Weather Blog

Seattle shows off why it has relatively little annual rainfall

Seattle shows off why it has relatively little annual rainfall

It rains a lot in Seattle. Stop us if you've heard that before. And many of you know the trick to stump your non-Northwest friends that despite our rainy reputation, Seattle gets less rain per year than several other cities.

But Wednesday was such a perfect illustration of how Seattle gets its rainy moniker without being close to getting the most rain per year. In fact, this chart showing annual rainfall averages for 275 major weather stations across the U.S. (taking out the non-50 state locations) by the National Climatic Data Center shows that Seattle is in a tie for 134th -- 134th! Barely 50th percentile -- for most rain per year at 37.07". (What's interesting: The city we're tied with is Portland -- to the one-hundreth of an inch!)

Factor in number of rainy days per year though, and Seattle is near the top at 155.

Locals will tell you it's because our rain comes in drips and drizzles, and that fact is on display Wednesday.

In the 14-hour period from midnight to 2 p.m. Wednesday, it rained in Seattle for about 12 1/2 hours of it. Total rain accumulation? 0.09".

Meanwhile, in Atlanta, it rained 0.77" in 22 minutes as a thunderstorm rolled through.

That's how Atlanta ends up with, on average, 50.20" of rain per year -- 13" more than Seattle. But Seattle averages 40 more days with measurable rain.