Amazing Weather Records: Rain

On May 22, 2015 by Tim Newman


This is the second installment of impressive weather records. Last time I covered temperature and this time it is the turn of our old foe: rain. I hate rain. It’s my least favourite type of weather and I don’t think I’m alone in that. It often feels like England is the rainiest country in the world, but of course it isn’t. We just complain about it the most.

Here are some of the most impressive rain records that planet earth has to offer.

Most Rain In One Minute

Barot, Guadeloupe – 26th November 1970

Wettest Rainy Countries - Guadeloupe

I couldn’t find much else out about Barot, Guadeloupe, other than the fact that they had this record breaking deluge. They received 3.8 cm (1.5 in) of rain in just a single minute.

Guadeloupe is generally a pretty wet country, in September they normally get about 9 cm over the 30 day period. So to receive well over a week’s worth of rain in just a single 60 second period is pretty impressive.

Most Rain In One Hour

Holt, Missouri – 22nd June 1947

Wettest Rainy Countries - Holt, Missouri

Holt has the distinction of holding the world record for the fastest accumulation of rainfall in one hour. On June 22, 1947, they took 12 inches (300 mm) of rain in just 42 minutes. BOOM.

According to their Wikipedia page, there is literally nothing else of interest going on in Holt. It has a population of around 450 people. The end.

Most Rain In 12 Hours

Foc-Foc, Réunion – 8 January 1966

Wettest Rainy Countries - Reunion IslandDuring the tropical cyclone Denise, Foc-Foc drank in 1,144 mm (45.0 in) of watery rain in just half a day. Réunion is a very wet place indeed, we’ll hear from her again later on. I wrote a bit more about the island nation a while back so if you’re intrigued hit the link.

Most Rain In 24 Hours

Foc-Foc, Réunion – 7/8 January 1966

Wettest Rainy Countries - Reunion Island Hermitage Beach

Back in Reunion – 1,825 mm (71.9 in). Nearly 2 metres! That’s almost double the UK’s yearly precipitation budget.

Most Rain In 48 Hours

Cherrapunji, Meghalaya, India – 15/16 June 1995

Wettest Rainy Countries - Cherrapunji, Meghalaya 2Cherrapunji is a town in the East Khasi Hills district in the Indian state of Meghalaya. It is credited as being the wettest place on Earth, although nearby Mawsynram currently holds that record. I think there’s a little bit of rivalry on that front.

Wettest Rainy Countries - Cherrapunji, Meghalaya

In June 1995 they managed to welcome in 2,493 mm (98.1 in) in just 2 days.

Highest Average Annual Total

Mawsynram, Meghalaya, India

Wettest Rainy Countries - Khasi Hills

Damp doesn’t even touch the sides. This place is sopping. On average they get 11,872 mm (467.4 in) per year. The poor gits. In 1998 they had a mega 16,720 mm in total.

Why’s it so wet? Well, its position in the Khasi Hills (pictured above) is at the route of the problem:

1. The warm moist winds drifting in from the Bay of Bengal during the monsoon are forced to converge into the narrower zone over the Khasi Hills, thus concentrating their moisture.

2. The Khasi Hills run east to west placing them directly in the path of the airflow from the Bay of Bengal, producing a significant uplift (plus cooling, further condensation and thus more rain).

3. Uplift over the Khasi Hills is virtually continuous in the monsoon period because the lifted air is constantly being pulled up by vigorous winds in the upper atmosphere, hence the rainfall is pretty much constant.

It sounds rubbish there doesn’t it? So next time you’re trapped in a shower thank your lucky stars you don’t live anywhere listed above.

Quit your whining.






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