Seattle nears 50 inches of rainfall for 2012; record is 55 inches

Despite nearly 50 inches of rain this year, the greatest annual rainfall record at Sea-Tac Airport appears to be safe.

Cliff Mass in his Dec. 26 Weather Blog reports that Seattle has had about 48.5 inches of rain so far this year, nearly 12 inches more than normal.

But the record at Sea-Tac is 55.14 inches set in 1950.

"There is little chance we can reach that in a few days," Mass wrote. "Only three years (including 1950) got above 50 inches...there is a good chance we will get close to that level. In any case, we will 'enjoy' living in one of the top 10 wettest years since 1948."

Mass said it has been a very wet period during the last month, with lots of precipitation in the lowlands and heavy snow in the mountains, but it looks like a break is coming up that should allows us to dry off a bit, and yes, see a glimpse of the sun.

The wet periods this year included late winter, early spring and fall (after roughly Oct. 20).

But Mass said the pattern is a changing. The latest NWS Climate Prediction Center 6-10 day forecasts show drier than normal conditions over the Pacific Northwest. The origin? Persistent ridging (high pressure) over the region with a few glancing blows, mainly to our north.

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