Friday, October 31st, 2014
Mostly True
Buss
Tallahassee is "the ninth-rainiest (city) in the nation."

John Buss on Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011 in comments before a state House subcommittee

A gloomy claim: Tallahassee is the ninth-rainiest city in America

A dreary claim about Florida's capital city.

At the end of a gloomy week in Tallahassee (weather-wise), we offer this depressing weather update.

The state's capital city, it turns out, is one of the rainiest places in the country.

So says John Buss, the water resources manager for the city of Tallahassee, who made the claim while testifying against HB 457 -- a bill that would prohibit local governments from regulating the use of fertilizers and leave that power with the state. Buss was trying to make the point that different communities have different issues when it comes to regulating fertilizer use, and that a one-size-fits-all approach won't work.

"Tallahassee is the second-rainiest city in Florida and the ninth-rainiest in the nation," he told members of the House Community & Military Affairs subcommittee on March 23, 2011. "When you get our seven-inch rainfalls in six hours ... you wash the fertilizers into the waterways."

Forget about the fertilizer bill for a moment, we wanted to check his stats on rain in Tallahassee.

Believe it or not, he's not that far off.

Weatherbill, a company that provides weather insurance for the agricultural industry, analyzed 30 years' worth of U.S. rainfall data collected from 200 National Weather Service stations in 195 cities across the 48 continental states to identify the average rainfall per city in inches, among other things.

The result?

Tallahassee collects the ninth-most rain among U.S. cities, averaging 60.5 inches of rain per year, the analysis found.

It was one of several Florida cities to make the Top 10 list (something Buss got wrong in his comments to House members). Pensacola ranked second among U.S. cities with 64.6 inches of rain on average per year; West Palm Beach ranked fourth with 62.5 inches, and Miami ranked seventh with 61.5 inches of rain per year.

The No. 1 rainiest city? No, not Portland (42nd) or Seattle (41st).

It is Mobile, Ala., Weatherbill concluded, with 66.9 inches of rain each year.

Buss said Tallahassee is the second-rainiest city in Florida -- Weatherbill says it's fourth -- and he forgot to mention that the rainfall averages exclude Hawaii and Alaska. But this is still dreary news. Tallahassee is the ninth-rainiest city in the Lower 48. We rate this claim Mostly True.