June 16, 2009

Will the record fall?

Everyone likes breaking a weather record. Well, we are coming close to beating a "minor league" record...the record number of consecutive dry days in May and June at Sea Tac . The record is 29 days and we are right behind it now with 28. Check out this list of mega-dry periods at Seattle Tacoma Airport.

29 DAYS MAY 28TH - JUNE 25TH 1982
28 DAYS MAY 20TH - JUNE 16TH 2009***
27 DAYS MAY 6TH - JUNE 1ST 1963
24 DAYS APR 30TH - MAY 23RD 1946
23 DAYS MAY 12TH - JUNE 3RD 1995
23 DAYS MAY 30TH - JUNE 21ST 1969

The record number of consecutive dry days ANYTIME of the year at Sea-Tac is 51 days for the period from July 7th through 26 August (1951). So we are not close to that record...which is centered on the driest period of the year (end of July, beginning of August).

Will we beat it? Mother nature is starting to play with us. It is now starting to rain on the coast, but the models suggest that little rain will make it across tonight....but they can be wrong. And all the local models are going for a nice convergence zone late tomorrow/thursday am...so we might tie...but beating the record will be hard! Take a look at the 24-h precipitation ending at 5 PM on Thursday....impressive... with showers in the mountains as well.


  1. Been quite a dry month....no doubt about that. Usually we have this kind of dry weather with no measurable precip in July/August. I don`t think I ever remember a June month going this long with out any measurable rain fall.

    My monthly Avg.June rain fall is 1.60". Certainly wont be reaching that if this current dry spell continues into the extended period through rest of this month.

  2. I only hope it falls for the pollen flying around out there. Otherwise it's been nice not to have a rainy June

  3. Here's a chemistry quiz

    The following is an actual question given on a University of Washington
    chemistry mid term.( Is this so? I claim no authenticity)

    The answer by one student was so "profound" that the professor shared it
    with colleagues, via the Internet, which is, of course, why we now have the
    pleasure of enjoying it as well :

    Bonus Question: Is Hell exothermic (gives off heat) or endothermic (absorbs
    Most of the students wrote proofs of their beliefs using Boyle's Law (gas
    cools when it expands and heats when it is compressed) or some variant.

    One student, however, wrote the following:

    First, we need to know how the mass of Hell is changing in time. So we need
    to know the rate at which souls are moving into Hell and the rate at which
    they are leaving. I think that we can safely assume that once a soul gets to
    Hell, it will not leave. Therefore, no souls are leaving. As for how many
    souls are entering Hell, let's look at the different religions that exist in
    the world today.

    Most of these religions state that if you are not a member of their
    religion, you will go to Hell. Since there is more than one of these
    religions and since people do not belong to more than one religion, we can
    project that all souls go to Hell. With birth and death rates as they are,
    we can expect the number of souls in Hell to increase exponentially. Now, we
    look at the rate of change of the volume in Hell because Boyle's Law states
    that in order for the temperature and pressure in Hell to stay the same, the
    volume of Hell has to expand proportionately as souls are added.

    This gives two possibilities:

    1. If Hell is expanding at a slower rate than the rate at which souls enter
    Hell, then the temperature and pressure in Hell will increase until all Hell
    breaks loose.

    2. If Hell is expanding at a rate faster than the increase of souls in Hell,
    then the temperature and pressure will drop until Hell freezes over.

    So which is it?

    If we accept the postulate given to me by Teresa during my Freshman year
    that, "It will be a cold day in Hell before I sleep with you," and take into
    account the fact that I slept with her last night, then number two must be
    true, and thus I am sure that Hell is exothermic and has already frozen
    over. The corollary of this theory is that since Hell has frozen over, it
    follows that it is not accepting any more souls and is therefore,
    extinct......leaving only Heaven, thereby proving the existence of a divine
    being which explains why, last night, Teresa kept shouting "Oh my God."

    THIS student received an A+

  4. We had sprinkles in Port Angeles this evening beginning around 6:30. Remember the smell of wet concrete?

  5. Wondering what, precisely, constitutes precipitation. We've had sprinkles twice here in Port Townsend in the past two weeks, but I doubt it's enough to measure in a rain gauge.

