Extreme PNW weather part of climate change

Puget Sound will close in on another record this week -- the most days without measurable rainfall at Sea-Tac Airport.

This record comes after the wettest winter on record for the region.

But KING 5 meteorologist Rich Marriott isn't surprised. He said it's in line with climate change prediction models. Weather changes in the Pacific Northwest have increased over the last several years.

The region is also on track for the longest warm streak—days above 70 degrees—currently sitting in sixth place. While some still dispute climate change, Marriott said he's never had a doubt.

Marriott researched at the University of California, Los Angeles in the 1970s. The focus was on climate cooling and how it could impact aviation. At the time, researchers found injecting greenhouse gasses was one way to mitigate the potential problems.

"It's getting harder to deny reality," he said. "The thing about science is … there's probable things to happen and there's possible things to happen."

With weather, it can seem like it's just coincidence that temperatures and conditions are variable. Looking at trends, though, changes to weather patterns are consistent.

"The fact that we for our record-breaking winter last year for the rainfall, we broke a record that we set two years before," Marriott said. "And if you look at these warm streaks, for example, four of the top 10 at Sea-Tac – it dates back 72 years – have occurred since 2012, so they're happening more."

© 2017 KING-TV


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