Rainy Christmas signals return of wet weather pattern | Weather

Title (Max 100 Characters)

Rainy Christmas signals return of wet weather pattern
Weather
Rainy Christmas signals return of wet weather pattern

I know the halls have been decked and the stockings have been stuffed, but for many, it just might not have felt like December in Seattle without having to go dashing through the raindrops.

As of dawn Christmas morning, Seattle had received just 0.27" of rain so far in the month of December with just a week left to go. If that sounds unheard of, it is. It's never been this dry this far into the month before. In fact, December stands as the second driest month of the year so far, trailing only August and nearly three times drier than July. Even the Desert Southwest has had more rain than Seattle.

But all of that is changing this week, as a big ridge of high pressure that has been stuck over the Eastern Pacific Ocean for much of the month has finally given way. And in its place, here comes the jet stream, taking aim at the Pacific Northwest and about to steer a few storms our way as the month and year draw to a close.

Rain will develop during Christmas Day with some breezy winds kicking up in the afternoon. They won't be too strong - about 20-30 mph in gusts. The rain won't be all that heavy, but we could double our rainfall total Sunday alone.

Up in the mountains, where skiers have been asking Santa for a fresh coat of snow for weeks, the news is fairly good now but only getting better as the week goes on. Some snow is likely above 3,500 feet Sunday -- perhaps enough for 4-8 inches of snow in the higher spots like Mt. Baker with the lower amounts toward Stevens Pass. A Winter Weather Advisory is in effect from 10 a.m. Sunday to 3 a.m. Monday. Snoqualmie Pass will also get some snow, but closer to 1-4 inches.

A slightly stronger storm arrives late Monday into Tuesday with moderate rain but a lot more mountain snow. It's followed by several more weather systems that are progressively a little stronger still through the week that will keep a chance of rain in the lowlands and bring more snow to the mountains each day through the end of the week. Some models indicate a storm due in late Thursday into Friday could bring a decent dose of wind along for the ride.

So if your gifts included an umbrella, new skis, or a kite, you've got some savvy shoppers in your midst!

Weather