Wednesday, April 02, 2008

In the Window: April Map of the Month

April Showers: "Map of the Month" is Rainiest City in the US

The “Map of the Month” for April 2008 in the Ball State University Libraries' Geospatial Resources & Map Collection is a map of Mobile, Alabama. The map of Mobile was selected because of the amount of rainfall Mobile receives every year.

San Francisco-based Weather Bill, Incorporated conducted a study to determine the rainiest city in the contiguous United States. The Southeast dominated the list, although cities in the Pacific Northwest actually had more rainy days. Most people think of Seattle when asked the rainiest city, but the rainiest city in the contiguous United States is actually Mobile, Alabama, averaging 67 inches of rain per year. Pensacola, Florida, New Orleans, Louisiana, West Palm Beach, Florida, and Lafayette, Louisiana, complete the top five rainiest cities. (Several cities in Alaska and Hawaii actually average more than 100 inches of rain per year, but this study concentrated on cities in the contiguous United States).

Florida, Louisiana, and Alabama were the wettest states, while California, Montana, and Nevada were the driest. Las Vegas, Nevada, is the driest city.

Three decades of rainfall data from the National Weather Service was used to complete the study. For more on the rainiest cities report visit

Visit the Geospatial Resources & Map Collection on the second floor of Bracken Library to view the “Map of the Month” or to research other maps, atlases, and GIS resources.

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