FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – It may reside squarely in the "Sunshine State," but Fort Lauderdale is currently crowned as the wettest major city in America this year, with over 100 inches of rain so far – and counting.
With another heavy rain event in progress this week, Fort Lauderdale was sitting at nearly 102 inches of rain this year through Wednesday morning – less than an inch from its all-time wettest year of 102.56 inches set in 1947.
Several more inches of rain fell Wednesday, which would shatter the annual rainfall record, but the rain gauge at the city's official reporting site of Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood Airport failed Wednesday morning and ceased reporting. A nearby gauge at Fort Lauderdale's Executive Airport reported nearly 9 inches by Wednesday night, but the National Weather Service will have to later determine how much rain to include the town's official tally.
Fort Lauderdale averages about 60.95 inches of rain per year.
According to FOX Weather Senior Weather Data Specialist Shane Brown, Fort Lauderdale currently leads every major city with an official weather reporting station in America for annual rainfall. That even includes rainy stalwarts of Hilo, Hawaii (86.05 inches) and Forks, Washington (70.24 inches).
It even bests small towns along the Olympic Rain Forest in Washington – usually considered the wettest spot in the Lower 48. Quinault has received 99.52 inches of rain so far, while the town of Humptulips is close behind at 98.35 inches.
There are a few small towns in Alaska like Ketchikan and Yakutat that have more than 102 inches of rain, as well as some remote stations in mountainous areas, but as far as major cities go, none hold a candle to Fort Lauderdale.
How did Fort Lauderdale get to 100 inches of rain?
Even though Fort Lauderdale only received 0.03 inches of rain in January, the city reached the century mark thanks to multiple soaking rain events – none more impactful than the historic flooding rain event of April 13.
The city received over 25 inches of rain in 24 hours – setting a preliminary statewide record for daily rainfall.
The city would go on to have six consecutive months with above-average rainfall, including 27 days this year with at least an inch of rain.
Rainfall totals will get another boost this week
There will be no wringing out in South Florida any time soon.
A tropically infused area of low pressure is bringing another round of heavy, flooding rainfall to the region this week. Fort Lauderdale already received 2.75 inches on Tuesday and could see an additional 6-8 inches or more of rain through Thursday night.
Flood Watches remain in effect through Thursday.
Editor’s Note: This story has been updated to provide additional clarification that Fort Lauderdale leads every major U.S. city with an official weather reporting station as is noted in the first paragraph.