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Congratulations! You lived through one of the coldest, snowiest winters on record.
Are you 32 years old or younger? This was the coldest winter you’ve ever experienced in Seattle.
Do you have a kid eight years old or younger? This was the snowiest winter they’ve ever experienced in Seattle.
By meteorologist standards, “winter” consists of the months of December, January, and February. We group all seasons like this based on the annual temperature cycle. In contrast, meteorological summer consists of June, July, and August.
Let’s take a look at the numbers for the winter of 2016-17:
During winter, our average temperature (combining all the highs and lows together) was 39.1 degrees, which was 2.9 degrees cooler than average.
This made it the coldest winter since 1984-85 (32 years ago). To put this into perspective, we only had 14 days warmer than 50 degrees, while 58 days were colder than 35 degrees. This made it into the top 20 coldest winters in the Seattle area, with records going back to 1894.
This was the snowiest winter since 2008-2009 when close to two feet of snow fell. We managed 11.2 inches this season, which is over a half-foot more than typical. There were 19 days this winter where SeaTac measured at least a trace of snow.
While February 2017 ended up the second wettest February on record, winter as a whole only topped 37th-wettest ever recorded with 16.94 inches of rain.