NPR : News

Filed Under:

In Seattle, 'Rainiest Day Of The Year' Defends Its Title

It's Rain Day in Seattle — or at least that's what the city should consider calling November 19. As KOMO-TV reports, Nov. 19 "is statistically the most likely day to have rain in Seattle," with wet weather hitting the city on 89 out of the past 120 years, including today's deluge.

No other day reportedly comes close to matching that number in Seattle, a city famous for its frequent rainfall. By noon today, the rainfall had already set a new record for daily accumulation on Nov. 19, easily surpassing the 50-year-old record of 1.23 inches measured at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

Monday's drenching was accompanied by mudslides and wind gusts that blew well past 100 mph in elevated areas, where snow has also been falling. The day was particularly harrowing for one highway patrol officer. Here's how KOMO-TV describes it:

"The trooper had stopped for a mudslide on US 101 at milepost 30, said Trooper Russ Winger, a spokesman for the Washington State Patrol. As the trooper was outside the car looking at the first slide, another tree toppled down onto the trooper's patrol car, setting it afire. Another car then crashed into the patrol car."

As NPR member station KPLU reports, Seattle officials are relying on "big Jetvac trucks" to suck leaves and debris out of storm drains and cut down the chances of flooding. Forecasters say the wet weather is likely to continue through Thursday, as a string of storms rolls in from the Pacific Ocean.

While it is soaking streets and disrupting daily life, Monday's rainfall must clear a high bar if it is to set a new record for the Seattle area. Back on Oct. 20, 2003, more than 5 inches of rain fell at the Sea-Tac airport.

Update at 11:58 p.m. ET: An early version of this post suggested Seattle's famed weather brings high levels of annual rainfall. While the city has many rainy days, its annual volume of rain trails many other U.S. cities. Thank you to the alert readers who pointed that out.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Jack Davis, Cartoonist Who Helped Found 'Mad' Magazine, Dies

Money from a job illustrating a Coca-Cola training manual became a springboard for Jack Davis to move from Georgia to New York.
NPR

Cookie Dough Blues: How E. Coli Is Sneaking Into Our Forbidden Snack

Most people know not to eat raw cookie dough. But now it's serious: 46 people have now been sickened with E. coli-tainted flour. Here's how contamination might be occurring.
WAMU 88.5

The Politics Hour – LIVE from Slim's Diner!

This special edition of the Politics Hour is coming to you live from Slim's Diner from Petworth in Northwest D.C.

NPR

Writing Data Onto Single Atoms, Scientists Store The Longest Text Yet

With atomic memory technology, little patterns of atoms can be arranged to represent English characters, fitting the content of more than a billion books onto the surface of a stamp.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.