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Originally published Monday, October 1, 2012 at 7:07 PM

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Early October to continue dry pattern

The last two months have been among the driest Seattle has ever seen, and the dry pattern looks like it will hold at least for another week or longer, says the Weather Service.

Seattle Times staff reporter

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between the long dry spell and wildfires, I don't know anyone without some sinus... MORE
I'm loving this dry weather. Though, I do feel for people suffering from the fires. MORE
Great recap of our ongoing dry spell. Other interesting stats: The past three... MORE

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And the sunny days just keep on coming ...

Fresh off a tie for the Seattle area's third-driest September, which followed the area's driest August on record, October is showing no signs of changing the pattern.

And there are early indications that a drier-than-usual winter may be in store as well.

"At least 10 days out it's not looking like there's any rain in the forecast," said weather-service meteorologist Dennis D'Amico.

September's rain total of 0.03 inches, D'Amico said, tied the mark from 1993, and was drier than all but the Septembers of 1975 and 1991, when mere traces of rain fell.

Although winter is still some time away, NOAA's Climate Prediction Center calls for below-normal precipitation continuing until spring in virtually all of Washington state.

Indications are that a weak El Niño pattern may be forming. El Niños, marked by warmer than usual water in the equatorial Pacific, typically translate into warmer and drier winters in the Pacific Northwest, D'Amico said.

A note for weather-trivia buffs. Last October opened with 11 straight days of measurable precipitation at Sea-Tac — a soggy contrast to what appears to be at hand now.

Yet even with a dry August and September, two months that don't typically see much rain, 2012 is still running a wetter-than-usual year.

As of the end of September, Sea-Tac had received 26.42 inches of rain this year, compared to a normal total of 22.09 inches for the year's first nine months.

Despite the likelihood of continuing sunshine, temperatures are likely to dip Tuesday, with highs under 60 in parts of the Puget Sound area, before rebounding to the mid- to upper 60s by the end of the week.

In Eastern Washington, where wildfires have been spoiling the air quality, the winds of an approaching cold front offered good and bad news. Department of Ecology officials said the breezes could help clear the air, but also have the potential to spread the fires that continue to burn.

Jack Broom: 206-464-2222 or jbroom@seattletimes.com

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