Weather Blog

We're (not) number 1!

We're (not) number 1!
A photo taken from a rainy Seattle on Dec. 28, 2011. (Photo: Puget Sound Clean Air Agency Visibility Camera)

What seemed almost a sure bet has instead become a bust, but it's good news for those who missed our typical winter rains or mountain snows.

With 0.90" of rain Tuesday followed by 0.19" of rain as of mid afternoon Wednesday, Seattle has amassed 1.39" of rain in December -- good enough to pass 1978's paltry monthly total of 1.37 inches. And of course, it's still raining.

Next on the list is 1.78" set in 1985.  That year was quite interesting as it featured a record 21-day dry streak in December -- a number we probably would have been within shouting distance of had some dense fog not squeezed out a few hundredths of an inch of rain here and there. As it was, we only officially eked out an 8 day streak.

Aside from Wednesday's rain, we've got showers Thursday and another storm coming in at the buzzer on Friday into New Year's Eve, so it's possible when all is said and done, this December won't even rate Top 3, but Top 5 is a possibility.

Here are the Top 5 driest Decembers on record at Sea-Tac Airport, going back to 1945:

1) 1.37" 1978
2) 1.39" 2011 (through 3 p.m. Dec. 28)
3) 1.78" 1985
4) 1.86" 1976
5) 2.51" 2000

It should be noted that there were much drier years at Seattle's Federal Building when records were kept there, including a paltry 1.00" in 1944 and 1.27" the year before in 1943.