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U.S. State Capitals with the Least Precipitation

Can you name the ten state capitals that get the least precipitation per year?
1991–2020 averages
Opposite quiz here
Quiz by Quizmaster
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Last updated: August 12, 2021
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First submittedJune 25, 2017
Times taken21,369
Average score70.0%
Rating4.34
1:30
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Inches
Capital
7.2
Phoenix
8.0
Carson City
10.9
Helena
11.5
Boise
13.0
Santa Fe
Inches
Capital
14.0
Denver
15.4
Cheyenne
15.5
Salt Lake City
16.3
Honolulu
18.1
Sacramento
+29
Level 82
Jun 25, 2017
I would've never guessed Honolulu. Beyond 45th try at least.
+2
Level 90
Jun 29, 2017
Agree.
+8
Level 89
Oct 20, 2017
I guessed it as a joke when I had 13 seconds left. :D
+1
Level 61
May 26, 2018
TRUE
+17
Level 87
Jun 26, 2017
Yes, the idea of Honolulu being drier than Oklahoma City comes as a bit of a surprise.
+11
Level 36
Oct 20, 2017
Honolulu drier than Pierre, South Dakota? Wow.
+9
Level 88
Oct 20, 2017
It's not necessarily "drier" than Oklahoma City or Pierre...it just gets less precipitation. If there was a quiz for average humidity, Honolulu would be much "wetter" that those cities.
+3
Level 75
Jun 26, 2017
Denver probably would have been my 45th guess
+3
Level 86
Aug 26, 2021
For me this was one of my first guesses. It averages about 300 sunny days a year and is extremely dry. It's a beautiful place, but it feels like a desert whenever I'm there (then again, my New Orleans skin feels like that a lot of places lol)
+3
Level 61
Aug 26, 2021
Living here, it was one of my first guesses. The mountains shield al the moisture coming from the Pacific, so it's really dry here.
+6
Level 79
Jun 27, 2017
Spoiler alert for those who haven't yet done the quiz on capitals with most snow: four of these with least precipitation also feature in that quiz!
+10
Level 66
Oct 20, 2017
Yet Hawaii is #1 on the quiz for states with the most precipitation. One of the islands out there must be getting pounded.
+4
Level 75
Oct 20, 2017
Yes, Kaua'i is often called "the wettest place on earth" with over 450 inches of rain per year. It rained every afternoon when we were there, and I assumed Oahu would have a similar type of weather pattern so I didn't even try it.
+3
Level 61
May 26, 2018
Never heard Kaua'i called that; Mawsynram, India is wetter with about 467.4 inches per year. Kaua'i is not in the top five (but is in the top ten).
+2
Level 87
Oct 1, 2020
Yeah, every time I go to Mawsynram I gotta bring extra rain-resistant jackets. :)
+1
Level 67
Mar 2, 2021
And I thought Seattle was wet with 35 inches a year...
+3
Level 73
Aug 26, 2021
Only parts of Kauai are that wet; other parts are veritable deserts. Same goes for most of the islands.
+5
Level 82
Oct 20, 2017
Honolulu... wow.. literally the last one I would have guessed. Maybe excepting... Baton Rouge.. Tallahassee?
+7
Level 68
Oct 22, 2017
I would have been very surprised by this as well, except that I was just visiting Kaneohe, which is about 10 miles from Honolulu and has 37 inches of precipitation. Honolulu is I think one of the best examples of a "rain shadow." The Trade Winds blow from the east, and as the air is lifted up the Koolau Ridge, it dumps rain on the eastern side. Once it crosses the ridge and descends the Honolulu side, there's no more rain. It only rains in Honolulu when the Kona Winds blow, which is rather rare, about 10% of the time.
+7
Level 73
Jun 15, 2018
It's amazing how many microclimates Hawaii has. As a weather enthusiast, I just love it. I think it is one of the most interesting small island chain climates I think. Or maybe I'm just biased as an American, but it's so fun driving around and just seeing the tremendous differences in flora mile to mile even.
+1
Level 69
Aug 13, 2021
Completely agree! We were there last month and it's absolutely amazing to see how quickly and completely the landscape shifts.
+3
Level 78
Oct 20, 2017
Precipitation in Hawaii varies wildly depending on which side of the island you are on. The north shore of Oahu would be very rainy, but Honolulu is on the dry side.
+1
Level 74
Oct 20, 2017
Really? I didn't know they could be that close and completely different.
+1
Level 60
Dec 4, 2017
thanks for explaining ! I was at wit's end when I tired Honolulu and Bang! right !
+1
Level 82
Nov 15, 2019
I remembered Honolulu. Only one I missed this time was Helena.
+1
Level 68
Apr 17, 2021
I've read that it is about 317 miles from Lihue, Kauai in the west to Hilo, Hawaii in the east of the Hawaiian islands. Really diverse for only a few hundred miles it seems. Have never been there...yet!
+1
Level 77
Sep 1, 2021
Yep, one of the wettest spots on earth is on Kauai. I should know, I lived there! Think it has to do with the way the mountains and cliffs rise from the ocean. All I remember was it flooding a lot...
+2
Level 79
Aug 26, 2021
I thought Honolulu was in the tropics, so it should have lots of rain 🤦‍♂️
+1
Level 30
Aug 26, 2021
Easy to understand but this doesn't mean a place has lots of rain
+1
Level 67
Sep 10, 2023
Wow Honolulu I would not have gotten that