Major weather events have quickly become the norm for Seattle in 2019, and that’s been capped off by a record-setting stretch of April rain.
After 0.01 inches of rain fell at Sea-Tac Airport on Sunday, that officially made for 12 straight days of showers in the area, breaking the 11-day record set between April 7 and April 17 in 1955.
As of Sunday night, Seattle had the sixth most rainfall for the first two weeks of April in over 125 years. The rainiest ever opening two weeks of April was in 1991, when Seattle got 5.86 inches.
This April’s 2.76 inches of rain is also already over the 2.71-inch average for the entire month.
Weather forecasts for Monday are hinting that the streak of rainy days will likely end at 12. Wetter weather is set to pick right back up again on Tuesday.
The last two months have each seen weather records fall in Seattle — first, with the area’s snowiest ever February, and next, with the warmest ever March day. Last month also marked the second driest March Seattle’s ever had on record.
While the end of March’s dry, warm weather may be disappointing for some, it’s also been a much-needed change of pace for the region.
March’s three-day stretch of record-setting warm weather saw 25 fires pop up across the Puget Sound Region. That in turn fueled concerns that late-spring/early-summer will make for a particularly rough wildfire season.
UW climate scientist Cliff Mass argued in a recent blog post that those concerns may not be entirely warranted.
“My read: The current situation is NOT serious, that the snowpack is not that low, that our reservoirs are in good shape, and that substantial April rain/snow will ensure that we go into this summer in reasonable shape,” he said.
Mass noted that April “plays a critical role regarding summer drought in the Northwest,” with a dry month often begetting an even drier summer.
Initial reports from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration called for a 40 to 50 percent chance of “drier than normal” weather this spring for Western Washington. That prediction has since flipped, with the region now sitting between a 40 to 60 percent likelihood for above-average precipitation.