Weather and Climate


Weather and climate change; words seemingly in the news almost each day. Ask anyone what Seattle's weather is like and you'll hear words like rainy, cool, wet, stormy, drizzly and fickled. Temperatures within a 20 mile radius of downtown Seattle can vary as much as 15 degrees. Often many visitors to downtown Seattle are surprised by the amount of abundant sunshine and lack of precipitation.

Many factors account for the disparity of weather conditions throughout the region. What are some of these conditions that cause weather to vary from location to location? While there's no doubt that the climate has changed in this region, what will the future be like? Will Seattle's weather be more like Los Angeles or Anchorage? Will Puget Sound be covered by ice, as it was 15,000 years ago or will all our surrounding glaciers melt and disappear? Will climate change bring extremely heavy rain and less snow as some future climate models suggest?


Currently, a weak or neutral El Niño condition exist in the Pacific Ocean. This condition has continued from this past winter and is now forecasted to continue into this winter.

How does this effect the day-to-day weather for the Northwest?

For the present time, Forecasters are expecting it to be drier than normal and a fairly normal temperature range. So if you're visiting the Pacific Northwest, plan for cool days with occasional showers or drizzle in the lowlands and snow in the mountains. Little if any snow should fall in the greater Seattle area.

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