  6. We had a few rain drops here in North Seattle around 8pm but that was it.

  7. It's interesting how most of the previous May/June dry streaks preceded El Nino winters. '82-'83 was a horrible year for snow and cold in the northwest. On the other hand, '95-'96 was a decent year - that was a weak to moderate La Nina year, however.

    I guess it's no surprise that we're once again heading towards another Nino year. Let's hope it's a weak one.

  8. Woke up to the sound of rain in Bellingham too. Moderate steady rain but already stopping. I'm wondering where the records stand for rainfall here. Where would I look? I think we can claim 27-28 precip.-free days.

    This is a great break in the weather! No watering necessary today and the pollen is knocked down. Best June ever so far!

  9. The last time it rained at BLI was on May 26th. And the last time it rained at SEA was May 19th.

  10. Oh, but I hope it rains! I count on our cool Junes to settle in the new spring plants before the drought months. Walking through the garden this morning (as I set the sprinklers going), I could see all sorts of stress setting in among the plantings.

    Sun is nice, yes, but an occasional rainy day is no trouble, and rain at night or in the early morning is a lovely thing.

  11. Mainstreeter's Chemistry quiz post gets an A+ from me (a retired UW professor). I'm planning to share it with colleagues and teacher and minister friends all over the country! The Yin/Yang of science and religions is something we all need to explore...

    Bob Moore

  12. bhd, this is for measurable precipitation. If it rains, but not enough to measure at least a hundredth of an inch at the rain gauge at Sea-Tac, then they report a trace of rain (which has in fact happened since May 19).

    mainstreeter, your post should be taken off. It's irrelevant and uses offensive language.

  13. I've been keeping an eye on the ATX composite reflectivity loop for the predicted CZ activity and have yet to see any. The entire radar image is very quiet except for two very small "cells", both having red centers, and both showing large clear areas ahead of and behind them. They look for all the world like tornado cells on the edge of a frontal boundary! However, today is quite cool. One moved over I-5 just south of Tacoma, and the other due east of Centralia. They are both visible in the frames between 19:11 and 20:04 UTC Is there something going on here that's worth writing about?

  14. Alas, snopes.com exposes the hellish chemistry quiz as a piece of (very clever) fiction. You can find variants of the story all over the web, attributing the quiz to a wide range of colleges. Funny nonetheless!

  15. ah so. I wondered about the UW connection. Still clever.

  16. http://www.snopes.com/college/exam/hell.asp Mainstreeter, you really ought to check snopes.com before you embarrass yourself by posting urban legends... especially ones that have nothing to do with the blog at hand!

  17. Hey Jewlz- Ya why start a flame war when you could of just let it be. It's not your blog btw. And I did say I couldn't verify the authenticity at the beginning but 1 prof and another said it was funny. So there!

  18. i was on my way home from longview and got poured on around toledo/winlock today!

  19. I'm wondering if most locations broke or tied the driest period this time of year. I didn't hear any rain last night.

  20. Not much rain here today. In fact...VERY little 0.01" for me today. That was early this morning though. so rest of the day was cloudy. mostly cloudy with late day sun breaks.

  21. For exceptional dry spells I put in days with less 0.05" into xmACIS

    Consecutive Days
    Precipitation <= 0.05 inches
    Years: 1948-2009

    Rank # Days End Date
    1 89 9/14/2006
    2 70 9/ 1/1967
    3 63 8/27/1958
    4 58 9/13/1986
    5 56 9/ 2/2002

    That period, June 17th through September 13th only saw a total of .13" at Sea-Tac--now that is a dry summer!

    Of course the early dryness this is interesting too--I had to water my lawn this year. I usually just let it go dormant, but wanted to at least limp along til July (and then let it dry up). I don't think I've watered the lawn in June before. Hope it rains Friday, looks like it could this time.

  22. Rained in Renton yesterday... I was going to stain the deck in the afternoon clearing that we have been having and it rained just enough to stop the job.

  23. Hi, I am happy to help you study my research in the weather characteristics via Biodynamics (B-D) Calendar. I am offering my investigations at biodynamicjournal dot wordpress dot com, which reports the weather in light of the B-D Calendar, with great success so far!!! Try it, and you will see the clouds in a whole new light!

  24. Yes, you really can track the rains by the moon because the tides work in the air above to some extent, and it changes preciptiation, as you will see at biodynamicjournal.wordpress.com


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