Rain is on the way to the Puget Sound region this weekend. (Photo by Robert Sumner/Getty Images)
The first major storm event of the season is on its way to the Seattle area, with most parts of the region expected to get up to 2 inches of rainfall.
Over the last three months, Seattle has seen an estimated 0.13 inches of rainfall. If that number had held until Sept. 20, that would have represented the lowest total for the summer season since 1945. Instead, the region will likely receive “more than 10 times that rainfall in less than 48 hours,” according to the National Weather Service (NWS).
That will all make for what University of Washington climatologist Cliff Mass calls “the storm we have been waiting for,” following a summer of scorching heat, dry weather, and a record number of wildfires.
“This rain will mark the end of the wildfire season in the Northwest, the remaining fires will rapidly decline with the massive moisture, high relative humidity, and MUCH lower temperatures, with highs dropping into the lower 60s,” Mass predicted in a recent blog post.
The region’s wet weather is expected to span Friday morning through Saturday evening, with Everett, Seattle, Kent, and Tacoma all likely to receive between 1.5 and 2 inches of rain. The NWS estimates that Olympia will see 2-3 inches as well.
Mass believes this portends even more rain to come in the weeks to come, citing forecast models that show “a lot more coming after this.”
This will be a welcome relief for much of Western Washington, following a summer where the Seattle area experienced a 51-day streak of rain-free days, tying a 1951 mark for the second-most consecutive dry days the city has ever seen. A late-June heat wave also set records for the hottest ever day on record for Seattle, Bellingham, Olympia, and Quillayute, with temperatures at the time ranging between 99 and 108 degrees.