Colorado has a wide range of climates from the high plains to the mountains and deserts as well. In many places, there’s not much rain. When it does come, it happens fast, often causing flash flooding.
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 Colorado: Average Annual Rainfall
We’ve sifted through the rainfall information at City-Data to find the top 20 cities in Colorado for the highest average annual rainfall. We’ve chosen only those cities with populations of 6,000 or more.
|4||Air Force Academy||21.3|
|14||Black Forest – Peyton||19.6|
Rainiest Cities and Towns in Colorado: 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 cities ranked by rainfall amount. The numbers are the amount of rain recorded for a single storm, often over just a few hours. We’ve left out cities that registered several times on the list, showing only their highest total.
|1||Fountain, El Paso County, July 23, 2018||3.2|
|2||Peyton, El Paso County, July 14, 2019||3.0|
|3||Beulah, Pueblo County, July 21, 2019||3.0|
|4||Trinidad, Las Animas County, June 19, 2020||3.0|
|5||Colorado Springs, El Paso County, July 23, 2018||2.8|
|6||Tyrone, Las Animas County, June 19, 2020||2.5|
|7||Ville Green, Las Animas County, Aug. 29, 2020||2.5|
|8||Higbee, Otero County, Aug. 29, 2020||2.5|
|9||Yellow Jacket, Montezuma County, July 1, 2016||2.2|
|10||Falcon, El Paso County, June 15, 2019||2.1|
|11||Manitou Springs, El Paso County, Aug. 6, 2020||2.1|
|12||Pueblo Airport, Pueblo County, June 17, 2019||2.0|
|13||Peterson AFB, El Paso County, Aug. 20, 2020||2.0|
|14||Norwood Airport, San Miguel County, Aug. 5, 2016||1.9|
|15||Hermosa, La Plata County, Aug. 5, 2016||1.7|
|16||Mancos, Montezuma County, Aug. 5, 2016||1.7|
|17||Wetmore, Custer County, Aug. 8, 2019||1.7|
|18||Cortez, Montezuma County, July 16, 2018||1.6|
|19||Black Forest, El Paso County, Aug. 8, 2019||1.5|
|20||Penrose, Fremont County, July 1, 2019||1.4|
Rain in Our Hometowns
We’ve gone deeper into the numbers for the locations in Colorado where we have offices.
Colorado Springs averages 18.6 inches annually. It’s ranked fifth on the list above for heavy rain events. On July 23, 2018, it not only reported a total rainfall of 2.8 inches, but 1.8 inches in just 20 minutes. The next year on July 21, 2019, it reported 1.5 inches in 30 minutes. So when it does rain, it happens quickly.
The average annual rainfall in Denver is 17 inches. It reported 1.5 inches of rain in only 30 minutes during a storm on July 19, 2016. On July 23, 2018, it recorded one to two inches in an hour.
How to Protect Your Home from Rain
The lists above show that Colorado gets plenty of rain on average as well as a decent amount during heavy rainfall and storms, often in just a few hours. So it’s important to make sure your home is protected from heavy rainfall.
Here are our recommendations.
- Install and maintain gutters and downspouts. Make sure your gutters and downspouts are sized correctly to carry the water that runs off your roof. See our article Calculating the Importance of Gutters and Drainage for more information. Remove leaves and clear obstructions as well as repair any damage on a regular basis.
- Install downspout extensions. These serve to take the water from the downspouts and route it away from your home’s foundation. It’s important to make sure water doesn’t collect around the walls of your basement or crawl space attempting to find any cracks or openings.
- Practice proper landscaping. Grading the soil around your foundation to allow water to flow away from the foundation is best practice. It helps continue the rainwater’s journey off the roof, into the gutters and downspouts, and away from the basement or crawl space.
- Waterproof your basement or crawl space. Inspect your foundation carefully both inside and outside. Then fix any basement or crawl space cracks as well as any openings for pipes and drain lines. Install a drainage system and sump pump with a backup battery to collect and remove leaks before they become 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 Complete Basement 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.