The last few years have been ones for the record-books in Washington State. We are swinging from super wet and chilly, to extremely dry and hot. This trend, fueled by long term global climate shifts, is expected to continue throughout 2018.
In 2017, Seattle’s rainfall was over 10 in. above average, and we broke a 122 year old record for the wettest winter-spring season (Oct-April)*. This was followed by 55 days without rain, breaking another record.
Earlier snow melting and drier summers will have significant consequences for our Northwest ecosystem, including impacts on fish populations and increased risk of wildfires. Our home comfort will be affected too. The historically gentle temperature range, punctuated by a few days of heat and a few of freeze, will continue to move toward more extremes. This puts greater demands on our houses for proper and sufficient ventilation, and equipment to keep us comfortable.
NOAA’s Summer 2018 Forecast
The big swings in rainy and dry conditions in the Northwest are expected to continue. The current forecast for spring shows below normal temperatures through this month (May) with normal precipitation, switching over to drier and hotter than average this summer. NOAA (The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) provides the country’s official weather forecasting. Their summer forecast map below shows a 50% chance of above normal heat this summer. They also forecast precipitation significantly below average this summer.