A Sight for Sore Eyes: Rainy Weather on the Way

It might be the most welcomed rainfall in Seattle history.

A cold front sweeping in from the Pacific is slated to zip through the city tomorrow afternoon, dropping up to a quarter-inch of rain and washing away weeks of ash, dust, dirt and grime.

Let the cheering begin now.

It’s been a record dry summer in Seattle, with just 0.02 inches of rain at Sea-Tac Airport since June 18—all of which fell in a two-hour time span in mid-August. The meager precipitation has been sandwiched between two lengthy dry spells: the first, a historic 55-day stretch that set a new record for most consecutive days without measurable rainfall, and the second, a 35-day streak marked by prolonged warmth and multiple bouts of wildfire smoke. To wit, the smoke from nearby forest fires was so thick on Sept. 5 that ash fell from the sky for the first time since the 1980 eruption of Mt. St. Helens.

Fortunately, our dry, smoky summer is on its last legs, with tomorrow’s rainmaker set to usher in a period of cool, damp weather that will persist for at least a week. While the wettest days look to be early on— beyond tomorrow, Monday and Tuesday could see half an inch of rain in spots—cooler temperatures can be expected all the way into next weekend, with highs only reaching the mid-60s at best. On days with heavier rainfall, like Monday, the mercury may not even make it out of the 50s.

Another possibility? Wind. Some forecast models show a deepening area of low pressure smacking the region Wednesday morning—a scenario which could bring 40-mph gusts into the Sound. However, such wind is highly dependent on the track of the storm—if the low swings by to our south, it’ll be Portlanders hanging on to their hats instead.

Speaking of things to grab ahold of—it’s high time to find where you stashed that jacket last spring. After today, coats will pretty much be mandatory going forward.

And while you’re at it, might as well dig up the old welcome mat too. Because in Seattle this September, tomorrow’s rain deserves a reception like none other.

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