September 20, 2019


This is turning out to be one of the wettest Septembers in a number of years--and most locations in western Washington already exceed their normal monthly rainfall--by a lot.

Here is an impressive figure-- the percentage of normal precipitation for September 5- Sept 18th.  A lot of our region has gotten more than 400% of the normal rainfall for the period.  Northeast Washington has over 800%.  In contrast, southern California is drier than normal...but they don't get much this time of the year anyway.

Here is the rainfall so far this month at SeaTac Airport (purple) compared to normal (cyan).  The current time is shown by the blue arrow.  SeaTac is about 1.5 inches above normal and even if we didn't get a drop more, it would end up roughly 2/3rds of an inch above normal.

But we will get more....starting with Sunday.  Take a look at the latest European Center forecast for accumulated precipitation through the end of the month (below). Not dry...with several inches in the mountains and wet conditions stretching over Puget Sound (due to a convergence zone).   Vancouver BC will be soggy.  The coast--wet.

All this precipitation will begin the refill process for our reservoirs and dams, and our streams are already at and above normal levels (see below).  Good for fish.

So purchase some slug bait, get out your rain jacket, and make sure you have an umbrella handy.


  1. Normal September precip at KBLI is 1.78". Given the trend I've observed in measured precipitation my location about 1.5 mi southeast of the airport, I suspect that average precipitation is somewhat higher at the airport. I've measured 2.79" so far for the month compared with 3.56" at the airport. This is the earliest and most abrupt beginning to autumn in this area in the better part of a decade.

  2. Sorry bout that. I had a project which needs a stretch of dry weather, and I got a late start on it, and ... "maybe next year."

  3. “Wildfires expected to spread as Washington has a ‘bullseye’ on it” – KIRO MyNorthwest 6/10/19
    “Wildfire danger unusually high for Western Washington” – Q13FOX – 6/13/19
    “Severe wildfire season is arriving early, warns lands commissioner Hilary Franz” – Seattle Times – 5/1/2019
    “Western Washington faces elevated wildfire risk in 2019” – Bellevue Reporter – 4/5/19
    “Firefighters brace for tough pacific northwest wildfire season” – – 6/10/19
    “Wildfire risk expected to rise after Washington 'blessed' by cool, wet July” – KING 5 – 7/17/19
    “Western Washington wildfires on the rise” – KING 5 – 7/22/19
    “Western Washington faces especially bad wildfire season” – KOMO 4 – 5/27/19
    “Washington faces especially bad wildfire season” – Seattle Times - 5/27/19
    “Forecast calls for busy wildfire season along west coast” – Seattle Times – 5/1/2019

    And on and on and on, hundreds of articles like this. All of them wrong. But they did their job: spreading fear. Because fear - not reality - is what matters these days.

    None of the people or organizations involved in this fear-mongering charade should have any credibility left. And Cliff once again you were the only sane voice in all of it, so kudos to you. Unbelievable there are not more with the courage to speak out. And if they didn't then, they should now -- as this kind of complete public forecasting failure does nothing but damage science into the future.

    1. At the time of when these articles were written we were running on a warm and dry spring that followed several warmer and drier than normal summer seasons. The fear of bad wildfires was a real threat, not just some propaganda. Luckily for all of us we actually had a near normal summer for precipitation and temperatures, keeping away what was in fact looking like a summer of heightened wildfire risk. Cliff saw something in long term forecasts (I am pretty sure he references this during one of his summer posts) that gave him more confidence in a season that wasn't going to be filled with fires and low water totals. But, what if these long term forecasts were off a little bit? And instead of a wetter summer we had a drier summer with more days in the 80s and 90s? I bet you would be the type of person who yells at the top of their lungs and ask why the government didn't do more to prepare for natural disasters.

    2. Their job isn’t to spread fear, just sell advertisements. So they all echo the same story whether is scary fire season or happy cancer survivor. But after two years of summer smoke out, the fire story was both easy to write and resonated with peoples fear. The “summer weather reverts to the mean” doesn’t capture many eyeballs and sell many ads. But if it starts flooding this fall, then yes, the scary high water and heroic rescue stories will carry the day.

    3. No Sam, I am the type of person who has studied water supply in Washington for over 20 years, and have watched as year over year a measured, data-driven and scientific discussion re: water supply management/forecasting has devolved into drought hysteria, fear-mongering, and political bs. It's a joke now, and the public needs to know it.

  4. Please, no "Slug Bait." We don't need more toxic pesticides in our waters and soils.

  5. About this time last year you announced the last 3 or 4 days of nice summer weather. We enjoyed a great mini-vacation. May try it in the Blue Mountains, looking so so.

  6. Agree with Bob, hand pick, trap with beer, spread coffee grounds around especiallybattractive plants, encourage frogs, birds and snakes (who will eat snails&slugs) in your garden, but if you have to use slug bait, at least use an organic one made of iron phosphate, and in moderation.

  7. Shut up and kiss me. Hey, i am looking for an online sex partner ;) Click on my boobs if you are interested (. )( .)


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