The National Weather Service says the six months that ended Thursday brought 43.33 inches of precipitation, making it the wettest fall and winter period since official record keeping began in the 1890s.
Pat yourselves on the back, Seattle. You just survived the wettest winter in the city’s recorded history.
Snowpack is high. Water is plentiful. And at this rate, we could be in for one of the wettest years ever.
The National Weather Service in Seattle reported Friday that the six-month period from Oct. 1 through March 31 was the wettest recorded in Seattle since weather observation started in the 1890s at the old Federal Building downtown.
In our region, the 12-month “water year” begins on Oct. 1.
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“We have a good 6 inches above our annual average, and we sill have six months to go,” said National Weather Service meteorologist Dustin Guy.
“That means that right now we are in very good shape, as far as water goes,” he said. “Our snowpack in the mountains is 100 to 125 percent of normal, compared to this time last year when, in many locations, we were at 25 percent of normal.”
The total precipitation during the first six months of the current water year was recorded as 43.33 inches, breaking the previous record of 41.65 inches in 1950-51, according to the weather service.
According to the service, Seattle normally sees 37.49 inches of rain during the entire water year. After only six months, we are already 5.84 inches above that, Guy said.
Even if Seattle were to get no more rain at all in the next six months, this still would be a wetter year than 49 of the 71 recorded at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, according to the weather service.
The agency is not yet making any predictions about whether this will end up being a wetter year overall. But normal rainfall — 9.3 inches over the next six months — would get us almost an inch past the all-time record of 51.82 inches, set in the 1996-1997 water year.
While this was the wettest winter, all that rain didn’t span a record number of days.
According to the weather service, we had 119 days with measurable precipitation. That’s higher than the normal 100 days, but still below the record of 125 days, set in the winter of 1950-51, the weather service said.
A reprieve has arrived, however: Continued sunshine is in the forecast through the weekend.
Enjoy it while you can, since another system could move in on Monday, bringing clouds and precipitation.
By the middle of next week, though, warmer and dryer weather is predicted to return to the region, Guy said.
The next six months are predicted to be warmer and dryer than normal, he said. Of course, he cautions, predicting the weather is tricky.
“Weather is humbling,” he said. “It keeps you on your toes.”