Parched No More: Dry Streak Ends at 48 Days

It wasn’t much, but it was enough.

.01 inches of rain fell at Sea-Tac Airport late Sunday night, ending Seattle’s streak of consecutive days without measurable precipitation at 48. The prolonged dry spell, which lasted from July 23 through Sept. 8, goes into the books tied with June 23-Aug. 10, 1922 as the second longest dry period recorded in Seattle.

The all-time record, of course, remains with 1951, which saw 51 days (July 7-Aug. 26) without measurable precipitation. For those seeking consolation in getting so close to breaking 1951’s mark, only to come up short at the finish line, it’s worth noting that a trace of precipitation was recorded only four times during our just-ended streak—whereas the 1951 streak had six.

After a 48-day absence, rain returned to Seattle late Sunday night, with .01 inches falling in the rain gauge at Sea-Tac.

While traces of precipitation are not cumulative—i.e., you can’t add multiple trace amounts of rain together to get .01 inches—we can at least say that the 2012 dry spell averaged non-measurable rainfall (i.e. sprinkles) only once every 12 days, as opposed to 1951’s average of once every 8.5 days. Not that that counts for anything in the record books—but maybe it’s worth an obscure footnote on some Wikipedia page?

As for the measurable precipitation currently falling, it should taper off rapidly in the next few hours. Clouds will hang tight through the noon hour, but some sunbreaks are possible by afternoon time. High temperatures will once again fail to make it out of the 60s (yesterday’s high was only 66), as a cold upper level trough remains overhead.

By Tuesday, clear skies return, although temperatures will still struggle to reach 70. After a chilly start to the day on Wednesday—lows could dip into the upper 40s—we’ll rise back in to the mid 70s under sunny skies.

Thursday and Friday will be even warmer—think the low 80s—as higher pressure moves in. Sunshine will dominate both days, with no rain in sight.

As in measurable and non-measurable—not even a trace.