Posted by: pyeager | July 23, 2009

It Always Rains in Seattle

It always rains in Seattle is one of the most firmly entrenched weather myths in our culture (which is why it’s one of the myths included in my upcoming book, Weather Whys: Facts, Fiction, and Oddities.)

The myth is based on the fact that Seattle is, indeed, a very rainy location during the winter, but the summers are very dry, much drier than any location in the East and Midwest. The average rainfall from June through August is a paltry 3.30 inches in Seattle, compared to 12.68 inches in New York, 12.97 in Atlanta, and 11.89 inches in Chicago during the same three-month period.

It’s been even drier than average recently in Seattle (See Drought and Heat entry from the Cliff Mass Weather Blog), with just 0.61 inches of rain since May 20. The average rainfall during that time is 3.88. While this is certainly an impressively dry stretch, given heavy rain in the beginning of May, the overall three-month average is right on track for Seattle, with 3.79 inches since May 1. 

That doesn’t mean that the fire danger isn’t higher than normal, though; with a lack of recent rainfall, the fire danger is high, especially in eastern parts of the state. With the likelihood of hot, dry weather in the western parts of the state in the coming days, the fire danger will increase there as well.

–Paul Yeager

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  1. Yes big myth. Even in the winter there are places where it rains even more. Downieville California Avg=60inches–then it burns in the summer. Though Seattle has it beat with cloudy days..Hands down…..

  2. you are correct

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