Missouri has some beautiful forests and rivers. The water that makes much of that possible falls out of the clouds and arrives with thunderstorms and tornadoes. We’ve dug 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 five years. We’ll also touch on what you can do to protect your home from heavy rain damage.
Rainiest Cities and Towns in Missouri: Average Annual Rainfall
We’ve sifted through the rainfall information at City-Data to find the top 20 cities in Missouri for the highest average annual rainfall. We’ve chosen only those cities with populations of 6,000 or more.
|18||Fort Leonard Wood||44.5|
Rainiest Cities and Towns in Missouri: Heavy Rain Events
Average annual measures give you an idea of what and where you can expect rain every year. We’ve also reviewed NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information’s Storm Events Database. We set the range for Nov. 30, 2015, to Nov. 30, 2020, reviewing the heavy rain events recorded during those five years.
Here are the top 20 ranked by rainfall amount. Amounts shown are those registered over a 24-hour period. We’ve left out cities that registered several times on the list, showing only their highest total.
|1||Plad, Dallas County, Dec. 28, 2015||8.9|
|2||Purvis, Camden County, Aug. 6, 2017||8.5|
|3||Battlefield, Greene County, Dec. 27, 2015||8.0|
|4||Billings, Christian County, Dec. 27, 2015||7.7|
|5||Hanstonka, Camden County, Aug. 6, 2017||7.7|
|6||Butterfield, Barry County, Dec. 27, 2015||7.4|
|7||Mt. Hilda, Benton County, Aug. 6, 2017||7.3|
|8||Oakland, Laclede County, Aug. 10, 2020||7.0|
|9||Sackville, Greene County, Dec. 27, 2015||6.9|
|10||Lebanon Jones Field, Laclede County, Dec. 27, 2015||6.7|
|11||Forsyth, Taney County, Oct. 10, 2019||6.5|
|12||Republic, Greene County, Dec. 27, 2015||6.4|
|13||Hickory Barren, Greene County, Dec. 27, 2015||6.4|
|14||Verona, Lawrence County, Dec. 27, 2015||6.4|
|15||St. Robert, Pulaski County, Aug. 6, 2017||6.4|
|16||Neosho, Newton County, April 29, 2017||6.3|
|17||Lincoln, Benton County, Aug. 29, 2019||6.3|
|18||Hollister, Taney County, Oct. 10, 2019||6.1|
|19||Banker Cave, Shannon County, July 30, 2020||6.1|
|20||Camdenton, Camden County, July 21, 2019||6.0|
There are a few cities that deserve a special mention:
- Langston on March 13, 2016, with 4.7 inches in two hours.
- Rocky Comfort on July 17, 2020, with 4.1 inches in one hour.
- Bernie on Dec. 17, 2015, with two inches in 45 minutes.
Rain in Our Hometowns
We’ve gone a bit deeper into the numbers for the locations in Missouri where we have offices.
Kansas City’s average annual rainfall comes in at 36.3 inches. Very heavy rain fell on
August 21 and 22, 2017, reaching eight to 10 inches in places.
Springfield sees 44.5 inches during an average year. During the heavy rains of Dec. 27, 2015, 10 inches of rain were recorded over a 30-hour period.
How to Protect Your Home from Rain
The lists above show that Missouri gets plenty of rain on average as well as an all-too-impressive amount during heavy rainfall and storms. That makes it important to make sure your home is protected.
Here are our recommendations of things to consider in protecting your home.
- Gutters and downspouts. Your gutters and downspouts need to be sized adequately to carry the water that runs off your roof. Make sure to remove leaves and clear obstructions as well as repair any damage. See our article Calculating the Importance of Gutters and Drainage for more information.
- Downspout extensions. These serve to take the water from the downspouts and route it well away from your home’s foundation. You don’t want water collecting around the walls of your basement or crawl space trying to find cracks or openings.
- Landscaping. Grade the soil around your foundation to allow water to flow away from the foundation. When water runs off the roof, into gutters, and downspouts, it will then continue its journey away from your basement or crawl space.
- Clay bowl effect. The soil surrounding your foundation has a different drainage factor than the surrounding soil. During construction, the soil was excavated, the foundation built, and then the soil was replaced. So it is loose, and as a result, it allows water to flow toward the basement or crawl space. It essentially forms a bowl that gathers water around the foundation.
- Waterproofing. Inspect your foundation carefully and fix any basement or crawl space cracks as well as any openings for pipes and drain lines. Install an interior drainage system and sump pump to collect and remove leaks before they become flooding problems.
As you can tell, rainwater can find its way into your basement or crawl space, whether it’s a gentle rain or one of the torrential rainfalls we’ve listed above.
We recommend that you consult the professionals at Foundation Recovery Systems 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.