Weather Blog

Potpourri blog: February shows how Seattle gets its rainy reputation

Potpourri blog: February shows how Seattle gets its rainy reputation

The sun finally broke out on Tuesday -- the first reasonably sunny day that wasn't about to feature a drenching rain storm that evening in over two weeks. After four consecutive months of below-normal temperatures and snowpack, February has made up for lost time.

Here are some interesting statistics from February as we start to head into March's lion:

* Seattle looks to end up at 6.11 inches of rain for the month -- good for 8th wettest February all time (but well behind the record 9.11" in 1961). There is a chance we could move up to 7th spot (6.14" in 1945) as there is a risk of a few light showers Friday.

* This will be the second-wettest month since Jan. 1, 2013 (unless we get 0.06" or more before Friday night, then it'll be the wettest month). In a strange upset, the wettest months didn't feature rainy stalwarts November, December or January. Instead, the wettest three months are Sept. 2013 (6.17"), Feb. 2014 (6.11") and April 2013 (5.89").

* Tuesday received 0.01" of rain just after midnight to count it as an official rainy day. It's the 18th consecutive day with measurable rain in Seattle (with trace amounts the two days' before meaning we nearly made it 20). As it stands, 18 ties for 10th longest streak at Sea-Tac history and the longest since a 19-day streak in December 2012. (18 days would set a number of all-time rainy streaks across much of the rest of the nation away from the Northwest.)

* While 6.11 inches of rain makes for a lot of bad hair days, there was a great illustration Monday morning of how Seattle has such a rainy reputation yet doesn't rank anywhere near the top when it comes to wettest cities (by annual rainfall) in the U.S. There were 8 consecutive hours of non-stop rainfall from roughly midnight to 8 a.m. -- and it never measured more than a trace in the rain gauge. The rain later intensified to measure and we eventually ended up with more than a half-inch of rain Monday (0.51").

* Another "This is so Seattle" stat? The 8 hours of drizzle was among roughly 30 hours and 30 minutes of non-stop rain reported at Sea-Tac Airport. That's really hard to do elsewhere in the nation, hurricane and tropical storms aside (and even then...)

* And in case you hadn't heard, the essentially 10 different weather systems that brought the 18 days of rain brought several feet of snow to the mountains, completely making up our snowpack deficit. Measurements Tuesday confirmed snowpack in the Cascades at 100-104 percent of normal, after standing at 50-60 percent of normal on Feb. 7.

We're going to get a chance to wring out as the forecast for the next week is considerably drier. That started Tuesday, which makes sense because as I pointed out a few years ago, Feb. 25 is historically the most boring day of Seattle's winter!