2015 was a record warm year for Washington, but it also had its fair share of costly storms.
Damage totals from storms and flooding through October were in excess of $5 million, the National Weather Service reports. That total has yet to account for damages during November and December.
The bulk of the damage totals through October occurred during the Aug. 29 windstorm. The windstorm was so severe that President Obama signed a disaster declaration for the state, ordering federal aid for repairing or replacing damaged facilities.
There were 10 weather-related fatalities and five injuries throughout 2015, according to the weather service.
It’s hard to believe so much damage was done during a year with several record-breaking months of warm temperature.
There were four months that set records for warmest month:
• February, 48.8 degrees (old record of 48.7)
• March, 50.5 degrees (old record of 50.3)
• June, 67.7 degrees (old record of 64.9)
• July, 71.2 degrees (old record of 69.5)
The average temperature at Sea-Tac was 55.8 degrees, exceeding the previous record of 55 degrees set last year, according to the weather service. The average high was 63.5 degrees. The average low was 48 degrees.
Records set at Sea-Tac for the most number of days of:
• 70 degrees or higher (116)
• 80 degrees or higher (51)
• 85 degrees or higher (26)
• 90 degrees or higher (12)
Despite the warm, dry weather, the National Weather Service reports 2015 will finish with above normal precipitation. As of Dec. 22, it is currently the second wettest December on record, according to totals at Sea-Tac. It is also currently the eighth wettest of any month on record.
The annual precipitation total as of Dec. 22 was 43.86. The annual normal is 37.49.
And it wouldn’t be a record-setting year without a few significant events as well. Along with all the rain, wind and flood, there were two tornadoes. The weather service reports one EF1 touched down in Pierce County Jan. 18, moving four miles through the Gig Harbor area. A second touched down in the Battle Ground area on Dec. 10.
Things aren’t quite finished for 2015 either. With heavy precipitation in the mountains, the amount of snow that has fallen so far in the Cascades and Olympics exceeded the greatest amount on the ground at any time during the winter of 2014/2015.