Weather Blog

What 5 inches of rain in 90 minutes looks like...

What 5 inches of rain in 90 minutes looks like...

Seattleites know that despite our reputation as Rain City, USA, the city actually doesn't rank anywhere near the top of the charts when it comes to annual rainfall, because we get our rain here in light drizzle and drabs that are long in duration but short in accumulation.

How about the opposite? Check out this rain storm that struck the town of Anthem, Arizona, which is just north of Phoenix, on July 31.

UW Research Meteorologist Mark Albright says the place got 5 inches of rain in 90 minutes -- as much rain as it's taken Seattle to tally since May 20. The rain came courtesy of a big monsoon-generated thunderstorm. Wind gusts were also reported as high as 60 mph.





Sure is a marked change from this Seattle-kind of rain:



An interesting side note, Albright found this article from TucsonCitizen.com that notes it was decided to be a 1-in-a-1,000-year storm and thus, the city decided it was under no obligation to pay for any damages because it would be unreasonable to prepare for that level and rarity of a storm.