Tuesday, 13 Nov 2018
News

Washington is one of the rainiest places in the U.S. this year

Places that have seen as much or more rain than the 59.90 inches that have fallen in Washington so far. (Ian Livingston/The Washington Post) It has rained a whole lot this year in Washington. With 55.90 inches, the city’s rainfall total ranks as the sixth wettest on record for any calendar year dating to the 1870s. And, with more than 50 days left in 2018, this amount will rise. This rainfall output is neck-and-neck with some of the historically wettest cities in the nation in 2018 and, in some cases, wetter. Meridian, Miss., makes Weather.com’s list of rainiest cities and has picked up 57.09 inches this year — very close to Washington’s total. West Palm Beach, Fla. — also on Weather.com’s list — has seen 59.02 inches, also in the same boat as Washington. Yet another wet city, New Orleans, has had less rain than Washington, with 53.11 inches. Out West, typically dreary Seattle has been bone-dry by comparison. With Seattle having only 24.87 inches, the District has had more than twice the rain Seattle has thus far in 2018. While Washington has been wet, it is not alone. As the maps here highlight, other locations across the East Coast and into the South have seen at least as much rain as Washington.
Maximum rainfall by state — plus the District — so far in 2018. (Ian Livingston/The Washington Post) East of the Rockies, Mount Mitchell in North Carolina is the wettest location, logging 121.5 inches of rain so far this year. In large part because of Hurricane Florence, coastal North Carolina also has collected extreme totals. A cooperative weather observer near Wilmington has posted 96.3 inches of rain this year. The mountains of the Pacific Northwest also have seen their fair share of rain, despite a relatively dry year by historical standards. More than 140 inches have fallen in a few spots in the high elevations in Washington state.

Rainfall totals as high or higher than Washington’s in the local region. (Ian Livingston/The Washington Post) In the immediate Washington area, the District has plenty of company when it comes to big rainfall tallies. Some of the higher elevations have picked up 70 or more inches. Toward sea level, several locations have registered at least five feet of rain, including 60.06 inches in Baltimore. In most spots locally, these tallies are about as high as you’ll ever see. Many locations continue to make a run at annual records, or close to them. We won’t have to wait long to push these numbers higher, because more rain is on the way Friday and next week.

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