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Heavy rain marks return to normal to close out weird year of Seattle weather

Rain at Pike Place market in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)

In a year when we saw record-breaking snowfall in February and historic dry periods in the spring, heavy rain will soon bring a return to more typical seasonal Seattle weather as we approach the end of 2019.

Heavy rain could bring Seattle’s wettest day of the entire year

Between 2.5 and 4 inches of rain are expected in the area between Wednesday afternoon and Saturday afternoon. Previous reports indicated that Seattle could see its wettest day of the year over that period, and possibly the most rainiest day the area’s seen since November 2018.

For context: As Seattle Weather Blog points out, Seattle last received over an inch of precipitation in February 2019. That came as part a February snowstorm, though, meaning that the last time it rained over an inch in the city was on Nov. 27, 2018.

If Seattle does get between 2.5 and 4 inches of rain between Wednesday and Saturday, that single four-day period would beat out the entire month of November, when SeaTac (where Seattle’s rainfall is measured) got just 1.71 inches of rain.

That being said, is all of this out of the ordinary for this time of year?

“Not really,” said Seattle Weather Blog’s Justin Shaw in a recent blog post. “Rather, the lack of heavy rain so far this fall — and in 2019 overall — is what’s atypical.”

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Seattle usually receives between five and six days a year where it gets over an inch of rain — there has only been one such day in 2019. We also recently experienced the driest November Seattle has seen in over 40 years. That makes this upcoming stretch of rainy weather more of a return to normal than an outlier.

Meanwhile, in the Cascades, snow will continue to dump through the weekend, officially marking the long-awaited (and slightly delayed) start to ski season. Stevens Pass opened its doors on Wednesday, while resorts at Mt. Baker and Snoqualmie both opened on Dec. 15.

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