Which French departments get the most rain?

Spoiler: They are not all in the northern half of the country

There are some surprising entries in the Top 5 rainiest departments in France

Many may be hoping for endless sunshine in the coming months - but, with drought a constant threat, some may also ask which areas of France receive the most rainfall. Spoiler: They are not all in the north!

Forecaster Météo France states that rainfall across France varies from “just under 500 mm to over 2,000 mm" per year, "from the Atlantic seaboard to the northern and eastern borders, from the shores of the Mediterranean to the foothills of the mountains”.

And these are the five wettest departments in France, based on data from weather institute l’institut national de météorologie, from 1991 to 2020.

Don’t forget your umbrella…

Fifth place

The greenery of the Vosges may be a clue to its raininess

Vosges, in Grand Est, takes the fifth spot. This north-eastern department separates the traditional ‘Lorraine’ plateau from its ‘Alsace’ counterpart. 

Its rainiest area? The commune of Rupt-en-Moselle, which has an annual average of 1,886 mm.

Fourth place

This mountainous area receives its fair share of rainfall

In what may be a surprising entry, the Pyrénées-Atlantiques in the southwest (Nouvelle-Aquitaine) is the fourth rainiest department in France.

The geography of this department in the southern half of France means it receives an average of 1,962 mm of rain annually, at the recording point of Iraty Orgambide.

Third place

It’s well known for its history and sunshine, but Gard also gets a lot of rain

Another southern entry! Despite its proximity to sun-soaked Provence and the Mediterranean Sea, Gard in Occitanie receives annual rainfall of 1,970 mm, putting it in third place overall.

Second place

Picturesque greenery and an old chapel in the rainy Haute-Saône

Haute-Saône comes in second place in France, and is also the second-rainiest department in Grand Est.

On average, the highest point of the department - the summit of the Ballon de Servance massif, which is on the border between Bourgogne-Franche-Comté and Grand Est - records 2,167 mm of rainfall annually.

First place: The rainiest department in France

Traditional buildings and rain are both in abundance in Haut-Rhin

It’s another one for Grand Est: Haut-Rhin is officially the rainiest department in France, figures show. 

Between 1991 and 2020, the commune of Sewen recorded an annual average of 2,282mm of rain, making it the wettest place in the entire country.