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The Rainiest Days in U.S. History

June 17, 2022

We dug deep into the NOAA climate database to find the places in the U.S. which received the most rain in a single day in recorded history. Here's what we found.
Note: This only includes entries in the NOAA database. Other sources report places that received more rain, but I can't verify their accuracy.
August 4, 1978
29.0 inches (73.8 cm)
According to NOAA records, the rainiest day in U.S. history happened in the tiny town of Albany about 100 miles west of Dallas. While I'm slightly skeptical of this record, the USGS has confirmed the total which was caused by remnants of the tropical storm Amelia. Six people died in the resultant flooding.
Records from nearby cities suggest that it's possible this record is a measurement error. For example, in the city of Abilene, 20 miles distant, only 6.3" of rain was recorded for that day. That's an incredible amount of rain for a single day, but less than a quarter of the amount recorded in Albany.
August 29, 2017
26.0 inches (66.1 cm)
Hurricane Harvey was the first hurricane to strike Texas in twelve years. It certainly made up for lost time. After dumping more than three feet of rain over Houston in a five-day period, it moved up the coast to Port Arthur, where it deposited 26 inches over the course of a single day. In total, Port Arthur got 47" of rain in one week, about the same as New York City gets in an entire year.
3. Alvin, Texas
July 26, 1979
25.8 inches (65.4 cm)
I rate this record as plausible. Just ten miles away, Houston reported "only" 5.51 inches of rain that same day and 4.88 the day before.
July 20, 1997
24.0 inches (60.9 cm)
Fun fact: originally named Massacre Island, Dauphin Island gained its current name in honor of Louis XV, then the "dauphin" or heir to the French throne.
Hurricane Danny was responsible for the absolutely massive amount of rain falling on the island in July of 1997.
November 11, 1980
22.8 inches (57.8 cm)
Being located in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico seems pretty great when you enjoy balmy temperatures all year round. Except, that is, for the rare occasions when the warm ocean air creates a tropical storm – delivering a massive smack to anyone in its reach. Although Hurricane Jeanne never reached the mainland of the U.S., it was still able to dump nearly two feet of rain on Key West in a single day.
6. Mountain View, Hawaii
February 20, 1979
22.7 inches (57.7 cm)
Nearby Hilo received over 28" over a two day span.
7. Hackberry, Louisiana
August 29, 1962
22.0 inches (55.9 cm)
8. Ke‘Anae, Maui, Hawaii
November 21, 1924
22.0 inches (55.9 cm)
9. Mountain View, Hawaii
January 16, 1921
21.4 inches (54.4 cm)
Mountain View appears on our list a second time.
10. Americus, Georgia
July 6, 1994
21.1 inches (53.6 cm)
Tropical Storm Alberto was the cause of this very severe and very localized rainfall. 31 people died in the resulting floods.