Word of the Week - It's a Lie, I Tell Ya!
That's just not true. No really...we do get a lot of rain here in the Pacific Northwest!
But, I do not want to be fallacious, after all. I found this article by Andrea Thompson that will dry up any falsehood about the rainiest cities in the United States. And while Ms. Thompson's findings may measure actual inches of rain, that somehow doesn't account for all the gray, overcast, drizzly days here in the PNW. That drenching drizzle really doesn't add up to much in comparison to the famous cow-peein'-on-a-flat-rock Louisiana rain, now does it?
Do you think Seattle is the rainiest city in the United States?
Well, think again.
Mobile, Ala., actually topped a new list of soggiest cities in the contiguous 48 states, with more than 5 feet of rainfall annually, according to a study conducted by San Francisco-based WeatherBill, Inc.
The Southeast dominated the most rainy list, while the Pacific Northwest never enters the list until Olympia, Washington pops up at number 24.
The 10 rainiest cities in the U.S. by amount of annual rainfall include:
- Mobile, Ala.: 67 inches average annual rainfall; 59 average annual rainy days
- Pensacola, Fla.: 65 inches average annual rainfall; 56 average annual rainy days
- New Orleans, La.: 64 inches average annual rainfall; 59 average annual rainy days
- West Palm Beach, Fla.: 63 inches average annual rainfall; 58 average annual rainy days
- Lafayette, La.: 62 inches average annual rainfall; 55 average annual rainy days
- Baton Rouge, La.: 62 inches average annual rainfall; 56 average annual rainy days
- Miami, Fla.: 62 inches average annual rainfall; 57 average annual rainy days
- Port Arthur, Texas: 61 inches average annual rainfall; 51 average annual rainy days
- Tallahassee, Fla.: 61 inches average annual rainfall; 56 average annual rainy days
- Lake Charles, La.: 58 inches average annual rainfall; 50 average annual rainy days
Southeastern cities are so prevalent on the list because the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico fuel storms that frequently soak the region, particularly between June and November.
The study also found that in the past 30 years, the East and Southeast seemed to be getting wetter, while the West got drier. Florida, Louisiana and Alabama were the wettest states, while California, Montana, Nevada and Arizona were the driest (Las Vegas took the top spot for driest city).
Average rainfall was highest in the United States between July and September and lowest between January and March.
Thank you, Ms. Thompson, for your insight on the rainiest city in the U.S. So, we may not get as much rain as other cities; perhaps it just seems like it. But then I got to wondering...how many sunny days do we get here in the drippy PNW? Mr. Steve Pool, a local meteorologist, has our answer, although it's from back in '03. I think he paints a more accurate picture of what keeps us the Evergreen State.
SEATTLE - Those new to the area this summer, with its seemingly endless sunshine, might be surprised that Seattle only averages 58 sunny days a year. That's seventh-least in the U.S. of cities that report official climate data, and as you might expect, other Pacific Northwest cities dot the list.
But I bet you can't guess the least-sunny place in the U.S.
With just 48 sunny days a year, it's Elkins, West Virginia, just edging out Astoria, Oregon which has 50.
As for the rest of Seattle's days, we average 226 cloudy days (4th most in the U.S.) and 81 partly cloudy days. Of all those days, we get 155 days of rain a year.
Despite the data from the experts, it is a well-known fact that true Seattle-ites do not use umbrellas. I hate to say it, but that may be a bit on the fallacious side. I do know that Seattle is the number one city for sunglasses sold. Yep, that's right; we all have to buy new ones each time the sun comes out because we have lost or forgotten where the last pair we bought are located (since it was probably months ago we last used them). Go figure.