Weather Blog

The wettest 19 minutes you'll ever see?

The wettest 19 minutes you'll ever see?

It sure was wet around here last Wednesday, but in Marysville, it might have been historically wet.

Diana McCarthy had the presence of mind to take a photo diary of the torrential downpour as it passed over her home.

She said when she got home, the rain gauge said they had already received 2.46" over the past 24 hours, and then the downpour began.

4:55 p.m.: 4.28"

Then, a minute later, the rain gauge said it rained an eye-popping 0.16" more to 4.44"

4:56 p.m.: 4.44"

What does 0.16" in one minute look like? Here is a photo. Now look at it rain!

For comparison, Seattle received 0.06" over *two months* last summer.

The rain slowed just a bit over the next few minutes, only dropping 0.06" in 3 minutes:

4:59 p.m.: 4.50"

Then, the skies opened up again, registering 0.33" in 4 minutes!

5:03 p.m.: 4.83"

The rain just kept coming, and Diana's gauge observed another 0.28" in 3 minutes:

5:06 p.m.: 5.11"

Her final photo was taken just 8 minutes later -- and they received yet another 0.57". That is an incredible amount of rain:

5:11 p.m.: 5.68"

Overall, that is 1.40" of rain in 19 minutes.

To compare, the official records at Sea-Tac Airport are as such:

  • Greatest 5 minute rain: 0.18" (8/9/91)
  • Greatest 10 minute rain: 0.20" (8/9/91)
  • Greatest 15 minute rain: 0.26" (6/22/93)
  • Greatest 30 minute rain: 0.35" (6/22/93)
  • Greatest 1 hour rain: 0.54" (9/8/79)
  • Greatest 2 hour rain: 0.85" (10/6/81)
  • Greatest 24 hour rain: 5.02" (10/20/03)

(Interesting to note: 1991 was the latest 75 degree day year record we just broke. 1981 was 4th on the list. Coincidence?!?)

So this rain would have obliterated records for Seattle had the cell formed there. And while this is not an official station, we've forwarded this to the National Weather Service to see if it can verify as some sort of record since there is accompanying photographic evidence. We'll let you know.

But in the meantime, hopefully they've wrung out up there by now!

In case you missed it, here is video from our coverage of the Marysville rain:

P.S. File this blog entry under "it's best to read your e-mail all the way through". I actually received this e-mail from Diana last Wednesday evening, but only glanced at it as I had quite a few e-mails that day and never noticed the attachments. It would have made for a more timely blog last week! Sorry about that Diana :)