Rainiest Cities In The World: 12 Places With The Highest Rainfall In The World
Staring out into the rain pouring outside your window, you may think you live in the rainiest place in the world. There are a few cities and towns on the planet, though, which annual rainfall defies belief.
Mawsynram, situated in the district of Meghalaya, India, is the rainiest place in the world, with an average annual rainfall of 11 872 mm (467.4 inches). It is closely followed by Cherrapunji from the same district, while Tutunendo in Colombia has the third-highest rainfall globally.
If you don't live in an arid or semi-arid region of the world, the chances are good that you already experienced spells of persistent rain that seem to go on forever. It's hard to believe that some locations on the planet receive more rain in a week than most places do in a year.
Although many places experience a large volume of rainfall over a short period of time (as is the case with a microburst), the best criteria to use to accurately determine the rainiest city/town on Earth is to look at its average annual rainfall.
In this article, we take a look at the 12 wettest locations around the globe. When listing the cities, we include more densely populated areas such as towns in villages to be more inclusive and accurate.
As one can imagine, the title of "Rainiest Place In The World" has been passed around between cities and varies over time. The locations in this article, though, consistently recorded record-high rainfall averages throughout history.
12 Cities With The Highest Rainfall In The World
The following list looks at the 12 rainiest cities in the world, starting with the wettest location on the planet first and working our way down. We then take a closer look at each individual city/town:
City / Town
Average Annual Rainfall
San Antonio de Ureca, Equatorial Guinea
Quibdó City, Colombia
1) Mawsynram, India
Location: Meghalaya, India
Average Annual Rainfall: 11 871 mm (467 inches)
Mawsynram is situated in the Khasi Hills, which forms part of the district of Meghalaya, India. At a latitude/longitude of 25° 18′ N, 91° 35′ E, it is also located close to the Equator, a factor that many rainy cities have in common, as will be illustrated in this article.
(The intense solar radiation that the ocean waters receive at the Equator results in mass evaporation at the surface. The moist air rises & cools down, leading to condensation taking place, which is the leading cause of the heavy rainfall that characterizes Equatorial regions.)
Although it is technically a village and not a city, there is no disputing the fact that this small populated region in India is the rainiest place on the planet, with an average annual rainfall of 11 872 mm (467.4 inches).
2) Cherrapunji, India
Location: Meghalaya, India
Average Annual Rainfall: 11 777 mm (464 inches)
Situated only 13.6 km (8.4 miles) away from Mawsynram, it is literally a stone-throw away. It should come as no surprise that it is just as rainy and even carried the title of the rainiest place in the world on a few occasions.
In fact, Cherrapunji is the current record holder for the highest rainfall during both a calendar month and year.
Both Mawsynram and Cherrapunji are in the Meghalaya district in India, which unsurprisingly have been consistently the rainiest region in the world in recent history.
3) Tutunendo, Colombia
Location: Quibdó Municipality, Columbia
Average Annual Rainfall: 11 770 mm (463 inches)
Tutunendo lies in the municipality of Quibdó, the rainiest region in Columbia and South America. It is also situated only 13 km (8 miles) from the City of Quibdó (which also disputes & claims the title of the rainiest location on the planet).
With an average annual rainfall of 11 770 mm (463 inches), Tutunendo deserves its title as the rainiest place in South America.
4) San Antonio de Ureca, Equatorial Guinea
Location: Bioko Sur, Equatorial Guinea
Average Annual Rainfall: 10 450 mm (418 inches)
San Antonio de Ureca is located on the island of Bioko, Equatorial Guinea.
As the name suggests, at a latitude/longitude of 3°16′N 8°31′E, it lies almost on top of the Equator. Like the Meghalayan district in India as well as Tutunendo in Colombia, it is this close proximity to the Equator that largely contributes to heavy rainfall in the region.
San Antonio de Ureca also carries the title of the rainiest location on the African continent.
5) Debundscha, Cameroon
Location: Southwestern Region, Cameroon
Average Annual Rainfall: 10 299 mm (405 inches)
Located on the foothills of Mount Cameroon and facing the South Atlantic Ocean, Debundscha is another example of a country with an exceptionally high rainfall that is situated at or close to the Equator.
