Moving Into Record Territory

With December nearly halfway over, our rainfall total for the month stands at .03″–an amount so meager that even July or August would cringe. (But hey, that’s a three-fold increase since Sunday.)

By this point in the month, we should have recorded close to 2.50″ of rain, yet dribs and drabs of moisture are all we’ve managed to collect in the rain gauge. Suddenly, as the midpoint of the month approaches, so does the realization that this December could be record-setting in regards to rain–more specifically, the lack thereof.

Precipitation data for December at SeaTac
airport, showing December’s dry spell.
Photo courtesy of

The all-time record for the driest December in Seattle history was set back in 1978, when the Jet City saw a paltry 1.37″. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist, let alone a first-grader, to deduce that if the second half of December is a repeat of the first, we’ll be lucky to end up with ten percent of December 1978’s rainfall. What is this, L.A.? (Or not…Los Angeles has also recorded .96″of rain this month, including .76″ on Monday.)

Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your tolerance of rain), the days ahead don’t present much of a chance to make up for our current dry spell. Very light rain will slowly spread northward into the Sound during the overnight hours, making for a drizzly Wednesday morning, but I can’t see us getting more than .05″ out of this one. It’ll be wetter the further south you go, so areas around Olympia and Tacoma will likely pick up a little more moisture than the Seattle area, but still, it’ll be yet another very weak system for this time of year.

In addition, as is often the case in Western Washington, temperatures will (and largely already have) moderate just enough to quash any chances of snow in the lowlands. The luckiest of the bunch–those who reside at 1,000 feet or higher–may see some flakes mix in with the rain during the overnight hours, but even then, accumulations will be non-existent.

Clouds will linger tomorrow and into Friday as well, before the familiar morning fog/afternoon sun routine returns in earnest just in time for the weekend. Temperatures will slowly moderate to the mid-40s by next week, with only light “rain” (drizzle, really) possible from time to time.

The beat goes on…