Weather in Seattle: Climate, Seasons, and Average Monthly Temperature

City view from a ferry in Seattle, Washington

TripSavvy / Noah Kreyenhagen

While many people think of Seattle as all rain, all the time, nothing could be further from the truth. It’s true that Seattle does get pretty steady rain in the fall and winter (and sometimes in the spring), often the summers are warm and dry. In fact, many years, Seattle summers offer some of the best weather in the country.

In general, the best months to visit Seattle are July and August if you want to avoid chances of rain or cloudy, cool days, and you want to maximize your time in Seattle’s beautiful outdoor places. And in general, avoid visiting in November, December and January if you really want to get out and enjoy the outdoors. At the same time, the climate is fairly temperate in Western Washington and even in the dead of winter, you’re unlikely to find truly cold weather. You’re just likely to get rained on a lot.

Fast Climate Facts:

• Hottest Month: August (73 F average high)
• Coldest Month: January (45 F average high)
• Wettest Month: December (5.43 inches on average)

Spring in Seattle

Spring is a lovely time to visit Seattle. The crowds and lines tend to be a bit lighter than in July and August, but there are still plenty of festivals and events taking place. The weather alternates between overcast cooler days and warmer sunny days that hint at summer being just around the corner. Daylight hours are increasing each day and the sun comes out more. You’ll spot locals flocking to shorelines and parks on sunny days, glad for the nice weather after long, rainy winters!

While the weather is generally great for getting outdoors to hike, picnic or head to a playground, it’s still likely too cold to go swimming. Most pools in the area do open after Memorial Day, but unless they’re heated or indoors, you’ll need to be a bit intrepid to enjoy them. Swimming on beaches on local lakes is also probably a little too cold for most.

What to Pack: Spring in Seattle is all about layers. Pack a light rain jacket, a hoodie or fleece to wear under that if the weather is colder, and bring both long and short sleeves as you never know what the weather will be doing this time of year.

Average High Temperatures and Rainfall by Month:

  • March: 52 F/3.31 inches
  • April: 58 F/1.97 inches
  • May: 64 F/1.57 inches

Summer in Seattle

Unless you’re out to ski or enjoy some winter sports, summer in Seattle is the perfect time to visit. Days are long with the sun rising before 6 a.m. and setting around 9 p.m. The weather is warm and dry with temperatures rarely peaking above 90 degrees F. Seattle is an outdoorsy kind of place and you’ll see visitors and locals alike hanging out along the waterfront, at nearby lakes, kayaking and stand up paddle boarding, hiking and otherwise enjoying the beautiful weather.

If you'd like to swim, this is the time to do it. Seattle Parks operates a few public pools and you can also swim at Lake Sammamish. Generally, people don’t swim in the Puget Sound around Seattle as the water stays pretty cold even on hot days, but you can dip your toes in at places like Golden Gardens Park.

What to Pack: Pack summer clothing – short sleeves, shorts or capris, some sandals. Also bring along a light jacket or sweater and at least one pair of pants as evenings can be cool.

Average High Temperatures and Rainfall by Month:

  • June: 69 F/1.42 inches
  • July: 72 F/0.63 inches
  • August: 73 F/0.75 inches

Fall in Seattle

Fall in Seattle can vary quite a bit, just like spring. Some years bring plenty of warm, sunny days, other years the fall is filled with cool, rainy days. Plan accordingly and have backup plans in case the weather goes south. However, it’s rarer in the fall that the rain lasts all day long (like it might in winter) so keep an eye out and take weather forecasts with a pinch of salt. The safest way to know if it’s going to rain the day you want to do something outdoors is to check the forecast that morning.

Often as winter weather really starts to set in during November, Seattle can experience high winds of 40-50 mph or more for a few days.

What to Pack: Bring a light rain jacket and plan to dress in layers, the same as you might in spring. Bring shoes that can handle stepping in puddles and leave mesh tennis shoes at home (rain goes right through them).

Average High Temperatures and Rainfall by Month:

  • September: 67 F/1.65 inches
  • October: 59 F/3.27 inches
  • November: 51 F/5 inches

Winter in Seattle

Winter in Seattle is not the best time to visit unless you’re here for winter sports. While the temperatures aren’t frigid and rarely dip below freezing, the rain is fairly constant. If that doesn’t bother you, then you’re in the right place. However, if you’d like to get outdoors, you’ll need to bring along weatherproof gear. That being said, because the temperatures in Seattle are rarely extreme, locals can, and do, go outdoors on hikes or walks or jogs anytime of year. It’s not impossible by any means to enjoy Seattle in the winter.

What to Pack: Bring warm clothing and weatherproof outerwear. Boots and long socks help make the rainy days more comfortable.

Average High Temperatures and Rainfall by Month:

  • December: 47 F/5.43 inches
  • January: 45 F/5.2 inches
  • February: 48 F/3.9 inches

Seattle has a temperate climate without harsh cold winters, and without extreme heat in the summers. Expect temperatures between 30 F and 90 F throughout the year with few exceptions.

Average Monthly Temperature, Rainfall, and Daylight Hours
Month Avg. Temp. Rainfall Daylight Hours
January 45 F 5.2 inches 9 hours
February 48 F 3.9 inches 10 hours
March 52 F 3.3 inches 12 hours
April 56 F 2.0 inches 14 hours
May 64 F 1.6 inches 15 hours
June 69 F 1.4 inches 16 hours
July 72 F 0.6 inches 16 hours
August 73 F 0.8 inches 14 hours
September 67 F 1.7 inches 13 hours
October 59 F 3.3 inches 11 hours
November 51 F 5.0 inches 9 hours
December 47 F 5.4 inches 9 hours
Article Sources
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  1. US Climate Data. "Climate Seattle - Washington." December 2020.