Rain, tornadoes, earthquakes…take your pick

So you may have heard about our  (almost) "record rainfall" here and wonder to yourself  "Self, I thought it rains in Seattle all the time...what's the big deal?". The big deal is that we usually get a day off. After 27 straight days of rain, we got that day off yesterday. I even saw blue sky. Thankfully, the big yellow orb in the sky didn't make a full appearance to burn my corneas. OK, I'm just kidding, but what can I say, it gets cloudy here in the winter. I'll be in Vegas later this week anyway.

The other thing that added to the weather story here is that we have been getting big fat raindrops. Here's the thing about Seattle rain...it doesn't actually rain all that much, just frequently. It's a gentle misty rain, the kind that I'm convinced does wonders for ones complexion. What we've been having are big soggy tears. The ones that make a noise when they hit the windshield.

Here's my personal experience with adjusting to the rain in Seattle. First year here, I was so glad to be away from snow and any weather reports that included the word "minus" or "wind chill". I missed the sun but I was so soaking in what I felt was a real Seattle experience and excited to be working at Microsoft that, although it took a little getting used to, I was OK. Someone filled me in on the fact that only "tourists" use umbrellas (I still do on very rare occasion meaning days I have blown my hair out...I'm a girly girl, you know?), so I was ahead of the curve on that. After year one, I kind of knew what to expect and planned excursions during the winter months to points south. All my upcoming business travel will be in the west (Vegas twice, LA, San Fran and San Diego, but I didn't pick the cities...I swear). I had my Mexico cruise. That's more than enough to get me through the winter.

When the sun peeks out here in the cloudy months, I go outside and take advantage of it. People who are into winter sports really love these rainy months because of the skiing, snow boarding etc (and it sounds like they have been getting a foot of powder or so per rainy day up at Snoqualmie lately). Steve Sinofsky talks about that here. That's not me, by the way. There's nothing I wouldn't do to keep from being cold.

I also think that there are things about the culture here that mitigate some potential negative effects of the "rainy season". For example, people here do stuff in the rain. The go out jogging, they walk their pets, whatever. They know they don't melt so they just do those things. Also, I personally find that there's a coziness to a rainy night. Many of the restaurants and nicer bars here have fireplaces that you can sit around. Even some of the coffee shops (like Victor's) do. I like that. And I like that my lawn looks pretty all year and that I have social permission not to wash my car for months on end.

Don't get me wrong,  I hate muddy paws in the house, not a fan of frizzy hair, too busy to really water proof every piece of footwear I own (if you are like me, you just avoid the puddles), but honestly, it's not that big of a deal. I'm just glad that at no point in the last seven years have my nose hairs frozen (oh come on, we all have nose hair...mine just stays inside my nose). I think that no matter where you decide to live, you have to deal with *something*. When I was in California, it was earthquakes (which scare me...a lot). When I was in Chicago, it was tornadoes (or ice storms). You gotta pick your thing that you can deal with. Me, I can deal with the rain. Good thing too.


Comments (11)

  1. MarketingGuy says:

    Besides Microsoft’s ridiculously bad recruiting – RAIN is what mostly prevents me from getting excited about working for Microsoft in Redmond.

    Heather – I really love your blog and have been an avid reader for a long time. But PLEASE don’t fall into the trap that so many Seattlietes have fallen into, namely lying to yourself and luring people to Seattle by making excuses like "oh the rain isn’t that bad. It only rains a little …"

    I seriously cannot imagine that anyone would be happy to live in a place with no sun EVER (well okay for at least 10.5 months of the year) and constant non-stop rain. And gee… a fireplace doesn’t help to cheer a person up after this.

  2. HeatherLeigh says:

    Um, "MarketingGuy", where do I start? Please let me know what opinion I could express here, other than my own, that would actually suit you. My opinion is what I stated above and if you have a problem with it, then I am sorry that there’s nothing I can do to help you (and by the way, I don’t lie). You are so misinformed that it’s funny. Where’d you get 10.5 from? "Constant" and "non-stop" mean the same thing. Both wrong, but same thing.

    I’m going to assume that your comment about our recruiting being "bad" is self serving since obviously, you wouldn’t ever consider living here so it would be foolish of you to go through our recruiting process, right? Hypocricy or misinformed…you pick.

    So you read my blog regularly. Let me guess, you recruit for one of our competitors, right? Mmm, hmm. Why hide? Why pretend to be a "marketing guy"?

    Sheesh, usually the weather is the one thing you can talk about that’s "safe"…who would have thought it would bring out the blog trolls!

  3. Pat says:

    I like the perception of 10.5 months of gloom and bad Microsoft recruiting, keeps people from moving here and Seattle can be all mine, especially during the summer.

    Here is to 30 more days of rain!


  4. Tosh Hida says:

    For the record MarketingGuy, it only rains 155 days a year here in Seattle.

    And Heather, he’s somewhat correct about the 10.5 months of no sun. We (Seattle) have an average of 266 cloudy days and 81 partly cloudy days.


  5. HeatherLeigh says:

    Tosh-not straight. It’s like how they measure "rainy"…if it rains once at the airport, then it’s a "rainy day". So it’s no 10.5 months of "no sun".

    Are you trying to tell me there are only about 20 sunny days here? Seriously? I don’t buy it.

  6. HeatherLeigh says:

    Oh, and Pat, I’d agree except if nobody moved here I really wouldn’t have much of a job ; ) Hmm, maybe they should build a monorail…hahahahaha

  7. Tosh Hida says:

    Well actually, there are an average of 58 sunny days a year in Seattle.

    At least that’s what it says on this website:


    58 sunny days a year

    226 cloudy days a year

    81 partly cloudy days a year


    365 days a year

    I’m just giving you the statistics, how you interpret them is up to you.

  8. Tosh Hida says:


    SEATTLE-TACOMA AP 58 sunny days/yr

    SEATTLE URBAN SITE 71 sunny days/yr

  9. HeatherLeigh says:

    Whatever. My opinion is still the same. If people want to make it sound much worse than it is (10.5 months…dun dun duhnnnnn). If was really bad, people just wouldn’t live here…I just wouldn’t. In my opinion, I’ll take the rain over snow in winter and oppressive heat in summer any day. If someone feels differently or otherwise doesn’t like the climate here (or if they are annoyed by mountains or clean air), they shouldn’t move here (but I really don’t think that people can know unless they experience it). We each judge what is right for us. I have a friend who moved up here a year ago from the bay area and when they went back to visit, one of his sons asked "was it really this bad when we lived here?".

    Like I said before, you pick your thing that you can deal with. There’s no absolute objective utopia that works for everyone.

    And just for the record, it was partly-mostly cloudy here today…I saw lots of sun and sky and I saw little to no rain and the weather sites called it "showers", so go figure.

  10. amy says:

    I THINK THAT looking at the the glass.half full is better than half empty.Also it"s so grand that even in this cruel world we still have choices.why u bicker over the weather our soldiers are dieing for us.be thankful ppl!

  11. HeatherLeigh says:

    Nobody wants soldiers to have to die. Other peoples misery/misfortune/loss doesn’t make me feel better or worse about our weather; it just makes me feel for them. Misfortune is not a zero sum game.

    People are always going to talk about the weather. People are always going to bicker on blogs. Just something that you have to deal with.

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