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Olympic Rain Shadow: April - September?

Tucson, AZ
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Olympic Rain Shadow: April - September?

This is a retirement motivated question but relevant to traveling as well. We are about to take a trip to the Seattle area as tourists with a retirement agenda. In our research we've read about the rain shadow. If we do retire in the area it will be for the April - September half of the year. Our question is, during this half of the year is the difference in terms of sunny days and less rain and cloudiness between the rain shadow area and the non-rain shadow area significant enough to justify confining our search to the rain shadow area?

We realize this is a highly subjective question, but we love the sun and certainly if we intended to live in the Seattle area all year round, we would definitely stay within the rain shadow. However, it may very well be that during the April - September period Seattle is itself sunny enough that there's no real advantage to confining ourselves to the rain shadow area. Thanks.

Clipper Vacations
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Puget Sound Tours
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Seattle, Washington
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1. Re: Olympic Rain Shadow: April - September?

You will notice a difference between April and mid-late June, otherwise not that much.

Tacoma, Washington
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2. Re: Olympic Rain Shadow: April - September?

The dominant rain shadow area is the area NE of the Olympics around Sequim and the San Juan Islands.

The heavier rain area tends to be around Bremerton and the southern Snohomish county area. The area where I live near Mt rainier also gets a little more rain being close to th Mt Rainier and getting some mountian effect type of showers.

The heavy rain season is from October-March.

April-May its more showers and lighter rain. Usually in this time its a mix of part;y sunny days with a few showers.

Then roughly in June sometime the dry season starts and it lasts through September. During this time its very dry and it gets mild. Over this period any rain that occurs is usually from (a) marine layer drizzle in the early morning or (b) thunderstorms over the mountains that then sometimes drift into the foothills area. There area a few all day rain days. There was one fo those yesterday...but in the summer those days are rare.

During the summer if you are going to choose a place to live choose wisely----what interests you

also in the summer the temos can be hihly varied during heat waves. a week ago when the temps were forecast to be i the low 90s in the the area of Tacoma and Olympia and in the areas away from the water and in the foothills of the cascades, while Everett was cooler, Bellingham was cooler than Everett, Port angles and the coast didnt see the heat wave and the teps stayed in the upper 60s/low 70s. During this time when Olympia was around 92 about 45 minutes away along the coast in Aberdeen the temos were in the upper 60s.

Port Townsend...
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for Olympic National Park, Port Townsend
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3. Re: Olympic Rain Shadow: April - September?

The rain shadow does nothing to guarantee you more sun than other areas, only less rain. I lived in Blyn for a while and it was just as grey and overcast most of the year as it is in PT, or Seattle. If you "love the sun", you'll find western Washington disappointing most of the year.

If you really want to test how you'll do here, you want to come in November. Days are short, short, short. It's cold and blustery. I'm sure you'll enjoy your visit, however.

Edited: 25 July 2014, 13:57
Green Valley...
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4. Re: Olympic Rain Shadow: April - September?

Ironic, we just retired full time to AZ after many years in Seattle. We tried "snowbirding" for three years, didn't like it much.

I'd not worry the rain shadow issue and suggest locations in or near Seattle (that covers a lot of territory). There is so much to enjoy there regardless of the weather, why isolate yourselves in more distant areas?

While we enjoy our lifestyle and activities here, we miss the beauty of the Pacific NW, rain or shine. And just spent June there!

The months of May through September can be glorious.

Find a city/area that appeals to you bearing in mind your retirement years needs, post again and inquire.

Edited: 25 July 2014, 14:43
Paris, France
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5. Re: Olympic Rain Shadow: April - September?

The info posted here is right on. The web site below has many interesting details about the rain shadow.


6. Re: Olympic Rain Shadow: April - September?

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