Seattle is on the verge of breaking its rain record for the second time in five months.
Might as well root for the record, as days of drenching have put Seattle on the verge of breaking a precipitation record for the second time in five months.
With 7.84 inches of rain for the month by 6 a.m. Thursday, February is the sixth-wettest. Wednesday was a record-setter all by itself, with 1.63 inches of rain, drowning the daily record of 0.94 inches set in 1970.
At this rate, all Seattle needs is an additional 1.28 inches to float right to the top, breaking the record for the month set in 1961, said Dustin Guy, meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Seattle.
“We are already at number six, and I wouldn’t rule out number one; it’s certainly possible. The average for February is just 3.9 inches, and we have more than doubled that already,” Guy said.
October was an epic soaker, too, with 10.05 inches of rain, easily beating 8.96 inches set in 1961.
The rain will taper to showers Thursday, and Friday will be drier as well, Guy said. But by Saturday the rain will be back.
“We’re in the zone all through the middle of next week,” Guy said.
The cause is a subtropical tap of moisture that soaks up even more juice as it cruises over the Pacific. “It acts like a sponge and just wrings it out,” Guy said.
The result has been landslides and flooding, with Interstate 90 shut westbound at Issaquah during the morning commute by a debris flow. Highway crews shoveled mud, rocks and woody debris out of one lane by 7 a.m., but most traffic was stuck and diverted to Highway 202.
A flood watch was on for Klallam, Grays Harbor and Jefferson counties through 10 a.m. Thursday and is in place for Snohomish, Skagit, and Whatcom counties through Thursday night. A flood warning is on for the Skokomish River in Mason County.
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Meanwhile, the mountains are fat with snow, reports Ted Buehner with the National Weather Service in Seattle. Data from the Northwest Avalanche Center as of Wednesday showed the Olympic and Cascade mountains snowpack averaging about 95 percent of normal.
Measurements from the National Resources Conservation Service showed the water equivalent in the Olympic and Cascade Mountain snowpack was averaging about 104 percent of normal for mid-February, and precipitation at 110 percent of average in the mountains.
At this rate, Washingtonians can look forward to snow aplenty to keep winter snow sports enticing well into spring, Buehner said, and a good water supply in the summer.