September 28, 2010

Word of the Week - It's a Lie, I Tell Ya!

fallacious, adj., a)  containing or based on a fallacy, b)  deceitful: intended to deceive, c)  based on an incorrect or misleading notion or information.

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:
  1. Mobile, Ala.: 67 inches average annual rainfall; 59 average annual rainy days
  2. Pensacola, Fla.: 65 inches average annual rainfall; 56 average annual rainy days
  3. New Orleans, La.: 64 inches average annual rainfall; 59 average annual rainy days
  4. West Palm Beach, Fla.: 63 inches average annual rainfall; 58 average annual rainy days
  5. Lafayette, La.: 62 inches average annual rainfall; 55 average annual rainy days
  6. Baton Rouge, La.: 62 inches average annual rainfall; 56 average annual rainy days
  7. Miami, Fla.: 62 inches average annual rainfall; 57 average annual rainy days
  8. Port Arthur, Texas: 61 inches average annual rainfall; 51 average annual rainy days
  9. Tallahassee, Fla.: 61 inches average annual rainfall; 56 average annual rainy days
  10. Lake Charles, La.: 58 inches average annual rainfall; 50 average annual rainy days
The study ranked 195 cities in the contiguous 48 states by the amount of rainfall they received annually over a 30-year period, although Olympia actually had the most rainy days on average across the three decades (63) of all the cities in the study. Mobile came in second on the latter scale, with 59 average annual rainy days. (Several cities in Alaska and Hawaii actually receive more than 100 inches of rain a year, but were not included in the study.)

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.

7 comments:

Ari C'rona said...

Love these words! I guess we're having one of those 226 cloudy days today...

Mama Cache said...

See, I told ya it's not all sunshine here!

Today, however, is full of my favorite weather -- sunny 70's, with a slight breeze.

You are invited.

But, I warn ya . . . it might rain!

(By the way, no hurricanes here yet this year!)

Hendel D'bu said...

Oh yeah, MC...let's compare:

56 days of rain for BR v. 58 sunny days for PNW. Do you see the issue here?

:-(

Sue KuKu said...

I grew up in Corvallis, Oregon and I remember one year, we got a record 18 inches for the month of November!

Have you ever heard Bill Cosby talk about how people in Seattle love the rain?

I have it on an old cassette.

Found it online:

http://blog.seattlepi.com/thebigblog/archives/213965.asp

KuKu

Hendel D'bu said...

I love Bill Cosby! lol! :-D

Jedi-J said...

I'm curious...whats with the down trodden words as of late?

Hendel D'bu said...

Not down-trodden, J, just words out of a fun list of rather obscure words I found as flashcards. They are cool cuz they hold little tidbits of Seattle history.

Perhaps I'm just choosing the ones that are sounding down-trodden...there are lighter ones in the stack to come.

:-)