Expert: Puget Sound summer weather ‘best in several years’

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A temperate July made for ideal summer weather in the Seattle area. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)

While many in July wondered why the Puget Sound region’s warm weather was off to a late start, one expert labeled it the best start to summer we’ve had in recent memory.

Seattle’s gloomy July weather is actually completely normal

According to the National Weather Service, Sea-Tac Airport (where it tracks weather in the Seattle area) saw an average temperature of 67.5 degrees, 1.8 degrees above normal for July. Precipitation was also above normal levels, with 1.15 inches of rain.

The month was also neither the warmest, nor wettest the area has seen, as the 16th hottest July on record and the 17th rainiest.

That all made for a slightly cooler July than 2018’s 70-degree average, and right on par with 67 degrees in 2017.

As Seattle Weather Blog noted, “all in all, a pretty average July.” That made for what University of Washington climate scientist Cliff Mass described as the ideal summer.

“This summer has been the best in several years — temperate, dry with brief rain periods and very little smoke,” he described in a recent blog post.

That temperate weather has been a boon to keeping wildfires in check as well.

“The region is still experiencing a quiet wildfire season in the Northwest, with average or fewer than normal fires,” Mass said.

Northwest set for reprieve as wetter, light wildfire season approaches

In terms of high temperatures, July was also a significantly cooler month for the region. The NWS points out that while the record for days in July with 80-plus degree weather is 21,  the month featured just 11 such days in the month this year, a stark decline from 20 last year.

Things will warm up in August, with plenty of 80-degree days on the docket for the month. Meanwhile, Western Washington is still experiencing a “moderate to severe drought.” For anyone vacationing on Vancouver Island, though, Mass has advice based on a different outlook.

“Take rain gear. And a tarp. And more rain gear.”