Rainiest Place in the U.S.: The North Shore of Kauai

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Most people would probably say it’s a toss-up. Seattle. Portland. Either one’s the rainiest city in the U.S. Not by a long shot. On average these two cities only receive 38 to 45 inches a year. Whereas down south along the Gulf of Mexico, New Orleans, Pensacola and Mobile are each drenched with 64 to 67 inches of annual rainfall.

They still lose out to the island of Kauai in Hawaii. The North Shore towns of Princeville and Hanalei appear to be neck and neck for top honors because their rain gauges are filled with over 78 inches of precipitation each year. Perhaps because it’s typically a warm rain it doesn’t seem so bad?

Nonetheless, even these two have to bow to America’s rain king. Just a few miles inland stands Mt. Waialeale. This place truly earns the distinction of America’s wettest location by getting soaked with 460 inches of yearly rain—more than the above seven cities listed combined.

It’s somewhere in this photo. Honestly. You could see it, if only it weren’t for the rainclouds.

If you enjoyed this story in our series, you may also enjoy a another story about Kauai and one about the black sand beach of Hawai’i. We also invite you to check out the books in our series.