Virginia gets plenty of rain throughout the year along with several storms along the way. Here are the top 20 rainiest cities and towns.
We’ve dug deep into the data and ranked the rainiest cities and towns. We look specifically at average annual rainfall followed by the top rainfall events over the past year. We also touch on what you can do to protect your home from heavy rain damage.
Rainiest Cities and Towns in Virginia: Average Annual Rainfall
We’ve sifted through the rainfall information at City-Data to find the top 20 cities in Virginia for the highest average annual rainfall. We’ve chosen only those cities with populations of 6,000 or more.
|6.||University of Virginia||48.4|
Rainiest Cities and Towns in Virginia: Heavy Rain Events
Average annual measures give you an idea of what rain you can expect every year. We’ve also reviewed NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information’s Storm Events Database. We set the range for Nov. 30, 2019, to Nov. 30, 2020, reviewing the heavy rain events recorded during that year.
Here are the top 20 cities ranked by rainfall amount. The numbers are the amount of rain recorded over a 24-hour period. We’ve left out cities that registered several times on the list, showing only their highest total.
|1.||Midlothian, Chesterfield County||Aug. 15, 2020||11.2|
|2.||Mollusk, Lancaster County||Sept. 9, 2020||8.9|
|3.||Smithfield, Isle of Wight County||Sept. 9, 2020||8.4|
|4.||Claremont, Surry County||Aug. 15, 2020||8.3|
|5.||South Boston, Halifax County||June 16, 2020||7.9|
|6.||Tabb, York County||Aug. 15, 2020||7.9|
|7.||Virginia Beach, Virginia Beach County||Aug. 6, 2020||7.7|
|8.||Ruther Glen, Caroline County||Nov. 11, 2020||7.6|
|9.||Deep Creek, Chesapeake County||Nov. 11, 2020||7.6|
|10.||Suffolk, Suffolk County||Nov. 11, 2020||7.5|
|11.||Riverdale, Halifax County||June 17, 2020||7.4|
|12.||Hampton, Hampton County||Nov. 11, 2020||7.2|
|13.||Drewryville, Southampton County||Sept. 9, 2020||7.1|
|14.||Norfolk, Norfolk County||Nov. 11, 2020||6.9|
|15.||Portsmouth, Portsmouth County||Nov. 11, 2020||6.9|
|16.||Toano, James City County||Aug. 3, 2020||6.8|
|17.||Copper Hill, Floyd County||June 17, 2020||6.7|
|18.||Five Forks, James City County||Aug. 15, 2020||6.7|
|19.||Oyster Point, Newport News County||Nov. 11, 2020||6.6|
|20.||Richmond, Richmond County||Aug. 15, 2020||6.3|
Rain in Our Hometowns
We’ve also looked at the rainfall in our hometowns.
Richmond (our Chester location) averages 44 inches per year. and it comes in at 20th on the list of heavy rain events in 2020.
Roanoke comes in at 42.5 inches on average. It also got hit with major rain beginning on May 19, 2020, totaling 11.3 inches over the next four days.
The average rainfall in Virginia Beach is 45.9 inches, ranking 20th in the state. It ranked seventh above with a major rainfall of 7.7 inches on August 6, 2020.
How to Protect Your Home from Rain
The lists above show that Virginia has plenty of annual precipitation along with a fair number of heavy rainfall events from storms to torrential rain. Given that climate, it’s critical to make sure your home is protected.
Here are our recommendations.
- Install and maintain gutters and downspouts. Heavy rain can cause a cascade of water off your roof and onto the foundation below. It’s essential to control that water with your gutters and downspouts, moving it away from the foundation. Review our article Calculating the Importance of Gutters and Drainage to make sure you have the right size. It’s also important to remove leaves and clear obstructions on a regular basis.
- Install downspout extensions. Even though the downspouts are sized correctly and free of obstructions, they need to route the water well away from the foundation. That’s where extensions come into play. Make sure you install extensions and keep them clear.
- Practice proper landscaping. Once the water emerges from the downspout extensions, it needs to keep moving. Grading the soil around your home to help the water move away is the best approach. That helps alleviate any buildup of water around your basement or crawl space.
- Waterproof your basement or crawl space. Even with all that, water is going to seep into the soil and form around the walls of your basement or crawl space. Find and fix any cracks as well as any openings for pipes and drain lines. Also, install a drainage system and sump pump with a backup battery to collect and remove leaks before they become problems.
Those are good starting points for protecting your home. We also recommend that you consult the professionals at JES Foundation Repair for a free inspection and repair estimate to identify any issues with your basement or crawl space that need attention in preparation for heavy rains.