A soggy start to 2016

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The new year is getting off to a wet start around Puget Sound. 20 of 31 days in January 2016 had light and/or moderate rainfall. It gave SeaTac a monthly rainfall total of 7.45″– That’s 133% of a typical January. An average January has 5.57″ of precipitation. Olympia reported a really wet month with 8.47″ of rain for the month. And a soaker of a January on the coast. The reporting station near Forks had a 15.73″ rain total for the month. That seems like a lot– but the average for January on the north Washington State coast is 14.61″. The wettest January ever for the north coast was in 2006 with a whopping two feet (24.02″ to be precise) of rain. We had several “atmospheric river” events hit Western Washington in January, which is when a front extends from the Pacific Northwest down towards the tropics. These kind of weather patterns tend to give us our heaviest winter precipitation.

The coldest day at SeaTac was on January 2nd with a low of 25. It was one of only four days we had below freezing reported at the airport reporting station. A typical January around Seattle has 6 days below freezing. The average low temperature (36.9 degrees) was also exceeded last month by nearly two degrees as well.

At SeaTac, our warmest day was January 27th which was a record tying 58 degrees. The average high temperature at SeaTac for last month was 49.1 degrees, which was above the normal average of 47.2. This continues the trend we saw for most of 2015– which was the warmest year on record for Seattle, Puget Sound region and the planet as a whole.

We’re expecting to switch things up a bit this month. The Nat’l Weather Service long range forecast for February calls for above normal temperatures and below normal precipitation. That’s the more typical ‘El Nino’ type weather pattern most forecasters were anticipating for this winter.

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