As its ranking on this list illustrates, it is also widely recognized as one of the five rainóiest destinations in the world, with an average annual rainfall of over 10 000 mm (394 inches).
6) Quibdó City, Colombia
Location: Quibdó Municipality, Columbia
Average Annual Rainfall: 7 328 mm (289 inches)
Quibdó City is situated in the municipality of Quibdó, which forms part of the Chocó Department. It lies on the banks of the Atrato River in the western part of Columbia.
As previously stated, there is a great debate and pushback from observers who strongly believe Quibdó should be acknowledged as the rainiest location on the planet.
Since it receives rain 309 days out of the year and is also regarded as one of the cloudiest places in the world (only 1 276 hours of sunlight a year), these observers may have a point.
7) Buenaventura, Colombia
Location: Valle del Cauca, Colombia
Average Annual Rainfall: 6 276 mm (247 inches)
Buenaventura is a coastal city that forms part of the department of Valle del Cauca in Colombia. It is also the primary seaport of the country, handling around 60% of all goods entering and leaving the country via sea.
Its location close to the Equator, combined with the fact that its located at the coast, are the two main driving forces behind its average annual rainfall of 6 276 mm (247 inches).
8) Mawlamyine, Myanmar
Location: Mon State, Myanmar
Average Annual Rainfall: 4 772 mm (188 inches)
Mawlamyine is located in Mon State, Myanmar. Like Buenaventura, it is also a coastal city and one of Myanmar's major seaports. It lies on the banks of the Salween (Thanlwin) River.
In this region, the rainy season starts around 6 May and lasts until 14 October, approximately 5.2 months. The majority of its 4 772 mm (188 inches) average annual rainfall occurs during this period.
9) Monrovia, Liberia
Location: Montserrado County, Liberia
Average Annual Rainfall: 4 540 mm (179 inches)
Monrovia is a coastal city on the West African coast bordering the Atlantic Ocean. It is also the capital of Liberia and the largest city in the country. It currently holds the title of the wettest capital city in the world.
The flooding that occurs as a result of the heavy rainfall is a significant problem in the city. The water mixes with the city's excess waste, causing blocked sewers and drains, which leads to standing water and generally unsanitary conditions.
10) Hilo, Hawaii
Location: Hawaii, United States Of America
Average Annual Rainfall: 3 219 mm (127 inches)
Hilo is located on the east coast of Hawaii in Hilo Bay. It sits at the foot of two volcanoes, Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa.
Its location close to the Equator is responsible for its tropical rainforest climate, which results in the heavy rains that characterize the region. It is also widely regarded as the rainiest city in the United States Of America.
Location: Southeast Asia
Average Annual Rainfall: 2 340 mm (92 inches)
Singapore is a city-state situated in Southeast Asia. The city lies on the main island, which is located about 137 km (85 miles) north of the Equator, which explains the high rainfall averages recorded in the city each year.
With no clear distinction between the seasons, the rainfall in the city is pretty evenly spread out throughout the year. It also rains for approximately 167 days out of the year.
12) Bergen, Norway
Location: Vestland County, Norway
Average Annual Rainfall: 2 250 mm (89 inches)
Bergen is located on the west coast of Norway in the county of Vestland. It has an oceanic climate with rain evenly spread out throughout the year.
Although this city is last on this list and its average annual rainfall is dwarfed by the Meghalayan District of India, its 2 250 mm (89 inches) of rain is still pretty impressive.
It is not called "The City Of Rain" without reason. With rain falling 270 days out of the year, it is the rainiest city in Europe.
Determining the rainiest city in the world is no easy feat, as this article clearly illustrated. It varies from time to time, but the cities listed in this post routinely measured record-high rainfall figures throughout history.
What is evident, though, is that the vast majority of rainy locations around the planet are situated in and around the Equator. This location is responsible for the tropical rainforest climate that results in the record-high rainfall these regions routinely experience.
This article highlighted the 12 cities/towns that consistently record the highest rainfall around the planet.
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