Washington Climate


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Washington State has a diverse range of climates due to its geographical spread. The western side is characterized by mild temperatures and abundant rainfall, moderate temperatures and relatively low amounts of rain in the eastern side, and cold climates in the north. The coastal areas experience mild winters and cool summers while the inland regions can be quite hot in the summer months. Rainfall is seasonal, with most of it occurring in winter, although there are some places that receive more precipitation than others. Snowfall is common during winter months but is usually light overall. Overall, Washington State has a moderate climate that makes it an ideal place to live and visit.

Washington, Washington gets 38 inches of rain, on average, per year. The US average is 38 inches of rain per year.

Washington averages 18 inches of snow per year. The US average is 28 inches of snow per year.

On average, there are 165 sunny days per year in Washington. The US average is 205 sunny days.

Washington gets some kind of precipitation, on average, 137 days per year. Precipitation is rain, snow, sleet, or hail that falls to the ground. In order for precipitation to be counted you have to get at least .01 inches on the ground to measure.

Weather Highlights

Summer High: the July high is around 79 degrees
Winter Low: the January low is 31
Rain: averages 38 inches of rain a year
Snow: averages 18 inches of snow a year

Bestplaces Comfort Index

Washington's annual BestPlaces Comfort Index of 7.1 (10=best) indicates it is about average compared to other states in the United States.

9.1 Summer - 4.9 Winter
August, July and September are the most pleasant months in the state of Washington, while December and January are the least comfortable months.

  ClimateWashington, WashingtonUnited States
  37.6 in.38.1 in.
  18.4 in.27.8 in.
  137.4 days106.2 days
  165 days205 days
  1907 ft.2443 ft.

Many people confuse weather and climate but they are different. Weather is the conditions of the atmosphere over a short period of time, and climate is how the atmosphere is over long periods of time.

Weather is how the atmosphere is behaving and its effects upon life and human activities. Weather can change from minute-to-minute. Most people think of weather in terms of temperature, humidity, precipitation, cloudiness, brightness, visibility, wind, and atmospheric pressure.

Climate is the description of the long-term pattern of weather in a place. Climate can mean the average weather for a particular region and time period taken over 30 years. Climate is the average of weather over time.

August is the hottest month for Washington with an average high temperature of 79.4°, which ranks it as one of the coolest states. In Washington, there are 4 comfortable months with high temperatures in the range of 70-85°. The most pleasant months of the year for Washington are July, August and September.
Washington has 11.4 days annually when the high temperature is over 90°, which is cooler than most states in the U.S.
December has the coldest nighttime temperatures for Washington with an average of 29.4°. This is warmer than most of the U.S. states.
Washington has 79.6 days annually when the nighttime low temperature falls below freezing, which is warmer than most states in the U.S.
Washington averages 1.0 days annually when the nighttime low temperature falls below freezing, which is warmer than most states in the U.S.
Humidity is low in the state of Washington, and some people might find the dryness to be uncomfortable. Days with noticeable humidity are rare throughout the year. A very dry climate can lead to cracked, itchy skin and dry eyes.
November is the wettest month in Washington with 6.0 inches of rain, and the driest month is July with 0.9 inches. The wettest season is Spring with 38% of yearly precipitation and 10% occurs in Autumn, which is the driest season. Washington's average annual rainfall of 37.6 inches indicates that it is drier than most states in the United States.
November is the rainiest month in Washington with 16.7 days of rain, and August is the driest month with only 4.6 rainy days. Washington's annual average of 137.4 days with measurable rain is one of the rainiest states in the United States. The rainiest season is Spring when it rains 33% of the time and the driest is Autumn with only a 14% chance of a rainy day.
Washington's average annual snowfall of 18.4 inches indicates that it is less snowy than most states in the United States. December is the snowiest month in Washington with 6.4 inches of snow, and 5 months of the year have significant snowfall.
Reviews for Washington
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Over 3 years ago

I've lived in Washington my whole life, and it's my home, I can't imagine living anywhere else, but it's getting so ridiculously expensive to live here... But the  More

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WA has been my home since 1996. I’ve lived in other states and travelled widely so am aware of pros / cons of other localities. Our state is green, with beautiful  More

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Over 3 years ago

I didn't think this Washington state economy was any help, it didn't tell me anything really, except for everything I knew before.  More

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