We just experienced warmest and driest summer ever recorded in Seattle

The Seattle region has seen dry, hot, smoke, haze and ash this summer. Here are all the records broken, according to the National Weather Service.

This summer in Seattle was the warmest and driest ever recorded.

For those of us living in the Puget Sound region, it might not come as a surprise. In fact, it’s been a year full of extremes, with numerous daytime high records broken, one of the wettest rainy seasons and some of the haziest, smokiest days in memory from wildfires that blanketed the Pacific Northwest.

But this summer was special. Meteorologist Doug McDonnal, of the National Weather Service in Seattle, said the stretch from June 21 (the first day of summer) to Sept. 21 (the last full day of summer) is going down in the record books as being tied for the hottest since 1894 — when record-keeping began — with an average high temperature of 78.6 degrees, about 4 degrees warmer than average.

Tied for first place is 1967, when the average high was also 78.6 degrees, according to the weather service.

Early Friday morning, the weather service said 2017 had the hottest summer, but that was amended when the overnight numbers were calculated, McDonnal said.

(For those interested, third, fourth and fifth places are held by 2015, 2014 and 2013, respectively.)

This summer was also the driest on record, according to the weather service, with just 0.52 inches of rain, beating out 1910 at 0.58 inches. The region usually gets 2.25 inches of rain in that three-month period.

We were, however, lucky, according to McDonnal: a “good wet winter” left us with a nice, fat snowpack that came in at 120 percent of normal and lasted through the dry season.

Rain clouds descend upon downtown Seattle in this recent view from Magnolia’s Ella Bailey Park in February. (Ken Lambert / The Seattle Times)

The “water year,” which runs from Oct. 1 to Sept. 30 (so that the rainy season is not split up), is so far the sixth wettest on record, with 49.30 inches of precipitation. That’s over a foot more than the 36.88 inches recorded in a normal year, McDonnal said. The wettest recorded was in 1997 with 50.85 inches of rain.

“That was also the year that Mount Baker set its snowpack record and we had some floods,” he said.

This year, as usual, the snowpack was at its thickest in mid-April, gradually melting during the summer. Then the snowpack, it is hoped, builds up again in fall.

“We had a really dry, warm…

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