The Top 10 U.S. Capital Cities That Get the Most Rain

Rain water drop falling to the floor in heavy rain day
© TRR/Shutterstock.com

Written by Joyce Nash

Published: January 3, 2024

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If you’re planning on visiting capital cities across the United States, you’ll need to pack an umbrella and rain boots. Some areas of the United States can see nearly 60 inches of rain each year, but which capital city is the wettest? Keep reading to learn about the top 10 rainiest capital cities in the U.S.

10. Columbia, South Carolina — 46.3 inches

Aerial view of the South Carolina skyline at dusk in Columbia, SC. Columbia is the capital of the U.S. state of South Carolina and serves as the county seat of Richland County

Columbia is only 13 miles from the center of South Carolina.

©Mihai_Andritoiu/Shutterstock.com

Sitting at the confluence of the Broad and Saluda Rivers, South Carolina’s capital city receives an average of 46.3 inches of rain each year. Columbia typically sees 3-4 inches of rain each month, although June and July are the wettest months, each seeing at least five inches of rain each year.

Columbia is located in central South Carolina and was named after explorer Christopher Columbus. It was designated as the state capital in 1786, although it would be almost another century before Columbia was incorporated as a city. Today, there are plenty of indoor activities to explore on a rainy day in Columbia, including museums, the Boyd Foundation Aquarium, and the Columbia Marionette Theater.

9. Raleigh, North Carolina — 46.58 inches

Raleigh, NC is lovely in the spring.

Although it is the state’s capital, Raleigh is the second most populous city in North Carolina.

©iStock.com/Mark Howard

Raleigh ranks on the list of rainiest capital cities with an average annual rainfall of 46.58 inches. As a southern state, North Carolina summers are often hot and humid but the winter months are mild with average low temperatures around 32 degrees Fahrenheit. June, July, August, and September are the rainiest months in Raleigh, with each receiving at least four inches of precipitation.

Despite its rainy weather, Raleigh is a hub for commerce, culture, and manufacturing. The city boasts multiple universities, museums, and historic sites to explore — but don’t forget to pack your umbrella!

8. Nashville, Tennessee — 47.25 inches

Nashville, Tennessee, is the seventh most populated capital city in the U.S., with a population of around 669,053 people.

Nashville sees nearly 50 inches of precipitation a year, including around seven inches of snow.

©Kaldari / public domain. - Original / License

While many of the country’s rainiest capital cities are located in coastal states, Nashville receives an average annual rainfall of 47.25 inches despite being landlocked. May is typically the wettest month in Nashville with around 5.5 inches of rain each year. The city typically receives 1-3 inches of snow in December, January, February, and March.

Nashville is located in north-central Tennessee, where it sits at the base of the Highland Rim. In addition to its hilly terrain, the Cumberland River winds through northern Nashville. Along with heavy rain and snowfall, the city is vulnerable to floods and tornadoes.

7. Little Rock, Arkansas — 49.57 inches

Downtown Little Rock Aerial

Little Rock is situated to the east of the Ouachita Mountains along the Arkansas River.

©Rdlamkin/iStock via Getty Images

Arkansas is known as the “Natural State” due to its vast mountains, valleys, and densely forested areas. The state’s capital, Little Rock, is located in the central region of the state along the banks of the Arkansas River. Little Rock receives around 49.57 inches of rain each year. During most months, the city receives 3.5-5 inches of rain, although September and August each receive only 2.5-3 inches of rain.

Little Rock is the largest city in Arkansas, and its climate is considered subtropical. During the winter, temperatures typically stay above 32 degrees Fahrenheit. However, the summers are hot and humid, with temperatures climbing to nearly 90 degrees.

6. Atlanta, Georgia — 49.74 inches

Atlanta, Georgia, USA downtown skyline.

Atlanta typically sees an average of 3-4 inches of rain each month.

©Sean Pavone/Shutterstock.com

Georgia is a Southern state that borders the Atlantic Ocean, and its capital is among the rainiest capital cities in the country. Atlanta sees an annual average of 49.74 inches of rain. Rainfall in the city is distributed throughout the year, but July is the wettest month, typically seeing over five inches of rain.

In 2018, Atlanta received record-breaking rainfall when 4.16 inches fell in a single day. The city’s previous rainfall record for April 23 had been set in 1883 with 2.4 inches of rain. However, this falls short of the city’s all-time record for daily rainfall of 7.36 inches of rain, which fell on the city on March 29, 1886.

5. Olympia, Washington — 50 inches

Aerial view of Olympia Washington

Olympia is about 60 miles south of Puget Sound.

