Unusual Dry Spell in Western Washington, But Rain May Be on the Way


Seattle is on an unusual streak.

Saturday marked the region's 12th straight dry day, a run that included what is typically the wettest day of the year.

According to the National Weather Service in Seattle, Nov. 19 has seen rain 95 out of 128 years (that's 74%), making it the "wettest day in Seattle weather records." But this year, the date, a Saturday, came and went without showers.

So far this month, the region is seeing less than half its typical rainfall. Seattle-Tacoma International Airport has recorded an average of 4.2 inches of rain in the first 20 days of November. This year, just under 1.7 inches have fallen, said Jacob DeFlitch, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service.

An offshore area of high pressure is deflecting weather systems that might otherwise bring some rain and "keeping us on a dry streak," DeFlitch said.

And it's not just Seattle. Bellingham and Olympia haven't seen rain for about the same stretch of time.

Seattle has stayed dry in November before. In 1969, the area recorded 23 days without rain in November, DeFlitch said.

But some rain may be on the way.

Tuesday will be our "next chance for good rain," DeFlitch said. Thursday should be dry, then more rain could arrive later in the week, he said.

It's too early in the season for the dry spell to cause serious concern for snowpack, DeFlitch said. Cold temperatures have kept the snow that fell early in the month in place, he said.

"The rain is going to be coming," DeFlitch said. "We're still at the very start of the rainy season."