You know it rains more in Houston than Seattle?

Look, look, look … before we get too far into this party, you can slice data in a million different ways and contextualize it in a million different ways. (If you don’t believe that, go get into an argument with a family member. I’ll wait. Everything you’re arguing about is a “data point,” technically, and I guarantee you that you see it one way and the family member sees it a totally different way — and honestly, you’re both probably right.)

Everyone associates Seattle with rain. Like, everyone. I’ve been there a total of six-seven times now (my current office has a branch there, so sometimes I go for work) and out of the 20 total days of my life I’ve been there, I think it’s rained two-three. Doesn’t seem that rainy to me personally, but I mean, my sample size is incredibly small.

One time in graduate school, I went to a presentation by a Microsoft HR dude (this guy) and one of his slides was about how the whole “it rains all the time in Seattle” situation is a farce. (Later ended up getting a fly-out interview for Microsoft, then bombing it. Real Sliding Doors moment for me.)

Anyway, maybe it doesn’t really rain that much in Seattle. 

Per here, there’s this:


Seattle gets about 37.4-38 inches of precipitation a year. Now check this:

The differences in dampness are often vast. Seattle gets 37.5 inches of precipitation during an average year, a drop in the rain barrel compared to 126.7 inches in Hilo, Hawaii, and 141.3 inches in Ketchikan, Alaska. Many cities not associated with showers in America’s consciousness trump Seattle. There are 49.7 inches in Atlanta, for instance, 49.8 in Houston, 44.7 in New York, and 41.5 in Washington, D.C.

So technically, it rains 12 inches more per year in Houston than it does in Seattle. Odd, right?

There is an important caveat to consider, however. When the guy who did this research tweeted it, look at this response sequence:

So if you do it by “percent of time it’s raining,” Seattle (or another Pacific Northwest city) might win that belt. In fairness, though, nothing is touching the city of Lloro, Colombia on this metric.


Ted Bauer