There are four seasons throughout the year — spring, summer, fall, and winter. Some seasons are bright and sunny, while others are cold and rainy. Those who love bright and sunny weather may wonder which of the four seasons is the least rainy.

Generally, winter is the season that sees the least amount of rain. However, this does not necessarily mean there is no precipitation, as snow is most prominent during this season. 

Below, we will discuss more information on which seasons you can expect to be dry and which see the most rain. Keep reading to learn more!

What is the Least Rainy Season?

Winter is generally considered the least rainy season. This is because, as the temperature drops, raindrops turn into fluffy snowflakes. 

Precipitation is still in the air, but it presents itself in a different form. 

Many of the driest states average less than an inch of precipitation each month during winter. 

These areas tend to have hearty vegetation, such as cactus and yucca.

What Season Has the Least Amount of Precipitation?

In addition to rain, US citizens typically see the least amount of precipitation in general during the winter season. This is because cold winds can’t carry moisture, and wind travels over land instead of the ocean. This means the cold winter wind cannot pick up any moisture.

Although winter can be quite snowy, there is usually not as much precipitation during this season as people think there is. 

People perceive winter as wetter because snow sticks around for longer due to consistently cold temperatures. 

In the United States, the winter season sees an annual average of 5.77 inches of rain. 

What is the Rainiest Season of the Year?

While some people believe spring is the rainiest season, the truth is that summer is actually rainier.

The warm temperatures allow the air to hold more moisture, resulting in more rain and thunderstorms. 

During the summer, clouds grow with the weight of this moisture. 

When they get too heavy, they release moisture in the form of rain. Peak summer rain is called “convectional rainfall.” 

What Are the Least Rainy States in the US?

Most people could do with less slow, gray days full of rain and naps. 

If this sounds like you, perhaps you’re wondering which states in the US see the least amount of annual rainfall

Many of the driest states average less than an inch of precipitation a month. These include:

  • California
  • South Dakota
  • Montana
  • New Mexico

Below, we will discuss these areas’ annual rainfall.


California is known as “the Golden State” due to its history with the Gold Rush. 

But, some people believe California is known as the Golden State simply because of the sheer amount of sunshine they see every day.

For this reason, it is no surprise that California is one of the driest states.

This sunny state receives an average of only 22 inches of rain each year and 278 days of sunshine annually. 

South Dakota

South Dakota, famous for stunning Mount Rushmore, is another one of the driest states in the US. 

On average, it receives 19.1 inches per year. 

South Dakota is full of grasslands that can grow with minimal water, making the area great for ranching. 


Montana is a beautiful state full of snow-capped mountains, natural mineral resources, and a diversity of wildlife.

This state only receives 15.2 inches of rain annually. Nicknamed “Big Sky,” it is also full of vast, grassy prairies. 

New Mexico

Receiving only 13.85 inches of rain per year, New Mexico ranks as the driest state on this list. 

This state is famous as the birthplace of the nuclear bomb and home to the ancient Pueblo people. 

What is the Driest Place on Earth?

Although many people think of the poles when considering the driest place on Earth, the Atacama Desert is actually the driest place on Earth. 

This desert receives less than 1mm of rain per year. Some desolate areas haven’t seen any rain in over 500 years. 

The terrain is so dry that it resembles the moon. Because of that, it is used to test lunar missions. 

Some sections are over 7000 miles wide and over 82 feet of depth, containing just salt. The land lies 2-3 miles above sea level, contributing to its dryness. 

In Conclusion

Rainy areas are often rich in vegetation, clean of dust, and have cooler temperatures. 

But, areas that have less rain tend to have more days of sunshine, dryer surroundings, and heartier vegetation. 

Winter is considered the driest season in the US, averaging 5.77 inches of rain annually. This is because the cold winds of winter do not carry moisture well. 

Since the winds travel over land, there is no chance for the winds to pick up any moisture from the ocean. 

Some of the driest states in the US receive under 20 inches of rain per year and are great for ranching, hiking, and exploring.