Rainfall Records Of The World

Mawsynram, India, holds the record for the highest average annual rainfall in the world.

Several regions in the world have the distinction of experiencing extremities of weather such as high temperatures and heavy rainfall. With regards to rainfall, there are few regions in the world which are recognized as the world’s wettest regions. The Guinness Book of World Records has a list of such regions which hold world records based on the amount of rainfall received in a specific period.

Mawsynram, India: Highest Average Annual Rainfall

Mawsynram is a small village situated in the north-eastern region in India in Meghalaya state. Mawsynram has been recognized as the wettest place on the planet on numerous occasions. The village holds the world record for the highest average annual rainfall as it receives an average annual rainfall of about 467.4 inches. Mawsynram experiences a subtropical highland climate, which is characterized by many months of high rainfall and a brief dry season (between December and February where monthly rainfall is less than 1.2 inches). In 1985, Mawsynram received about 1,000 inches of rainfall, the highest annual rainfall ever recorded in the village.

Cherrapunji, India: Highest Rainfall In A Year And A Calendar Month

Cherrapunji is another village found in the Indian state of Meghalaya. Recently, the name of the village was changed to its traditional name, Sohra. Like the neighboring Mawsynram, Sohra is one of the wettest places in the world. Sohra holds the world record for the highest rainfall received in one year after the village received 1,041.8 inches of rainfall in the 12 months between August 1st, 1860 and July 31st, 1861. The village also holds the world record for the highest rainfall received in a calendar month after it received 370 inches of rainfall in July 1861. Like Mawsynram, Sohra lies in a region with a subtropical highland climate which is characterized by long wet season and a brief dry spell. In Cherrapunji, the months of June, July and August are usually the wettest of the year while November, December, and January are the driest months. The reason behind the high rainfall received in Sohra is due to the region’s geography whereby, the tall Khasi Hills cause the vapor-laden Indian summer monsoon clouds to condense rapidly and fall as orographic rain in the village.

Foc-Foc, La Reunion Island: Highest Rainfall In 12 And 24 Hrs

According to the Guinness Book of World Records, Foc-Foc in La Reunion Island holds the distinction of receiving the highest amount of rainfall over a 24-hour period as well as over a 12-hour period. Records show that the site of Foc-Foc received 71.8 inches of rain in a 24-hour period between January 7th and 8th, 1966, the highest ever recorded in the world. Foc-Foc also received 45 inches of rainfall in 12 hours during the same day. The high amount of rainfall received in Foc-Foc was as a result of Tropical Storm Denise which struck La Reunion Island in January 1966.

Unionville, United States: Highest Rainfall In A Minute

Unionville, a small town in Frederick County of the state of Maryland holds the world record for the highest amount of rainfall received over one minute. Unionville attained the distinction on July 4th, 1956 after a large storm which lasted 50 minutes dropped 2.84 inches of rain, with GP Von Eiff, a weather observer reporting the town receiving 1.23 inches in one minute. The record was further analyzed by the US Weather Bureau, which later confirmed the record.

Effects Of High Rainfall

While high rainfall is an important source of fresh water to local communities, extremely high amount of rain can have detrimental effects. The village of Sohra is among the wettest places in the world. However, the high rainfall received in the village has led to the erosion of topsoil which is necessary for cultivation and has thus triggered a food shortage in the village.

Rainfall Records Of The World

RankRecordContinentPlaceHighest rainfall (inches)
1Highest average annual rainfall AsiaMawsynram, India467.4
2Highest in one year AsiaCherrapunji, India1,042
3Highest in one calendar month AsiaCherrapunji, India366
4Highest in 24 hours Indian OceanFoc Foc, La Reunion Island71.8
5Highest in 12 hours Indian OceanFoc Foc, La Reunion Island45.0
6Highest in one minute North AmericaUnionville, Maryland, USA1.23

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