ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — Think you’re a weather buff who knows their stuff? See if you can correctly guess this WFXR Weather Trivia question!

What is considered the driest non-polar place on Earth?

Did you get the question right? Scroll down for the answer:

According to the University of California’s Museum of Paleontology, the Atacama Desert of Chile averages less than 1.5 centimeters of rainfall a year. Some weather stations in the Atacama have never received rain. The lack of rainfall is due to a couple of factors.

One factor is the Atacama is located in a double “rain shadow.” A rain shadow is an area that receives less rainfall as a result of a nearby mountain chain. Oftentimes, a mountain will have a prevailing wind blowing into one side of it, and that receives a lot of rainfall because that wind pushes the moisture in the wind up the mountain. Consequently, the other side of the mountain often has less rain because there’s much less moisture in the air. The two mountain chains affecting the Atacama Desert are the Andes Mountains and the Chilean Coast Range.

The second factor impacting the Atacama is a cold ocean current that runs along the coast of South America. The cold current lowers the surrounding air temperatures, causing the air to not “hold” as much moisture. This means the desert doesn’t have much of a chance to receive moisture from the nearby ocean.