Weather Blog

July 4th: Not As Wet As You Think!

July 4th:  Not As Wet As You Think! »Play Video

We've all heard the old adage, that "summer in Seattle starts on July 5th".  That's more of a knock on the weather for Independence Day than it is for the real start of summer in late June.

In fact, if you go back the entire 117 years they've been keeping records in Seattle, it has rained on July 4th 33 times -- that makes it statistically the wettest day of the month!

But I received some surprising information this morning when Ted Buehner from the National Weather Service office stopped by the KOMO studios Thursday morning as part of the NWS' annual Fire Weather Tour.

Ted offered some stats that showed a recent trend of really nice weather for America's birthday.  Here are the numbers:

2000 - High temperature of 67 degrees
2001 - 78 degrees
2002 - 65 degrees
2003 - 75 degrees
2004 - 71 degrees
2005 - 79 degrees
2006 - 75 degrees
2007 - 84 degrees
2008 - 71 degrees
2009 - 87 degrees

That's an average high temperature for July 4th of 75.2 degrees over the past 10 years.  Not only is that nice, but it's ABOVE normal!

As for rainfall, it has only rained twice on July 4th over the past 10 years.  In 2002, a trace of rain fell at Sea-Tac, and in 2006 some early morning showers only totaled 0.02" rain.

Can we continue this trend on Sunday?   Yes and no.  Our KOMO forecast is calling for mainly dry weather (the "yes" part), but we're confident the high temperature will stay in the upper 60s (the "no" part).  Fireworks displays on Sunday evening should be comfortably cool.

And, yes, this year "summer" will start on July 5th!