Seattle Weather

Seattle WeatherThe city of Seattle has one of the more temperate climates in the continental United States. Although it has a reputation as a very damp and rainy city, this is not entirely true for the actual Seattle downtown area. The weather in the region remains comfortable throughout the year because of Puget Sound, the Olympic Mountains, Cascade Ridge and Lake Washington. The warm pacific air and cool arctic air that would cause temperature extremes are separated and driven around the city by the local mountains and lakes. The city is cloudy for over 200 days every year although these clouds frequently give way to sunshine at some point during the day.

The summers in Seattle tend to be very temperate and dry when compared to the other seasons. The average high temperature during the summer is 73 degrees Fahrenheit. Extremely hot temperatures above 90 degrees are very rare and only occur a few days out of every year. The hottest recorded air temperature in the city was 103 degrees. There is also a very small amount of rain during the summer and almost no thunderstorms. Nighttime temperatures are cool and comfortable. There is generally less than one inch of rain during each summer month although this might be spread across several light showers over many days instead of a single strong downpour. Visitors arriving in summer should expect comfortable temperatures but should pack an umbrella just in case.

The winters in Seattle are very moderate although this is also the season where the most rain occurs. Average nighttime lows during the winter are above freezing usually just below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. The daytime winter highs are usually between 40 and 50 degrees. Very little snow falls and there is only minor accumulation most years. The city has seen more than six inches of snow on only a handful of occasions. Visitors coming during the winter should dress warmly and in layers. It is best to bring coats and sweaters in order to adapt to the changing temperatures throughout the day.

Seattle does receive rain on more days throughout the year than most other locations although accumulations in the downtown area are not as great as many cities on the East Coast. The rain generally occurs as light precipitation spread over several days or weeks each month. The heaviest rains occur in the winter and can exceed 20 inches in a month. Visitors should always be prepared for periods of rain when coming to Seattle. The city does not commonly experience any severe weather because of the protective topography although windstorms and other events have been recorded in the past. Anyone traveling to the areas outside of the city Seattle will experience very different weather patterns including intense rain and heat depending on the season.