It’s rainy in Seattle. That’s not news to anyone. If you live there or ever have, you know Seattle is also in the midst of the rainy season, much like every winter.
However, one of the characteristics of Seattle’s rain is that while sometimes relentless, it’s a relentless drizzle; not really the storms that characterize rain elsewhere. That may be slowly changing though. As soon as the clock struck midnight on New Year’s, Seattle officially recorded its rainiest four-year stretch ever.
In this time, the city has recorded its rainiest winter ever breaking a record that has stood since 1895.
The official four-year total was 186.4 inches of rain, which surpassed 1995-1998’s 180.6 inches. This all came about despite a summer that was the city’s hottest and driest.
Of course, astute readers might have picked up that these sorts of extreme swings in weather might be a sign of a larger issue. The official position of Seattle’s city government is indeed that these are indicative of climate change affecting the city. They point to evidence of not only the increase in rain in the winter and the increase of 90°+ days in the summer, but also to the noticeable rise in the water level of the Puget Sound and evidence of stressed environment among the Seattle area’s native flora and fauna.
This volatile weather is also bad for the city’s nightlife economy. Not only does unpredictable conditions made it harder to hold events in the city, particularly music festivals, but it also affects the day-to-day workings of the city’s economy, like its transit infrastructure, its new construction and development, its tourism industry, its food supply, and many other factors. Climate change presents an imminent, but slow moving, danger to all industries, including nightlife.
It seems like Seattle is in for another rainy winter. Hope you have good rain boots.
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