Daily Archives: August 10, 2009

Driest Summer in Recorded History Continues Despite the Rain


Photo by: Walter Feller

Isn’t it interesting we haven’t been able to have one normal weather pattern this summer? It seems like we just bounce from one extreme to another, breaking records left and right, and looking ahead at the long range forecast it appears we’ll start to swing to the other end of the weather pendulum soon (You didn’t put away those air conditioners, I hope 😉 )

But for now, let’s talk about rain, because the last time I did a blog post about it was probably in mid May! Indeed, we have gone 83 days without a widespread rainfall with only 0.24” in the rain gauge at Sea-Tac airport since May 20th. So far, this has been the driest summer on record.

From May 20th to July 19th Seattle became the driest it has ever been with 0.24”. Here’s the list of other dry years behind 2009 from May 20th-July 19th:

2009 60 0.24
1925 60 0.42
1938 60 0.57
1922 60 0.61
1945 60 0.67
1911 60 0.72
2003 60 0.77
1965 60 0.79
1926 60 0.83
1927 60 0.87

2nd place is 1925! Pretty crazy. And since July 19th we haven’t had a drop of rain fall in the gauge, so it sure has been an impressive streak of dry weather. Think about it: May 20th-August 9th: 0.24”! That is truly incredible for this place. Now, we could also put this in another perspective. Since most meteorologists count June 1st-August 31st as being our “3 months of summer” 1st place is still 1919 with only 0.65 inches recorded. I don’t think we’ll manage to get 0.42” of rain between now and August 31st to make this year 2nd place so our dry record still looks good, but I guess with this summer acting the way it has you never know.

We will get some decent rain around here, though. At least compared to what we’ve had. A big rain parade has set up shop to our west which will continue to bring periods of rain to our area at least through mid week. Some of these rainy episodes, especially tonight into tomorrow morning, look pretty significant for any month during the summer let alone August. In fact, looking at the satellite you would think we were dealing with a winter rain episode!:


Anyway, after mostly cloudy skies, rain, breezy conditions and cool temperatures for the next few days, it appears we’ll begin to warm up. Not considerably, but enough to make those Slip ‘N Slide plans again. The past few model runs were actually advertising a return to the 90s, but they’ve started to back off on that thought (whew! 🙂 ) and are thinking more like 80s. In any case, warmer, sunnier weather after some nice, healthy rain probably isn’t a bad weather pattern in any one’s book 🙂

It’s Monday, so as hard as it may be, have a good day!

Matthew Leach

Forecasting Kitsap