Seattle Post-Intelligencer LogoHearst Newspapers Logo

The Puget Sound area is in for a longer stretch of dry weather

By Alec Regimbal, SeattlePI

View of Seattle skyline on a cloudy day.

View of Seattle skyline on a cloudy day.

H. Piorkowski/Getty Images

Seattle’s disdain for umbrellas is well known. No self-respecting Seattleite uses one. So, this message is for the transplants: You can leave that stupid thing at home for a while.

Why? Because umbrellas are stupid. But also because the Puget Sound area is in for several days of dry weather starting late Thursday.

Jacob DeFitch, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Seattle, said we’re looking at between five and seven days without rain. It's possible that we won’t see rain again until February.  

“It looks pretty limited from what we’re currently seeing,” he said. “It’s harder to tell as you get farther down the line in the forecast, but what’s coming in generally looks to be a pretty dry pattern. It’s very possible that there won’t be much precipitation, if any, through the rest of the month.”


Article continues below this ad

The weather service is predicting a dry period because a high-pressure ridge has settled over the area. DeFitch said the ridge acts as a bulwark that repels any wet weather systems attempting to enter the region. “That ridge is going to settle over the area just offshore along the coastline,” he said. “So the systems aren’t going to reach us because that high pressure is in place.”  

Multiple days of dry weather this time of year are abnormal. Historically, such stretches are rare for us. According to the weather service, Seattle has seen only 20 seven-day periods without rain in January since 1945. Ten-day stretches are even rarer. The area has only seen seven since then; the last one occurred nearly a decade ago.


Article continues below this ad

What makes this upcoming dry stretch seem even weirder is that Seattle has already surpassed its normal rainfall totals for the month. By Jan. 12, the city had totaled 6.27 inches of rain. That’s roughly half an inch more than the city sees on average in January.

In fact, most people in Western Washington began the year dealing with the fallout from a large winter storm that blanketed much of the region in snow. That storm was quickly followed by a pair of atmospheric rivers that led to severe flooding along the Olympic Peninsula and in communities to the south of Seattle.

So enjoy the next few days. You’ve earned them. Oh, and there’s a bonus: Apart from a lack of rain, the weather service said we can expect warmer temperatures and mostly sunny skies through early next week.  

Alec Regimbal is a politics reporter at SFGATE. He graduated from Western Washington University with a bachelor's degree in journalism. A Washington State native, Alec previously wrote for the Yakima Herald-Republic and Seattle Post-Intelligencer. He also spent two years as a political aide in the Washington State Legislature.