Seattle area gets driest November in over 40 years
Western Washington is infamous for its fall and winter rain, especially in November, a month that averages over six-and-a-half inches of rain in Seattle. That was flipped on its head this year, though, with the Seattle area getting its driest November in 43 years.
When the book closed on the month, just 1.71 inches of rain had fallen at Sea-Tac (where Seattle’s weather is tracked). The last time we had a November that dry was 1976.
Dry weather was pervasive across Washington too, with Spokane getting just .68 inches of rain, its lowest total since 1993. Meanwhile, Bellingham saw its 6th driest November, Hoquiam had its 2nd driest, Olympia had its 3rd driest, and Quillayute had its 5th driest. In total, Sea-Tac’s November was its 4th driest on record.
Showers are expected to move into the Seattle area this week, but beyond that, University of Washington climate scientist Cliff Mass predicts more dry weather to follow. That’s despite December typically being the wettest month of the year for the region.
“What about the future? Amazingly, more of the same,” he said in a recent blog post. “Take a look at the latest European Center precipitation prediction for the next 10 days (the anomaly, or difference from normal, is shown). Dry over the Northwest and very wet over central California, the result of the jet stream heading south into the Bay Area.”
According to Mass, the lack of rain during what’s typically the rainy season in Western Washington has been driven by “high pressure over the northeast Pacific.” That pressure often leads to “much drier than normal conditions over the Northwest.”