Rain, Rain And More Rain: Record-Breaking March For Parts Of W. Wash.

Mar 30, 2014

This weekend's rain caused parts of western Washington to see the wettest March on record as was predicted by KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass

"My lawn has turned into a carpet of moss and my deck is now green," Mass said on Sunday.

By 5 p.m. Saturday, Sea-Tac Airport had seen 9.44 inches for the month — more than twice the normal March monthly total of 3.72 inches, Mass said.

"This is the all time monthly record for March at this location, for a record going back into the late 19th century," he said.

Seattle also broke its record for March, which was set in 1986, Mass said. The National Weather Service station in Sand Point recorded 9.22 inches.

"Many of the stations around Puget Sound are having a top-10 precipitation total for March, but the amounts appears less unusual than Seattle at places like Olympia and Bellingham," Mass said. 

Rainfall Near Oso

The National Weather Service says near-record rainfall was recorded in March in Darrington and Arlington near last week's deadly mudslide.

At the Darrington Ranger Station, nearly 19 inches of rain fell in March as of Sunday morning. That made it the second wettest March on record. Normal rainfall in March in Darrington is just over 7 inches. The wettest March on record was 1997, when almost 20 inches of rain fell in Darrington, although information was missing for 11 days of that month.

In Arlington, rainfall totals are not as current. Nearly 8 inches of rain had been recorded as of Wednesday morning. The wettest March on record in Arlington was 2011 when more than 9 inches of rain fell. Normally Arlington sees just over 4.5 inches of rain during March.

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The weekly KPLU feature "Weather with Cliff Mass" airs every Friday at 9 a.m. immediately following BirdNote, and twice on Friday afternoons during All Things Considered. The feature is hosted by KPLU Environment Reporter Bellamy Pailthorp. Cliff Mass is a University of Washington Professor of Atmospheric Sciences, a renowned Seattle weather prognosticator, and a popular weather blogger. You can also subscribe to a podcast of “Weather with Cliff Mass” shows.