Autumn means clouds, and clouds mean rain—and rain means the Washington we all know and (some of us) love.
Well, it’s Autumn.
The forecast looks wet.
But Seattle, it turns out, gets quite the range of rainfall, according to new data from Seattle Public Utilities. Rain in Green Lake is not the same as rain downtown.
The rainiest neighborhood: Rainier Beach (in southern Seattle). 44.9 inches per year over the past 5 years.
The driest neighborhood: Belltown. 37.6 inches a year over the past 5 years.
The variation comes from micro-rain shadows. Seattle’s hills are just big enough to keep their lee sides noticeably drier.
“SPU’s rain gauges have shown that when winds are southwesterly, a small rain shadow often forms over downtown Ballard, which is in the shadow of Magnolia,” said meteorologist James Rufo-Hill. “Similar patterns are consistently observed downwind of West Seattle and Capitol Hill, which can keep communities along the Duwamish River and Lake Washington, respectively, drier than surrounding neighborhoods.”
Other factors include the much larger but more distant Olympic Rain Shadow and the rain-squeezing affect of the Issaquah Alps.
This is interesting trivia, but does it matter? If you care about picking the best house possible—yes. Oh, yes.
Many buyers look for homes in the spring or summer, and they forget that in just a few months, that location is going to look very different. It might look better, for the rain-lovers, come Autumn. It’ll look worse, for the haters.
Regardless, it’s important to envision your new house in all seasons. What will your backyard look like when all the leaves have fallen? Is that yard worth the struggle of maintaining it through the dry months? How will that view look in the rainy Autumn?
Here’s a question we’re curious about: Are you—yes, you!—a rain-lover or a rain-hater? Let us know on our Facebook page.