Q: This has been a very dry summer. Whatâ€™s the driest place on Earth?
A: That would have to be in the country of Chile, says Brent McRoberts of Texas A&M University. “A small town called Arica in Chile has gone as long as 14 years without any measurable rain,â€ McRoberts reports. “There was a 59-year period there when it averaged only three-tenths of an inch of rain. No place in the United States comes close to being that dry.â€
Q: What is the driest place in the U.S.?
A: Naturally, itâ€™s out west, McRoberts says. “Death Valley in California is considered the driest location in the U.S,â€ he adds. “The combination of desert and being below sea level makes it a very dry area, receiving less than two inches of rain each year. Nevada is the driest state, averaging 7.5 inches of rain each year. Thatâ€™s still no comparison to Arica, Chile. It would take a full century â€“ at least 100 years â€“ of their annual rainfall to fill a coffee cup full of water.â€