How much snow does Seattle get each year? You can count on 5.1 inches of snow per year. Read about rain and snowfall during the non-snow months and landslides caused by melting snow. You’ll also discover how often blizzards occur in Seattle. So, if you’re planning on living in the city, be prepared. Listed below are the most common wintertime weather problems you might encounter in Seattle.
5.1 inches of snow a year
On average, Seattle receives 6.1 inches of snow per year, but it can be much more. Since 1948, the city has measured snowfall at Sea-Tac Airport. From 1995 to 2004, the city measured snowfall at other locations. The one-day record is 21.5 inches on Jan. 13, 1950. In downtown Seattle, 21.5 inches of snow fell on the Federal Building on the same day.
Although Seattle has fewer than most other cities in the U.S., it can still experience heavy snowfalls, which may lead to icy road conditions and death. The Seattle Police Department estimates that there are six fatalities and hundreds of injuries each year from snow-related accidents. Although Seattle gets an average of three to five inches of snow per year, its winters were much harsher in the past. In the 1950s and 1960s, Seattle experienced significant snowfall, with six people dying every year.
The Seattle area had another storm earlier this week, with some neighborhoods reporting about half a foot of snow. CNN’s Chris Boyette contributed to this report. The storm was so powerful that the city’s public schools canceled classes. Meanwhile, the city’s 5.1-inch-a-year average is higher than most parts of the Pacific Northwest. There is an 80% chance that Seattle will experience another winter storm this season.
Rainfall in Seattle has a high variability. There are many months with little or no precipitation, and many days with light drizzle. During the summer, Seattle averages just one inch of rain, compared to more than six inches for other major U.S. cities. In November, however, Seattle experiences its heaviest rain of the year, accounting for nearly half of the city’s annual precipitation. During the fall, atmospheric rivers called “Pineapple Express” systems and strong frontal systems are common. Other months, light rain is the norm.
The snowfall in Seattle is not very high and varies greatly from year to year. A snowstorm that lasts several days is rare. Winters in Seattle are cloudy and warm, and summers are mostly sunny and short. The average temperature varies from 37F to 79F throughout the year. During the winter, temperatures rarely dip below 28F, making snow conditions a rare occurrence.
Rain during the non-snow months
The city of Seattle experiences precipitation nearly half the year. The average precipitation amount is 37 inches per year. The wettest months in Seattle are November and October, with less than an inch on each of those days. Seattle gets about 50 percent of its annual rainfall in the summer, while only a handful of days are completely dry. Here are the four seasons in Seattle:
Rainfall in Seattle typically occurs as storms common in the middle of the country. These storms are most intense during winter, while those in the summer track shift northward. In addition to winter storms, Seattle experiences summer thunderstorms and afternoon showers. However, these do not contribute to precipitation. As such, rain during the non-snow months in Seattle is a normal part of the Seattle weather cycle.
In the winter, the city of Seattle experiences heavy snowfall, and is home to more than one blizzard in a single season. While Seattle has a mild climate year-round, it can still experience cold snaps, and temperatures can reach freezing or below. The coldest months of the year include January and February, which experience the most snowfall, while the hottest months of the year are July and August.
Rain in Seattle is relatively rare during the non-snow months. The cool season lasts about 3.6 months, with the lowest daily temperature recorded in February. This means that rain can occur during the non-snow months, but it will also continue to fall. However, the cool weather in Seattle is still not unpleasant, so it’s worth staying in your hotel room. There’s nothing to worry about, as Seattle’s climate is mild enough to be comfortable.
Seattle is blessed with good weather in the summer. The city rarely experiences rain in the summer months, which is typically sunny and clear. Seattle’s temperatures are usually 75 degrees. However, there are sporadic heat waves during the summer. This season is ideal for outdoor activities. Aside from outdoor sports, Seattle also boasts a beautiful springtime landscape. However, it’s also rainy, so you should pack rain gear.
Landslides triggered by melting snow
In early 1972, landslides in the Seattle area resulted in hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages. They were caused by several identifiable geologic, climatic, and human factors. Knowing what causes landslides can help prevent them in the future. In Seattle, for example, the early period of 1972 had above-average rainfall. A cold spell also gave the soil high infiltration capacity.
The heavy precipitation in this time period led to widespread flooding and localized landsliding. In western Washington, many of these incidents were associated with ice-free areas. Total precipitation from Dec. 20 to Jan. 3 was 287 mm, and at Everett and Sea-Tac Airport, it was 177 mm. Most of the precipitation fell in snow.
The mapped landslides in Seattle were characterized by their locations. LIDAR images helped map the landslides. They also identified landslide scars that indicate the individual landslides. These landforms account for approximately 9.5% of the Seattle area’s land. Moreover, landslides are often accompanied by other morphologic changes, such as denuded slopes, which are prone to future landslides.
Since 80% of Seattle’s landslides are caused by human activity, the slope-toe process is not fully arrested. Humans have accelerated the process of slope evolution, and landslides have remained an unavoidable hazard for more than a century after human activity stopped. The mapped landforms in Seattle are more like glacial-age landslides than typical Seattle landslides.
Researchers in Seattle and other areas around the country have found that melting snow triggers landslides. They measured the susceptibility of the landslides with LIDAR. By taking measurements of the susceptibility of the region to landslides, they can improve the design of our city’s public infrastructure. And because the melting snow triggered landslides in Seattle, these slides have a high potential to cause more harm.
Frequency of blizzards in Seattle
The frequency of blizzards in Seattle has increased by more than threefold in the past two decades, a jump that may be linked to climate change. Between 1960 and 1994, the U.S. experienced nine blizzards on average each year. But since 1995, there have been 19 on average. This increase may be attributed to improved monitoring and reporting, but it is not yet clear why. Blizzards are typically more frequent during periods of low sunspot activity, which is characteristic of the 11-year cycle of planetary temperatures.
Snowfall in Seattle varies greatly by region. Snowfall in downtown Seattle may only be a dusting, but Everett, south of downtown Seattle, can get up to two feet. Last month, Seattle experienced one of its largest snowstorms on record, with up to 20 inches of snow falling on one day in January. The city also has a temperate climate, with summers short and cold.
Although the Pacific Ocean controls the temperature in Seattle, the city also has the benefit of high elevation. Even though the Pacific Ocean stays relatively warm most of the year, cold air from the interior of the continent often pushes into the Puget Sound region, causing dramatic cold spells with ice and snow. Seattle experiences several blizzards each year. If you’re worried about the weather in Seattle, you’ll need to take the right precautions to avoid the worst.
What causes blizzards in Seattle? Blizzards typically occur on the northwest side of a storm system. The resulting storm system brings ample snow and strong winds. This difference in pressure creates a whiteout. The snowfalls can block roads, and the snow can cause hypothermia and frostbite. Blizzards can also last for days after the storm has passed.
The Pacific Northwest is particularly vulnerable to arctic air masses, which can arrive in pairs. The region’s climate is largely influenced by these air masses. The Pacific Northwest is a prime example of this. In December and January, temperatures were as low as 31 degrees in Seattle. But, this doesn’t mean that it will be colder in Seattle. If temperatures drop below freezing, there’s a chance of snow showers through Wednesday and rain on Thursday. On Friday, however, temperatures will drop into the low to mid-twenties.