Special Report

Driest Places on Earth

Charles Stockdale

From the frigid terrains of Antarctica to the scorching deserts of Africa to the often drought-stricken regions of North and South America, areas that get little to no rainfall tend to have harsh environments.

While many such hostile regions of the planet are barren of life, others have been inhabited for millennia by humans driven to exist across the Earth’s most inhospitable landscapes.

To identify the driest places on Earth, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed average annual rainfall recorded by weather stations around the world and compiled by the Global Historical Climatology Network, a program of the U.S. National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI).

We calculated the average annual rainfall from precipitation in the years 1997 through 2018. Weather stations that did not have at least five years of data available between 1997 and 2018 were not considered.

These places often have small populations that rely on water-related technologies to survive in their surroundings. These include the residents of many Saharan locations using time-tested irrigation techniques, as well as the research teams located in the deserts of Antarctica. These people’s approaches to life differ drastically from those living in the cities with the best weather.

Click here to see the driest places on Earth.