This summer, it's news: It's going to rain

This summer, it's news: It's going to rain
SEATTLE - It's going to rain in Seattle.

For a city that prides itself on its rainy reputation, this is news? It is this summer, the driest so far in at least six decades.

As of 4 p.m. Monday, Seattle has been blanked in the rain bucket since July 13. It rained just a smidge on the 12th, June 25th, 22nd, 21st 19th, and 18th. None of those days rated even a tenth of an inch -- we have to go back to May 19th to find a truly wet day around here.

In fact, add up those seven paltry days of rain, and it doesn't even rate a quarter inch -- totaling 0.24" at Sea-Tac Airport. Counting that from June 1st (even though we could go back to May 20) it's the driest June 1 to Aug. 9 total on record.

Another statistic is that Monday at the moment makes 27 consecutive days without rain. In the summer, that's not too rare -- in fact, it ranks just 23rd on the list. But it's the second long dry streak we've had this year, lest we forget the 29-day dry streak in May and June that was six minutes short of tying the record for longest spring dry streak. That's a lot of dry days in a row!

Across the rest of western Washington state, Friday Harbor in the San Juan Islands had received .29 inches of rain from June 1 to midday Monday; Quillayute in the coastal rain forest had gotten .28; Bellingham near the Canadian border had .25; the Whidbey Island Naval Air Station had .16; and Port Angeles on the northern Olympic Peninsula had .13.

The most rain that fell Sunday was .12 inches in Quillayute.

More rain is in the forecast through Thursday.

Seattle, where residents half-joke about moss growing on their north sides and webbing between their toes, could get "maybe even a tenth of an inch," said Jeff Michalski, an National Weather Service meteorologist.

Eleven days after an all-time record high of 103 in Seattle, there was a marked decrease in noontime visitors Monday at Myrtle Edwards Park along the waterfront and the adjoining Seattle Art Museum sculpture garden.

Temperatures were in the mid-60s and lowering clouds first obscured then covered the Olympic Mountains across Puget Sound.

"It stinks ... we get a lot of cloudy days in Rochester, too," laughed Pete Weinstein, visiting with his wife Gail from the New York city area. "We heard that the weather had been pretty nice after it got up to 103."

Many didn't mind the wet forecast.

"We need more rain," said Felix Penn, 38, a chef who was out for a walk with his wife Sarah and their Boston bulldog.

"I don't like it when it's really hot," added Penn, who moved north from California about six years ago. "I find the sun is hotter here than it is in the (San Francisco) Bay area."

Michalski said the rainy respite is likely to be brief, tapering off into just scattered, hit-or-miss showers by late Tuesday with warm, dry weather returning by the weekend.

The damp interlude will make it easier on forest crews battling 30 small wildfires in five clusters west of the Cascade Range, he said.