Weather Blog

It was the wettest of months... it was the driest of months

It was the wettest of months... it was the driest of months

Where else but Seattle could we start a month on pace to be one of the wettest ever, and finish it by a notable dry streak?

Sunday closed the book on a remarkable May marked by incessant rain followed by seemingly endless sunshine. Officially, May will go down as the third wettest at Sea-Tac Airport, and fourth wettest overall (including older records at the Federal Building) with 3.61" of rain.

All of that rain fell from May 1 to May 19. Believe it or not, it was dry ever since, and only twice before had Seattle gone dry from May 20 through the end of the month -- 1995 and 1963 (whose streaks were a bit more impressive.)  That makes sense when you figure that means you have to go all of Memorial Day weekend dry, and we all know how three day weekends usually fare around here.

In 1995, the streak went from May 12th through the end (not finishing until June 3). In 1963, it went from May 6 through June 1.

Now, 12 days in a row of no rain might seem like a lot, but the paragraph before hints that we've seen much longer this time of year.

The longest dry streaks for May and June are well over 20 days, with the record being 29 days from May 27 through June 25 in 1982.

Here are the other streaks:

27 DAYS   MAY 6TH  - JUNE 1ST  1963
24 DAYS   APR 30TH - MAY 23RD  1946
23 DAYS   MAY 12TH - JUNE 3RD  1995
23 DAYS   MAY 30TH - JUNE 21ST 1969 

Once we get into the heart of summer, we can get dry streaks over a month long.

The record longest dry streak is 51 days from July 7 through August 26th in 1951. Note that is much longer than the longest rainy streak ever, which is 33 days set in 1953.

In Vegas, it was the driest of months, period.

UW Research Meteorologist Mark Albright, who does a great job keeping track of notable weather elsewhere around the nation, noted that Las Vegas has had a very hot and dry May. The average temperature (factoring in high and low temperature) was 83.6 degrees -- warmest since records began in 1937.

They had 28 days of 90 or hotter this month, and also tied the unbreakable record of zero reported rain for the entire month.  That's occurred six other times.

One last obscure note, it's the first time ever Vegas never dropped below 65 degrees the entire month. Can't imagine what the air conditioning power bills were that month down there!