Local Weather and Climate

Seattle and the Pacific Northwest generally have a wet climate -- despite the fact that the winter of 2004/2005 here was one of the dryest on record!

But normal average yearly precipitation for our area of the world is around 37 inches.

On average, it rains in Seattle at least 50% of the time, with the heaviest rain periods between January and May and between October and December. June, July and August are our dryest and warmest months.

Temperatures in the summer usually hover around a pleasant 75, though we also have been known to suffer through weeklong heat spells in the high 80s or low 90s.

In the winter, Seattle may see a handful of snow days per year: the last major snow event in Seattle was in 1997, when we were snowed in for a week with several inches. However, in the winter of 2006/2007, the Puget Sound area experienced a number of damaging winter storms, lowland snow, wind storms, and a weeks-long string of below-freezing days -- it remains to be seen whether this winter is an anomaly or part of a larger climatological shift caused by global warming.

Seattle summer climate tends more toward the dry than the humid -- we get occasional summer thunderstorms, but not many, and tornados are rare.

The best way to prepare for visiting Seattle is to layer -- the climate, with our hilly terrain's infamous "convergence zones", is unpredictable enough (just ask our long-suffering local weather people) that you never know when a rain storm, a dry spell, or a sudden drop in temperature might occur.

You'll notice many Seattleites who don't even use umbrellas -- after awhile, you just get used to the drizzle.

Rain jokes aside, Seattle has a milder climate than many other parts of the world, with less extreme variations in temperature, and a higher number of cloudy days with misty and damp weather.