Ketchikan maintains reputation for rain in 2001

Posted: Thursday, January 10, 2002

KETCHIKAN (AP) -- The year 2001 did nothing to diminish Ketchikan's reputation for rain.

The National Weather Service said 183.95 inches of precipitation fell on the city last year, more than 46 inches above the community's average of 137.4 inches.

The city had only 96 days in 2001 when it was not raining, snowing, sleeting, sprinkling or hailing.

The total continues a recent trend. It was the third year in a row in which precipitation was at least 30 inches over the average annual rainfall in Ketchikan.

However, the total last year was not close to the record rainfall for the city. In 1949 the community was moistened with 202.19 inches of rain or snow. In contrast, the driest year on record is 1982, when 87.49 inches fell.

Ketchikan' total last year adds up to more than 15 feet of rainfall, but it's not the wettest populated spot in the state.

Based on a 30-year history from 1961 to 1991, the National Climatic Data Center's Monthly Station Normals of Temperature, Precipitation and Heating and Cooling Degree Days reports that Little Port Walter on Baranof Island is the wettest populated spot in Alaska, averaging 225.9 inches of rain a year during that time frame.

Next in line was Port Alexander, also on Baranof Island, with 165.4 inches, followed by Yakutat in northern Southeast Alaska with 151.25 inches.

The Alaska record for the most rain in one year is 332.29 inches in 1976 on Montague Island's MacLeod Harbor, about 70 miles east of Seward.

Hawaii takes the prize for the wettest place in the United States with an average annual rainfall of 460 inches on Mt. Waialeale, on the island of Kauai. In 1982, a record 704.83 inches fell on Kukui on the island of Maui. That's more than 58 feet, or nearly two inches of rain every day of the year.

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