What is the wettest place in the world?

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Dear Tom,
What is the wettest place in the world? How does it compare with the wettest place in the United States?

Jimmy Wilford, Chicago

Dear Jimmy,
The world record holder for precipitation is Mawsynram in Meghalaya State, India, with 467.36 inches of rainfall annually. The second-wettest location goes to Cherrapunji, also in Meghalaya State, India, with 463.66 inches of precipitation annually. These two places, located in northeastern India, are only about ten miles apart.
In the United States, the wettest spot is Mount Waialeale on the island of Kauai in the Hawaiian Islands. Annual precipitation there is 460.00 inches. In the 48 contiguous states, the wettest location is Aberdeen Reservoir in Washington with average yearly precipitation of 130.60 inches.

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