The 10 Driest Cities in the US

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Written by Jeremiah Wright

Updated: February 22, 2024

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Have you always wanted to live in a city with little rainfall? Well, migrating to some of the cities in the southwestern part of the United States may just be the solution. This area has some of the driest cities in the country, with yearly rainfall as low as 3 inches. We searched and identified the ten driest cities in the US, all of which are extremely arid. These cities are graded according to yearly rainfall averages. The list is occupied mainly by southwestern cities, including three cities from both Arizona and Nevada, two from California, and one each from Texas and Colorado.

The average annual rainfall in these places is less than 10 inches, with the majority of precipitation happening during the wet season, which is usually in the winter. Aside from that, the weather in these locations is sunny, dry, and frequently hot.

These are the driest cities in America.

In this article, only areas with a population of up to 25,000 have been considered. Also, the statistics used are as stated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Let’s begin!

1. Yuma

Yuma is situated in the southwestern part of Arizona.

TownStatePopulation (as of 2020)Average Annual Rainfall
YumaArizona203,8812.65 inches

In addition to being the sunniest and one of the warmest cities in the United States of America, Yuma is also the driest city in the country. The city is situated in the southwestern part of Arizona, has a population of about 203,881, and receives less than 3 inches of rain every year. On average, only about 2.65 inches of rainfall is recorded per year. 

2. Las Vegas

Las Vegas has an average of 4.19 inches of rainfall per year.

TownStatePopulation (as of 2020)Average Annual Rainfall
Las VegasNevada641,903 with about 1.8 million in surrounding area4.19 inches

Often referred to as the entertainment capital of the world, Las Vegas comes in second place on this list with an average of 4.19 inches of rainfall per year. With a population of 641,903 people in the city and about 1.8 million residents housed in the surrounding area, Las Vegas is the 26th most populous city in the United States.

3. Bishop

The city of Bishop is situated in the eastern part of California.

TownStatePopulation (as of 2020)Average Annual Rainfall
BishopCalifornia3,8195.61 inches

The city of Bishop is situated in the eastern part of California, along the north side of the Death Valley National Park. It is third on the list with an annual rain average of 5.61 inches. It is a small city that is home to up to 3,800 individuals. 

4. Bakersfield

The greater metro Bakersfield area has a population of over 800,000 people.

TownStatePopulation (as of 2020)Average Annual Rainfall
BakersfieldCalifornia403,4555.72 inches

Bakersfield, roughly 100 miles north of Los Angeles, is situated in south-central California and is fourth on the list with 5.72 inches of annual rainfall. The greater metro Bakersfield area has a population of over 800,000 people, making it the 62nd largest metropolitan area in the United States.

5. Phoenix

The average rainfall in Phoenix is 7.11 inches.

TownStatePopulation (as of 2020)Average Annual Rainfall
PhoenixArizona1.6 million with 4.3 million in surrounding metro region7.11 inches

Phoenix is the capital city of Arizona and one of the country’s major cities, with a population of 1.6 million people in the city and 4.3 million in the surrounding metro region. Its enormous population is owing in no tiny fraction to the bright, warm weather, and the city is the fifth driest in the United States. The average rainfall in Phoenix is 7.11 inches. 

6. Alamosa

Alamosa has a population of 16,376 people.

TownStatePopulation (as of 2020)Average Annual Rainfall
AlamosaColorado16,3767.13 inches

Situated in the San Luis Valley in south-central Colorado, Alamosa is number 6 on the list, with an average annual rainfall of 7.13 inches. It has a population of 16,376 people and is about 7,500 feet above sea level.

7. Reno

Reno metropolitan area has a population of 264,165 people.

TownStatePopulation (as of 2020)Average Annual Rainfall
RenoNevada264,1657.49 inches

Reno, which is sometimes referred to as the Biggest Little City in the World, is 7th on the list, with an average rainfall value of 7.49 inches. It is the 4th biggest city in Nevada, with a population of 264,165 in the Reno metropolitan area. 

8. Winslow

Winslow has an average rainfall of 7.64 inches per year.

TownStatePopulation (as of 2020)Average Annual Rainfall
WinslowArizona9,0057.64 inches

With an average rainfall of 7.64 inches per year, Winslow is the 8th driest city in the US. The city is situated in central Arizona and is approximately 70 miles from Flagstaff. It is home to a population of about 9,005 people.

9. El Paso

El Paso is the sixth biggest city in Texas.

TownStatePopulation (as of 2020)Average Annual Rainfall
El PasoTexas865,6577.82 inches

Situated in the far western part of Texas, El Paso is number 9 on this list. The city, famous for its dry climate, has an average annual rainfall of 7.82 inches. With a population of 865,657, it is the sixth biggest city in Texas and the 22nd biggest city in the United States.

10. Winnemucca

Winnemucca has a population of 8,431 people.

TownStatePopulation (as of 2020)Average Annual Rainfall
WinnemuccaNevada8,4317.822 inches

Situated in the north-central part of Nevada along Route 80, Winnemucca is the tenth driest city in America, averaging an annual rainfall of 7.822 inches. It has a population of 8,431.

Summary of The 10 Driest Cities in the US

NumberCity and StateAverage Annual Rainfall
1Yuma, AZ2.65 inches
2Las Vegas, NV4.19 inches
3Bishop, CA5.61 inches
4Bakersfield, CA5.72 inches
5Phoenix, AZ7.11 inches
6Alamosa, CO7.13 inches
7Reno, NV7.49 inches
8Winslow, AZ7.64 inches
9El Paso, TX7.82 inches
10Winnemucca, NV7.822 inches


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About the Author

I hold seven years of professional experience in the content world, focusing on nature, and wildlife. Asides from writing, I enjoy surfing the internet and listening to music.

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