On Tuesday, something very special happened. OK, maybe not so much — but notable nonetheless. At Paine Field, the 34-day dry streak officially came to an end with a whopping 0.01 inches of rain. Some places — such as Sea-Tac airport — saw a little bit of drizzle, but according to the official records, there hasn’t been any measurable rainfall for over a month. Why is that?
The keyword here is measurable. Measurable rainfall is defined as at least 0.01 inches of rain. If it rains, but it isn’t enough to get to one-hundredth of an inch in the rain gauge, it will register as a trace amount. This doesn’t count towards any cumulative rainfall total in official records.
On Tuesday, we were just able to squeeze out enough rain at Paine Field to eke us past the trace mark, thus ending our dry streak. On the other hand, Sea-Tac just barely didn’t get enough, so the streak for number of days without measurable rainfall continues.
Even though our streak ended technically, we are still running very dry. One-hundredth of an inch is not nearly enough to put an end to that. Below is an updated drought monitor for Washington state.
Not much has changed in our area (we’re still at D0 on the intensity scale), but if you look at Eastern Washington, things have gotten worse. Last week, 6.82% of the state was at the highest level—D4, or exceptional drought. This week, that number increased to 27.56%. The entire state is still running abnormally dry or worse.
As a reminder, we are at the driest point of the year. Therefore, being dry shouldn’t surprise us, but rather the extent and severity of it.
Unfortunately, no rain is expected for the next several days. On the bright side, however, temperatures are expected to primarily fall in that “just right” zone—not too hot, not too cold. We should see high temperatures mostly in the 70s for the weekend and into next week. Overnight lows will likely stay in the mid-50s.
It’s very possible that we could finish out the month of July without any more rain (August is just around the corner!). That would leave us at just 0.01 inches of rain compared to the normal 0.84 inches. I don’t know about you, but I’m starting to really look forward to November — I miss the rain!
In the meantime, enjoy the Goldilocks temperatures! Have a great weekend.
— By Kelsie Nelson
Kelsie Nelson is a meteorologist and recent University of Washington graduate who lives in north Lynnwood. After writing weather blogs as a KOMO News intern, she discovered a passion for writing about weather. You can learn more in her blog www.wxnoggin.com and you can also follow her on Twitter at @kels_wx3.