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Dry, warm spring weather expected to continue through summer

(MyNorthwest file photo)

If it feels like you’ve had to water the garden more often or the grass is crunchier than usual, it’s not your imagination. The National Weather Service in Seattle says March-May 2021 was the fourth driest spring on record at Sea-Tac Airport.

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According to the NWS, only 4.76 inches of rain fell during those three months. Typically, we could expect a total of 9.23 inches of rain during that period, which means there is a deficit of 4.47 inches of rain.

The NWS reports about a third of an inch of rain fell at its offices in Sand Point on Sunday, and another round is rolling in Monday through Wednesday. Also, the high at Sea-Tac Airport on Sunday 55 degrees. It was the coldest high in June in nine years (since 55 degrees on June 4, 2012).

Not only has it been a dry three months, it’s also been a warm kickoff to June.

The National Weather Service reports Tuesday (86 degrees) and Wednesday (85 degrees) were the warmest first two days in June in Seattle in 42 years (85 and 88 in 1979). Those first two days of the month were also the third warmest first two days of June on record, if you include the Federal Building records back to the 1890s.

Lucky for those who love the temperate climate that the Pacific Northwest is famous for, cooler air moved in mid-week to offer a little respite.

According to the National Weather Service, the onshore flow on Thursday forced temperatures to drop up to 11 degrees in Seattle, 9 degrees in Everett and on the Eastside, and up to 12 degrees in areas of Tacoma.

As for the summer outlook, there’s already a drought advisory in effect for most of Washington, including all areas east of the Cascade Range, portions of southwest Washington, and the coast.

Drought advisories are informational only, and include no emergency authorizations or funding, according to the Department of Ecology. However, early observations of crop stress and expectations for reduced yields in Eastern Washington are being reported, said Water Resources Planner Jeff Marti.

“Seattle, Tacoma, and Everett have stored water and the area hasn’t had a problem with precipitation,” Marti said last week.

This is the first time the Department of Ecology has issued a drought advisory since it received the authority to do so from the Legislature in 2020.

The National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center also expects a drier and warmer summer than normal.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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