Why Is Spokane Wetter Than Wenatchee?

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By By KOMO Staff & News Services

SEATTLE - You've probably heard how Sequim is one of the driest spots in Western Washington as the Olympics block most of the rain from reaching them. Well, Eastern Washington has it's own rain-blocker, called the Cascade Mountains.

As rain moves east into the Cascades, the air rises and squeezes out most of its moisture, leaving the western Cascade foothills with a soggy 60-80 inches of rain a year. But on the eastern/lee side of the Cascades, that air is now lost most of its moisture, leaving the eastern slopes and central basin mainly dry. Wenatchee gets about 8 inches of rain a year.

However, as that air nears the Idaho border, it begins to rise with the topography a bit, squeezing out a little more moisture, and leaving the eastern edge of the state with about 20 inches of rain a year.

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