disney World Trip, make sure you gear up with more things than just a Mickey Mouse hat, it will not help you during those heavy drizzles!
- Annual Rainfall Inches: 51.5
- Annual Rainfall Millimeters: 1307
- Average Annual Rainy Days: 114
7. Nashville, Tennessee
Another one from Tennessee, we here have Nashville, the place is known for its chicken sandwiches, but its rainfall counts as well.
While Memphis is wetter, Nashville is less, with at least 47 inches of annual rainfall. May is the rainiest month with about 5 inches of rain, while October is the driest with less than 3 inches of rainfall. Annually, Nashville accounts for 119 days of drizzle and pouring around 1300 millimeters of rain.
Moreover, be alarmed about the central areas of Tennessee because they are prone to tornadoes. March to May are the periods when Tennessee areas, significantly, Nashville since at least a single tornado will always touch by the tangents of the city even if not impacting heavily.
It's a myth that people think the Southern states do not get much rain because Nashville often experiences more precipitations than Seattle.
- Annual Rainfall Inches: 50.5
- Annual Rainfall Millimeters: 1283
- Average Annual Rainy Days: 119
8. Atlanta, Georgia
Towards the end of our list, we have the “Hotlanta.” as the locals call it. But is it really that hot though with the rain situation? Let's find out.
The name is just a fun term as people like to use it because Atlanta enjoys good weather conditions that are pretty moderate during different seasons.
The city experiences rainfalls of at least 47 inches to a maximum of 51 inches every year. The wettest month is July, with an average rainfall of five inches. During April, rain is the lowest. The spooky season is accompanied by dry weather and less than 3 inches of precipitation like all other cities on our list.
Among the southern states, the North of Georgia is not as humid if compared. But the areas are very prone to getting mild thunderstorms which can, in turn, bring 5 inches of rain every month.
- Annual Rainfall Inches: 50.4
- Annual Rainfall Millimeters: 1281
- Average Annual Rainy Days: 109
9. New York, New York
We have everyone's favorite city ever, New York City, for the second last place! The city that never sleeps. Well, no doubt about that, with sudden rainstorms that pours heavy, who would want to sleep anyway?
Strong winds intense rainfalls become the most common reason for flash flood alerts in the city of New York during the rainy seasons. July is the wettest month that accounts for 4.7 inches of rain, while the annual number goes up to 50 inches, making up 1258 millimeters. On the other hand, February is considered the driest, with less than 3 inches of rainfall.
According to meteorologists, New York City experiences frequent and heavy rainfalls due to the immense heat cloud out in the West and an obstinate high-intensity ridge in the Atlantic Ocean, which causes heavy storms and pouring rain in Upstate New York.
Those two systems act as the edges of a channel, funneling moisture from the Gulf of Mexico towards the Northeast. Rainstorms occur when wind vibrations moving from westward collide with all of that warm, wet air in the east.
In October of 2021, New York faced a significant rainstorm, and Connecticut and New Jersey aftereffects of Hurricane Ida. Due to that, Northeastern areas witnessed intense flash floods from heavy winds and strong rainfalls.
New York City is a dream city to be in, but make sure you have an umbrella with you when you roam around Times Square.
- Annual Rainfall Inches: 49.5
- Annual Rainfall Millimeters: 1258
- Average Annual Rainy Days: 118
10. Tampa, Florida
Last but not least, we are circling back to the State of Florida, but this time, with the city of Tampa. Tampa is famous for its direct bay links with the Gulf of Mexico, where people love cruising. We are sure you have heard of Tampa Bay!
Tampa overall is characterized by nice vacation-like weather. The wettest month in Tampa in August, with about 196 millimeters of heavy rainfall (7.8 inches) monthly. It stays hot during July while it cools down during January.
Tampa's proximity to the Hillsborough River makes Tampa a comparatively windier city to be in, even during the hot, humid summers. On the other side, with less than 2 inches of rain monthly, November is the driest time in Tampa.
However, if you are in Tampa for a vacation cruise, do note that Tampa is vulnerable to uncalled for rainstorms that are likely to occur when it's the season of Atlantic Hurricane.
August and September are the optimal times when these rainstorms take place. But in general, the period for this hurricane-prone season runs from the start of June to the beginning of December.
