Idaho is a dry place.  Or at least the southern part of the state holds that distinction.  While it’s wetter in the panhandle, geographically it covers a much smaller area geographically.  I found two lists of America’s top ten driest states.  One of them didn’t list Idaho but mentioned several neighboring states, including the two to our south.  Utah is second and, no surprise, Nevada tops the list.

Then I did some searching and came across a second list.  It places Idaho in the top 10 driest states.  At number nine.  The second list also places Idaho fifth for the driest annual summers.  I’m guessing we didn’t make the top ten in winter because of the snow in the mountains.

Dry doesn’t mean we still don’t get some gully-washing rain storms.  Sergeant Ken Mencl from the Twin Falls County Sheriff’s Office took a recent vacation to southern Utah.  He went out for a walk across a dry stream bed.  Luckily, he packed rain gear.  A storm passed through and he had to ford the stream on his return.

I told him about an experience I once had at Great Basin National Park.  An exhibit near the entrance explains the area only gets seven inches of rain during an average year.  It felt like most of it fell the day I was there!

Our summers are easy to plan around.  When it sometimes doesn’t rain for 80 straight days, you can pick just about any summer day for picnic months in advance.  But then there are the nights when a thunderboomer comes out of nowhere and takes down some trees and washes out a road or two south of town.

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LOOK: The most extreme temperatures in the history of every state

Stacker consulted 2021 data from the NOAA's State Climate Extremes Committee (SCEC) to illustrate the hottest and coldest temperatures ever recorded in each state. Each slide also reveals the all-time highest 24-hour precipitation record and all-time highest 24-hour snowfall.

Keep reading to find out individual state records in alphabetical order.

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