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Potpourri weather blog: You can count the sunny days this autumn on one hand

Photo: Irfan Chaudhry Photography

It's been a busy holiday weekend in the weather statistics department, along with a few other interesting weather tidbits that crossed my Twitter feed I thought I'd share.

NOVEMBER: STILL RAINY (stop us if you've heard that before)

Fresh off October's monthly record 10.05" of rain, November has continued the soggy pattern, although this months is coming in pretty close to par. Seattle sat at 6.34" of rain as of Sunday night, close to the average November rainfall of 6.57" with a little more rain coming Tuesday night.

But combined with October, it's managing to set some new records.

Through Sunday, October and November have combined for 45 days with measurable rain (a record 25 in October; 20 so far in November) -- the most for a combined October-November on record, topping the old record of 44 set in 1963. And that doesn't count four other days that reported rain, just not enough to measure at least 0.01".

With November expected to chalk up two more in its tally before the month is through, that means 47 of the 61 days this October and November will have had rain, or 51 of 61 with rain at some point.

As for amount of rain, October and November have combined for 16.39" through Sunday -- good for 3rd-wettest October-November on record, with second place (16.50" in 1990) within reach with the rainfall expected Tuesday.

The record is 17.18" set in 2006 but that was all November's doing. That month had a record-smashing 15.63" of rain so it holds the dual-month record despite October that year coming in around half of normal.

But for all that Seattle rain, just think -- it's been three times wetter along the north coast in rain capital Forks:

Forks averages about 120" of rain a year -- the wettest observing station in the lower 48. But now Forks in two months (over 42 inches) is more than Seattle has had all year! Even with our record autumn rains!

WHERE'S THE SUN?

Not that you expect a lot of sun in the stormy season, but since October 1st, Seattle has had just two official sunny days (as in 30% or less cloud cover) -- October 11th (10%) and November 8th (30%. It also hit 70 that day). On the other hand, 43 of the 58 days have had at least 80 percent cloud cover, including 13 days registering 100% overcast from start to finish.

IT'S BEEN MILD TOO:

Monday will mark the 45th day of the past 47 with above normal temperatures in Seattle. The last day below normal was Oct. 30th.

AT LEAST IT'S COLD IN SOME SPOTS

It did finally start snowing in the mountains. Check out the frosty scene atop Mt. Hood Sunday night:

AND BE GLAD YOU'RE NOT FISHING IN ALASKA

There's a reason the cruise ship industry takes a pass on Alaska in the fall and winter. An intense storm (although not too out-of-the-ordinary for Alaska in November) swirled in the Bering Sea and a buoy in the vicinity of the storm off Cold Bay measured a 51 foot wave height late Saturday night, according to UW Research Meteorologist Mark Albright. He also noted wind gusts were well over 60 mph, with Cold Bay registering 74 mph, and a gauge in Unalaska hitting 82 mph.

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