- Annual Rainfall Inches: 49.5
- Annual Rainfall Millimeters: 1257
- Average Annual Rainy Days: 104
What Should You Consider Before Visiting a Rainy City?
While we all love traveling during the rain for both its refreshing and fun purposes, here are some tips for you to consider before starting your trip.
Prioritize packing items that are waterproof and quick to dry. You will get drenched, and it is inevitable to avoid rain when you choose to enjoy it. So carry a light jacket or windbreaker, preferably water-resistant ones. You can also have polythene bags to protect the electronics. And of course, take a travel umbrella!
Find Specific Tour Deals
During the rainy season, the majority of tourists stay home. Thus, you might be able to discover lower tour tickets or accommodation rates if you look into websites and hotel deals.
However, though some of these trips are less expensive, they may be canceled due to people's low participation. Therefore, to avoid any unforeseen disappointments, make sure to check the statuses of deals ahead of your trip.
Be Ready for the Adventures!
One of the drawbacks during the rainy seasons is delayed flights, traffic, and crowded areas, but remember that you are on a trip and trying to have fun.
So, keep your adventurous spirit up, and let the rain do its magic on you! But, do make sure that your travel insurance has you covered if any unfortunate situations come up.
Precautions to Stay Safe During Rainy Weather
If you find yourself in one of these rainy cities while it is pouring out, here are some of the precautions you should be taking to keep yourself safe.
- Avoid puddles: It is not a good idea to be walking in the rain, especially if there are puddles all around. If you step in a puddle or get soaking wet, wash yourself and your foot with soap to avoid getting a viral infection. Get yourself a pair of rubber boots if you find yourself walking in the rain quite often.
- Leave Electric Wires Alone: Stay away from any and all-electric wires, mainly looking for fallen cables. They will shock, injure and potentially cause death. If you see any live wire lying in a puddle, step away as you can be surprised by even being close to it. Utility poles and other electronic devices should also not be touched.
- Keep an Emergency Kit Handy: Having an emergency kit with you will never disappoint. If you live in an area that receives a high level of rain and is prone to flooding, prepare your gear with some clean water, medicine, snacks, and emergency lights. It's best to have it but not need it than to need it and not have it!
- Close Your Windows: Leaving your windows open will let water in and ruin your furniture and electronics. So always keep the windows closed if rain is to be anticipated. It is also not a bad idea to unplug any expensive electronics as voltage tends to fluctuate when it is raining, damaging the appliances.
- Drive Slow: Drive with extreme caution if you have to. The roads are slippery, so keep a proper distance between the vehicle ahead of you and do not brake abruptly. Also, turn the headlights on to make your car noticeable to other vehicles. Here is few tips if you stuck under the car during the weather disasters.
People Also Ask
What are some of the warmer areas of the US?
Florida (even with leading rain cities), Ft. Lauderdale, Gulfport, Hilo, Mississippi, Arizona, and Hawaii are among the warmer locations in America.
Which place receives the least rain in the United States?
Yuma, Arizona, ranks amongst the driest cities in the United States with only around 3.5 inches of rain annually.
What was the heaviest rainfall in United States History?
Kauai, Hawaii, recorded the most significant 24-hour rainfall in the State's history when 49.69 inches of rain flooded Waipa Garden Kauai on April 14-15, 2018.
Which United States city is most prone to flooding?
Scoring a 100 out of 100 Flood Risk Score, Saint Petersburg, Florida ranks the highest in vulnerability to flooding than any other place in the United States.
What is the difference between rain and showers?
Rain is relatively more uniform in intensity and continuous, which showers are described as a much more sudden start and finish with drastic changes in intensity.
What are some other rainy cities in the US?
Several minor cities and villages on Oregon's, Washington's, and Oregon's west coastlines experience over 67.4 inches of rain every year.
In conclusion, we can see that most cities that experience heavy rainfalls are relatively close to the Gulf Of Mexico. The hot air masses and air movement towards the cities push storms and lead to heavy pouring. We also saw that cities with the most rain also have a subtropical climate.
After our thorough discussion about the rainiest places in the US, we hope you are now ready to pack the essentials and travel while also maintaining the precautions. If you are stuck in a bad rain experience, remember that you can always let the rain wash away all the pain of yesterday!