does atlanta get more rain than seattle

Does Atlanta get more rain than Seattle? You will probably be surprised by the answer. Seattle is known for its rainy days.

However, when it comes to total annual rainfall, Atlanta outdoes Seattle as a rainy city.

Atlanta gets between 47.12 and 51.5 inches of average rainfall each year. By contrast, Seattle only gets 38 inches. 

So, Atlanta gets more total rain each year than Seattle. But Seattle has more days where precipitation falls from the sky.

That is a big reason for its rainy reputation!

Atlanta is famous for its steamy summers, but the hot and humid days have plenty of heavy rain showers. 

Yes, Atlanta does get more rain than Seattle. While Seattle has more rainy days, Atlanta has more annual rainfall overall.

Why Did You Think Seattle is More Rainy?

seattle more rainy

Seattle gets its rainy reputation from the number of days with rain it has each year.

While its average annual rainfall cannot compete with Atlanta’s, it has more rainy days. On average, Seattle gets 152 days of rain each year.

For a day to be considered rainy enough to count, it must get a minimum of 0.01 inches. This is usually rain, but it can also be melted ice or snow that falls from the sky.

Seattle generally gets a mild amount of precipitation accumulating on the ground.

As this city is prone to frequent rain, it is no surprise that Seattle has more cloud cover than any other United States city.

But is Seattle the rainiest city? If you mean the number of days it rains, then yes. But for total rainfall, Atlanta comes out on top.

Tip: Be ready for rain every day in Seattle. There is a good chance you will get wet if you are out without an umbrella!

Atlanta is the Rainier City When it Comes to Total Rainfall

the rainier city

Atlanta far exceeds the U.S. total yearly rainfall average of 38.1 inches.

Atlanta residents can expect to see an average of between 47.12 and 51.5 inches of rain over the year.

The average annual rainfall for northern Georgia overall (non-mountain areas) ranges from 50 to 55 inches.

July is Atlanta’s Rainiest Month

More than five inches of rain generally falls during July in Atlanta. April gets the least rain, with almost 3.5 inches.

Yet this can vary from year to year. In fact, Atlanta’s record for the most rainfall in one day occurred on March 29, 1886.

Tip: Rain is just as much a part of the city of Atlanta as hot, humid temperatures. Keep your umbrella at hand.

Seattle, Washington Climate

washington climate

Seattle has a temperate, rainy climate. Rain is even more frequent in the winter than it is in the summer.

Overall, Seattle’s average temperature is 10.8 degrees Celsius.

Winter in Seattle

As we touched on earlier, there is especially frequent rain during Seattle winters. One perk of living in this city though is the relatively warm winters.

Those from areas of the country with extremely cold and snowy winters, like Minnesota, will find Seattle winters surprisingly balmy.

The average temperature during Seattle winters is approximately 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

Tip: Get different winter wear for Seattle than you’d wear in snowy places. Winter in Seattle is about rain, not snow.

Summer in Seattle

a summer

Seattle summers generally span early July through late September. Unlike Atlanta, Seattle has relatively dry summers.

The summers in Seattle are also much shorter. Hot temperatures are rare.

If there is any hot weather, it usually happens in September, which is usually the warmest time of year.

Fall in Seattle

There is a lot more rain in the fall than there is in the summer in Seattle.

There is quite a bit of variability in terms of what fall is like in this city.

Spring in Seattle

a spring

Spring in Seattle isn’t as rainy as the winter, and you notice things getting dryer as the summer approaches.

However, it’s still Seattle, so you should still be ready for a little bit of drizzle.

Why Does It Rain So Often in Seattle?

It’s the fact that Seattle is so close to the Pacific Ocean that causes frequent rain.

The enormous amounts of moisture that the ocean emits into the air hang there as vapor.

This will travel overland. When it gets to the Olympic Mountains and Seattle, it turns into rain.

The vapor has to get over the Olympic Mountains before it gets to Seattle. This helps to cut down on how much rain the city would get otherwise.

The vapor starts forming into rain when it meets the air over the mountains.

Atlanta, Georgia Climate

atlanta climate

Atlanta experiences all four seasons, and the summer is extremely hot. Any Atlanta resident will tell you about the scorching, humid summer days.

Winter in Atlanta

As it’s a southern location, it makes sense that Atlanta doesn’t have extremely cold winters.

The winters in this city are quite unpredictable, though.

Overall, you can expect the temperature to dip below freezing at night about 36 times per year. Winter in Atlanta lasts from November through March.

Summer in Atlanta

a summer

Atlanta summers are long, stretching from May to September. High temperatures from 90 to 99 degrees Fahrenheit are sometimes recorded.

On average, there is one summer day during which the temperature exceeds 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

Afternoon downpours and thunderstorms are common during Atlanta summers, and the temperature usually goes down quickly when these happen.

These storms tend to come on suddenly, and typically in the afternoon.

Tip: Stay hydrated as you explore Atlanta during the summer. Keep yourself safe from heatstroke.

Fall in Atlanta

a fall

Fall in Atlanta is much drier than the summer. The heat of the summer often extends into September and sometimes even October.

Why Does Atlanta Get So Much Rain?

With the weather of any geographic location, there is a wide range of factors that play a part in determining patterns.

Overall, however, the two main factors that cause Atlanta to have such a heavy annual rainfall are:

  • Its sudden (but frequent) summer thunderstorm downpours,
  • The tropical depressions that sometimes happen.
atlanta get so much rain

While the city of Atlanta certainly gets a large amount of rain, it doesn’t even approach the total rainfall that occurs at higher elevations nearby.

This includes the Blue Ridge region of the southern Appalachian Mountains. In fact, that area is considered a temperate rainforest.

Which US City Gets the Most Rain Each Year?

So, what city in the United States gets the most rain each year? It might surprise you to learn it’s not Seattle or Atlanta.

In fact, it’s not even in Washington State or Georgia.

The American city that gets the most rain every year is Mobile, Alabama. This city gets a whopping 67 inches of average rainfall every year.

city that get most rain

In terms of days with rain, about 59 of the days of each year include rain in Mobile.

Mobile’s rainiest month is usually July, with an average rainfall of 17.1 inches.

It’s Mobile’s location on the Gulf of Mexico and some other factors that make it so prone to rain. 

Read Next: Does Rain Increase Indoor Humidity?

Final Thoughts: Does Atlanta Get More Rain Than Seattle?

Now you know the answer to the common question, does Atlanta get more rain than Seattle? While it rains most often in Seattle, Atlanta has a higher total rainfall every year.

As we’ve learned here, Seattle gets on average 152 days of rain every year.

This city has the most cloud cover of all cities in the United States. Yet Atlanta gets more rain overall during the year.

A large component of Atlanta’s total rainfall comes from its sudden summer rainstorms. Some locals greet these with enthusiasm.

While Atlanta and Seattle are both known for their rain, neither is the rainiest city in the country.