rain shadow


: a region of reduced rainfall on the lee side of high mountains

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Ranging from the Pacific Coast to the Andean Altiplano and locked in the rain shadow of the world’s longest mountain range, the Atacama Desert, located mostly within northern Chile, is among the most alien landscapes on the planet. Michael Snyder, New York Times, 17 Nov. 2022 If Provence is the sun king of lavender fields, then Sequim is the rain shadow queen. Andrea Sachs, Washington Post, 22 July 2022 But coastal mountains in the interior of the Yukon and Alaska blocked all precipitation, creating rain shadow patches of land that were too dry to support glaciers. Diane Selkirk, Smithsonian Magazine, 8 July 2022 The final effect is a rain shadow, where there’s significantly less rainfall behind a mountain region. Gwendolyn Wu, San Francisco Chronicle, 3 Nov. 2021 The Rocky Mountains were continuing to rise, and their rain shadow dried out the Great Plains. Andrew L. Hipp, Scientific American, 15 July 2020 At those elevations, the rain shadow of the Coast Range means slightly lower rainfall totals, cooler springs and warmer autumns. Michael Alberty | For The Oregonian/oregonlive, oregonlive, 4 June 2020 So we are said to be in the rain shadow of the Himalayas. National Geographic, 16 June 2020 Marchesi credited the combination of rain shadow protection and the loess soils deposited in the region by the prehistoric Missoula Floods with defining the region’s wines. Michael Alberty | For The Oregonian/oregonlive, oregonlive, 4 June 2020 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'rain shadow.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

First Known Use

1896, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of rain shadow was in 1896

Dictionary Entries Near rain shadow

Cite this Entry

“Rain shadow.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rain%20shadow. Accessed 7 Dec. 2022.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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