You would expect the rainforest to be one of the rainiest places of the world, but it falls far behind in its average rainfalls. The rainforest minimally receives between 68 and 78 inches of rain a year, while the rainiest places all receive well over 400 inches per year. Perhaps they should rename the rainforests as dryforests in comparison to these wetlands.
The actual rainiest place in the world is arguable. It depends on what factors you take into consideration. Should the rainiest place be the one with the highest average rainfall or should it be the city with the most rainy days? The following three places have all claimed to be the rainiest place in the world, so I'll give you their statistics and facts and let you decide depending on which factors you think should be taken into consideration.
Cherrapunji holds two Guinness World Records relating to rainfall. The first one is the highest rainfall in one year, which was 904.9 inches between August 1860 and July 1861. It also holds the record for the highest rainfall within one month, which was 366 inches in July 1861. On average, it rains about 450 inches a year in Cherrapunji, most of which falls during the monsoon season of their winter months.
The immense rainfall of Cherrapunji is caused primarily by the Khasi Hills. The monsoon clouds fly into the town from the Bay of Bengal, and the Khasi Hills then break up and condense the clouds, which leads to the high rainfall.
Mawsynram is located only 9 kilometers west of Cherrapunji, so it shares a similar climate. Here, it rains about 472 inches in an average year, but once again, the majority of this rainfall comes during the monsoon season. The Khasi Hills is what causes it to rain so much in Mawsynram as well, and the continual uplift of air over the hills makes the rainfall continuous during the monsoon season.
One problem with Mawsynram is that it does not have its own meteorological office. Because of this, it is hard to obtain official records to prove that it is one of the rainiest cities, so Cherrapunji is often considered wetter than Mawsynram.
Mount Waialeale, Hawaii
Mount Waialeale is clearly not a place you would want to honeymoon, since it rains up to 350 days a year here. In the average year, there is 467 inches of rainfall, but it is a much more consistent rain than the two cities in India. It is definitely the rainiest place in the United States, but it also claims to be the rainiest place in the world.
The rain here is caused by the location and shape of the island. Because of where it is located, it is more exposed to frontal systems in the Pacific Ocean during winter. The island also has a circular shape, which allows all sides to be hit by clouds of moisture and moisture itself. Mount Waialeale is also known for its steep cliffs, which cause clouds to rapidly rise and then drop a lot of rain in one area.
As these three places battle it out for the rainiest place in the world, here are a few other rainy spots:
- Tutunendo, Columbia
- Hilo, Hawaii
- Crkvica, Bosnia
- Quibdo, Columbia
- Llora, Columbia
- Debundscha, Cameroon