Weather Blog

Seattle has second-most gloomiest day in 3 years

Seattle has second-most gloomiest day in 3 years
The view of dark Seattle skies out my office at Fisher Plaza on Nov. 19, 2012. Photo taken at 3:53 p.m., a full 35 minutes *before* sunset.

Did it feel a bit dark on Monday. Like, darker than usual? Like, the sun called it a day early and set at 3:30?

Not only did Seattle smash its daily rain record with 2.16" of rain Monday, but the thick cloud cover made it the second-gloomiest day in the past three years.

UW Research Meteorologist Mark Albright found that Nov. 19 registered just 0.46 MJ/m2 of sun energy on daylight-sensing equipment at the University of Washington.

Without getting into gory details about the measurements and instead putting it in perspective, Seattle typically ranges from low single digits in the winter to a max of about 32-35 on our sunniest summer days. So to not only be less than 1, but be less than a half is... pretty darn dark.

The only day to register a darker day in the past three years was Jan. 5, 2011 -- when Seattle registered 0.45. Pretty impressive when you think of all the gray, rainy days we've had in the past three years.

But Albright points out that Monday should be considered worse since we are almost 20 days further from the winter solstice than we are on Jan. 5. (In other words, the day is shorter on Jan. 5, so Nov. 19 had more "daylight" to shut out.)

So if it felt extra gloomy Monday -- you would be right!

Darkest 5 Days in the Past 3 Years:

1) 0.45 5 Jan 2011
2) 0.46 19 Nov 2012
3) 0.57 23 Dec 2010
4) 0.68 10 Dec 2011
5) 0.68 20 Jan 2011

Statistic proves we were due for a rainy stretch?

Here is a weather statistic to blow your mind: Remember the famous dry stretch we had this summer? It turned out in the 82 day period between July 19 and October 11, it was totally dry on 73 of the days with the other 9 days of either just a Trace or barely measurable rain. So that was 89 percent of all days were bone dry.

Since the rains returned on October 12, it was rained at some point on 36 of the next 40 days -- or 90 percent of all days were wet at some point. We all know Mother Nature likes a balance, but... Wow!

But if that summer sunny streak is too far back in your memory and you really miss the sunshine of late, perhaps this video of a gorgeous sunrise at Mt. Rainier will tide you over (Courtesy: Jonathan Cooper):