Ever wonder which places receive the highest amount of rainfall in the world? Not surprisingly, most are located in the tropics and subject to monsoons. Based on the information compiled from Wikipedia the top three places that receive the most amount of rainfall in the world are the following (ranked from low to high):
3. Mount Waiʻaleʻale
Meaning “Overflowing Water” in Hawaiian, the summit of Mount Waiʻaleʻale has an elevation of 5148 feet, which is the second highest point in the Kaua’i islands of Hawaii.
According to Wikipedia, several factors give Waiʻaleʻale more potential to create precipitation than the rest of the surrounding area:
- Its northern position relative to the main Hawaiian Islands provides more exposure to frontal systems that bring rain during the winter.
- It has a relatively round and regular conical shape, exposing all sides of its peak to winds and the moisture that they carry.
- Its peak lies just below the so-called trade wind inversion layer of 6,000 feet, above which trade-wind-produced clouds cannot rise.
- And most importantly, the steep cliffs cause the moisture-laden air to rise rapidly.
2. Cherrapunji, India
Located in the northeast state of Meghalaya, Cherrapunji, averages 450 inches of rainfall annually. It has an average elevation of 4,869 ft and sits on a plateau in the southern part of the Khasi Hills, facing the plains of Bangladesh.
The highest rainfall recorded in Cherrapunji was in the year 1861 with a world record that still stands today at 1042 inches.
1. Mawsynram, India
Also located in the Indian state of Meghalaya, Mawsynram is about 16 km west of Cherrapunji. The village has recorded an average rainfall of 468 inches taken over a period of 38 years by the Public Works Department and is recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the wettest place on Earth.
Three reasons are cited for the high amount of rainfall at Mawsynram according to Wikipedia:
- The warm moist winds of the northward-moving air from the Bay of Bengal during the monsoon converge into the narrower zone over the Khasi Hills, thus concentrating their moisture.
- The alignment of the Khasi Hills (east to west) places them directly in the path of the airflow from the Bay of Bengal, producing a significant uplift.
- Finally, 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 more or less continuous.
One more place with a lot rainfall which deserves an honorable mention is Tutunendo in Chocó, Colombia. The rainfall here averages to 11,394 mm in a year which is approximately 448 inches. The highest rainfall recorded in this town is 26,303 mm (1,035.6 inches) in the year 1974.