Bainbridge Island Communities

Weather

Sure, you’ve heard all about the rainy Pacific Northwest. You may even be aware that there is a spot on the Olympic Peninsula that gets 240 inches of precipitation yearly. So, if you’re the typical summertime visitor, you may be asking yourself why you’re seeing in blue skies and dry weather. There’s a simple answer. The middle of the Kitsap Peninsula around Silverdale averages no more rain anually than the cities of New York, or Miami, Boston or Houston.

The difference is in how it falls. Western Washington experiences two distinct weather patterns in the course of a year-rainy and drought. When the local rains fall, they most often come in a drawn-out drizzle. During the winter rainy season, skies can remain cloudy for days or weeks. But when the weather pattern turns-and it’s anyone’s guess each year when it will-the skies turn blue and the air gets dry and for the summer months it might as well be a desert here. On average, December is the wettest month of the year with 9 inches; July is the direst with less than an inch. Because of the influence of Puget Sound waters, temperatures here rarely run to extremes. The typical winter day doesn’t see subfreezing weather. Snowfall is rare in the lowlands where most people live. The typical summer day seldom heats up above 82.

The rainshadow cast by the Olympics can lead to great variation of rainfall across the West Sound region. The average annual rainfall varies from a low of 15 inches per year near Sequim on the Olympic Peninsula to 20 inches in Hansville, 35 in Poulsbo, 50 in Bremerton and Port Orchard, 60 in Belfair and 75 at Union on the south shore of Hood Canal.