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Originally published August 31, 2012 at 9:59 PM | Page modified September 1, 2012 at 10:21 AM

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40 days without rain! Seattle 11 days from record dry spell

Seattle is close to breaking a record for uninterrupted dry weather, and the forecast is for dry weather into next week.

Seattle Times staff reporter

Seattle seven-day forecast:

Today

Morning clouds, mostly sunny

73

Sunday

Morning clouds, partly sunny

71

Monday

Morning clouds, mostly sunny

74

Tuesday

Mostly sunny

79

Wednesday

Mostly sunny

80

Thursday

Mostly sunny

81

Friday

Partly sunny

78

Source: KING-TV

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It's Day 41. That is, if it isn't raining. The last time we had measurable rain was July 22.

If Seattle's dry spell lasts another 11 days, we'll have a record on our hands: the longest Seattle has gone without rain since 1945, when the National Weather Service started keeping records around here.

The record right now? Fifty-one days without a drop. That's from 1951, and it's from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, where Seattle's official weather statistics are recorded.

"We could get within striking distance," said Cliff Mass, University of Washington atmospheric-sciences professor. "It looks like the next chance at rain would be around the 11th or 12th of September, but that forecast is pretty far out."

By one measure, we're already in record territory: This August has been the driest on record, the Weather Service said Friday night.

For now, the sun is expected to stick around with a few partly cloudy mornings past Labor Day weekend and through next week, says Weather Service meteorologist Johnny Burg.

"Right now it's looking pretty high and dry," he said.

Burg says Saturday will be mostly sunny with a high of 72, and Sunday will be partly sunny, also with a high of 72. (Our news partner KING-TV's forecast is a degree away from Burg's.) Monday will start off cloudy and then reach the mid-70s.

The dry weather, with a few cooling clouds, is perfect for those planning a Labor Day weekend barbecue or attending Bumbershoot at Seattle Center.

"We're ecstatic about the weather," said Seattle Center spokeswoman Deborah Daoust. "The weather is perfect for Bumbershoot, for it not being too hot to listen to different bands and take in the rest of the festival."

Though Seattle is famous for its damp weather, it's typical for us to have dry summers, according to Mass.

"If you look at precipitation for the last three months, it's almost exactly the normal rate," Mass said, adding that the most unusual weather Seattle has to look forward to this year are El Niño storms that could be coming in the winter.

Despite our dry summer, Seattle, since Jan. 1, has had 5.8 inches more rain than normal, according to the National Weather Service.

Rain watchers, however, follow the "water year," which starts in October, and by that calendar, Seattle is 1.25 inches above average for this time in the year.

Burg said he's rooting for rain. He's had enough of the dry weather. "I'm waiting for winter to start," Burg said. "But if I told my wife that, she'd slap me — she loves this weather."

Material from The Associated Press was included in this report

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