It’s never too early to start planning for a rainy weekend in bed.
And after the second-driest March recorded in Seattle since 1945, longtime Western Washingtonians and firmly rooted transplants may greet news of the coming wet, windy and cool stretch with relief.
Puget Sound residents can expect to wake up Wednesday to rain that started overnight, according to the National Weather Service in Seattle.
“It’s been a while since we have seen a good amount of rain,” said meteorologist Jacob DeFlitch. “But wet is on its way.”
The 1.37 inches of rain recorded at Sea-Tac Airport for all of March was only 37 percent of our typical rainfall for the month, DeFlitch said. “That’s well below average.”
The unusually arid month has led to a heightened wildfire risk in Western Washington, according to the National Interagency Fire Center.
On Monday, the fire center’s Predictive Services reported that Western Washington, Oregon, Alaska and Hawaii are among a handful of Western states currently at greatest risk for “significant” wildfires. The state Department of Ecology has said this is a change from years past, when fire risk has been greatest in the eastern part of Washington state.
The lingering high-pressure ridge responsible for the warm temperatures over the past week is beginning to give way to an “unsettled pattern” that will bring clouds and a series of weather systems — meaning rain — to the region, DeFlitch said.
The system we get on Wednesday won’t be too much of a rainmaker, he said. The big pour will come later in the week, after a brief break on Thursday morning.
By Thursday afternoon, forecasters expect the first of two to three systems that will likely last through Sunday, bringing rain and wind with gusts of up 30 mph throughout the Pacific Northwest and Northern California, said DeFlitch.
“It was nice to have the dry-weather stretch, but it will be good to have some rain back as well,” he said. “We need it, and it will be a good weekend for staying in and listening to the rain hitting the windows.”