Weather Blog

4th of July's like these are sure hard to come by

4th of July's like these are sure hard to come by
Seattle's Gas Works Parks gets ready for the big crowds ahead of the city's fireworks show on July 4, 2012.

As Seattle was working toward what many might think is perfect weather for the holiday -- temperatures in the low 70s with nary a raindrop to be found -- I wondered just how rare getting a Fourth that nice is around Seattle.

Since Sea-Tac Airport opened 1945, there have only been 10 other times when the high temperature was between 70-75 with no rain in the rain gauge, and only eight times since 1948. (There have been three other times we've just had a Trace of rain in the low 70s.)

I guess it's not hard to believe when you consider that July 4th is statistically the wettest day in July when you combine Seattle's data back to 1893 -- showing it has rained on 28% of July 4ths since records have been kept.

That number has dropped slightly if you only consider Sea-Tac Airport, raining on 17 of 67 years since 1945 for a rate of 25.3%. So factor in a wet Fourth about once a leap year.

The breakdown (since 1945):

  • Worst Fourth: 1992, when 0.57" of rain fell amid a high of just 61 degrees -- both records for daily rainfall and lowest high temperature.
  • Hottest Fourth: 1972 when it hit 91 degrees. We came close to topping that just three years ago when it hit 87. Seems paltry when you consider Chicago is set to break their all-time July 4 record this year of 102.
  • Hot Fourths: Overall, just 5 years have had highs warmer than 85, and 11 that were warmer than 80.
  • Cold Fourths: There have been 13 Fourths when the temperature was 65 or colder.


But it's going to be difficult to top the 72 or so and sunny for 2012. Enjoy!