Western Washington vs. UK: Who has it rainier?

Photo: Tim Durkan

"Whether you love it or hate it, there's lots of fascinating facts about rain!"

That was part of a great infographic the UK Met Office (basically, the UK's version of the National Weather Service) tweeted out this weekend, showing neat little known facts about rain and how much it rains in the United Kingdom.

I came upon this when someone tagged me in the Tweet noting that she had just moved from one wet place in the UK to an even wetter place: The Pacific Northwest.

That got me to thinking: Who has a better-deserved rainy reputation? The Northwest? Or United Kingdom? Both probably rate at the top on their respective continent.

Turns out, we're fairly even.

Converting their infographic from the metric millimeters to our imperial inches, here is how we stack up:

Wettest place: 130.08" (3304 mm) Seathwaite, Cumbria as far as wettest inhabited places with some spots in Snowdonia reaching over 157 inches a year, according to the Met Office's graphic.

Forks is our wettest inhabited spot at about 120 inches a year, but some spots in the Olympic Rain Forest get over 200 inches a year -- the wettest spot in the lower 48.

Driest place in UK? Shoeburyness Essex at 19.48" (495mm) of rain a year. Driest place around here? Sequim, at about 18 inches a year.

Average rainfall in the UK (overall) is 1154 mm -- 45.43" of rain per year. Technically Washington as a whole is just over 38" of rain but that includes the deserts of Eastern Washington. Seattle is just over 37" but if you were to expand to Puget Sound region, I'd gather we're pretty close to 45 inches, just ceding that we have a wild variance ranging from about 50-55" in Olympia to closer to 30" in Everett, and higher amounts toward the foothills.

Average number of days with measurable rain in the UK: 156.2. Average number of days with measurable rain in Seattle: 155. So it rains about as often in both spots.

Most rain in 24 hours in UK: 13.43" at Honister Pass in Cumbria. Washington's is also in the mountains at Mt. Mitchell (14.26").

So aside from the fact that we drive on the right side of the road and several "colourful" words are now missing a vowel, I doubt it will feel too much different living here than in the UK. Just remember that whole "Celsius to Fahrenheit" conversion thing and be sure to bundle up when we say it'll be 25 degrees outside.

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