©Always Wanderlust/Shutterstock.com

Located on the southern end of Puget Sound, Olympia is one of the nation’s rainiest capital cities with an average of 50 inches of precipitation each year. However, around 12 inches of the city’s annual precipitation falls in the form of snow each winter. November, December, and January are the wettest months in Olympia, each seeing 7-8 inches in total precipitation. The summer months in Olympia are relatively dry, with less than an inch of rain typically falling on the city in July and August.

Washington State is located in the Pacific Northwest. The state’s topography includes mountains, thick forests, prairies, and wetlands. Olympia has played an important role in the state’s history despite its rainy conditions. The city housed the Customs District Authority during the 19th century, and later, it housed ship-building workers during WWII.

4. Montgomery, Alabama — 53.07 inches

Drone Aerial View of Downtown Montgomery Alabama AL Skyline

Alabama’s capital city, Montgomery, is located on the Alabama River.

©Kevin Ruck/Shutterstock.com

Alabama is a southern state that borders the Gulf of Mexico. Its topography includes mountainous areas in the north and low-lying flatlands and coastal areas to the south. Alabama’s hot, humid environment supports a wide diversity of flora and fauna, ranking fifth in the nation for biodiversity.

The state’s capital city, Montgomery, is located in the central region of the state along the banks of the Alabama River. Montgomery receives an average of 53.07 inches of rain each year. February, March, and July are the rainiest months of the year, each seeing at least five inches of rainfall.

3. Jackson, Mississippi — 54.14 inches

Jackson, Mississippi

Jackson is Mississippi’s capital and its largest city.

©Sean Pavone/Shutterstock.com

In the southern U.S., Mississippi’s capital city receives an annual average of 54.14 inches of rain. The city sees a steady amount of rain throughout the year, with each month receiving around 4-5 inches. 

Jackson is used to rainy conditions, but heavy rainfall during the summer of 2022 left over 150,000 city residents without running water. The Pearl River and the Ross Barnett Reservoir flooded, knocking out operations at the city’s water treatment plant. Despite these setbacks, Jackson continues to be known as the “City with Soul” for its cultural heritage, food, and entertainment scene.

2. Tallahassee, Florida — 59.23 inches

Blue Sky Behind White Clouds Over the State Capitol of Florida in Tallahassee

Florida’s capital city sees nearly 60 inches of rain each year.

©Blue Sky Behind White Clouds Over the State Capitol on Florida in Tallahassee/Shutterstock.com

Florida is a peninsula in the southern U.S. that juts into the Atlantic Ocean. The Gulf of Mexico lies to the west of Florida, making it the only state to border both of these bodies of water. Florida boasts over 600 miles of beaches and more than 800 miles of coastline. With so much nearby water, Florida is vulnerable to rainy weather as warm, humid air blows in from the Atlantic Ocean or the Gulf of Mexico.

Although Florida is known as the Sunshine State, its capital city is among the rainiest in the nation. Tallahassee receives an average of 59.23 inches of precipitation each year. The city experiences rain year-round, but a whopping seven inches of rain typically falls in Tallahassee each June, July, and August.

1. Baton Rouge, Louisiana — 60.65 inches

Aerial photo Downtown Baton Rouge Louisiana USA

Baton Rouge is located along the eastern bank of the Mississippi River.

©Felix Mizioznikov/Shutterstock.com

Located in the southeastern United States on the Gulf of Mexico, Louisiana has a subtropical climate that sustains vast swampy areas and bayous. With hot, humid summers and mild, wet winters, Baton Rouge is the rainiest capital city in the U.S. The city sees an annual average of 60.65 inches of precipitation. June is Baton Rouge’s wettest month, typically receiving around 6.5 inches of rain.

In 2021, Baton Rouge experienced its third-wettest year with nearly 80 inches of recorded rain. Although there was above-average rain throughout most of the year, October, November, and December 2021 were among the driest months on record.

Summary of the Rainiest U.S. Capital Cities

RankCityAverage Annual Precipitation
#1Baton Rouge, Louisiana60.65 inches
#2Tallahassee, Florida59.32 inches
#3Jackson, Mississippi54.14 inches
#4Montgomery, Alabama53.07 inches
#5Olympia, Washington50 inches
#6Atlanta, Georgia49.74 inches
#7Little Rock, Arkansas49.57 inches
#8Nashville, Tennessee47.25 inches
#9Raleigh, North Carolina46.58 inches
#10Columbia, South Carolina46.3 inches


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About the Author

Joyce Nash is a writer at A-Z Animals primarily covering travel and geography. She has almost a decade of writing experience. Her background ranges from journalism to farm animal rescues and spans the East Coast to the West. She is based in North Carolina, and in her free time, she enjoys reading, hiking, and spending time with her husband and two cats.

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