Leading into the opening days of the 2010 MVP Global Summit, one of the operative questions, what is the weather going to be like? While I could generalize and just say, “Expect it to be cold and wet” but wouldn’t probably be a complete enough answer. After all, Microsoft MVP awardees are pretty technical and deserve a more technical response <smile>

Area Rainfall…or Perhaps “Raindrip”
At the time of this writing, we are in a rainy period in Seattle. It’s not surprising; February’s annual average rainfall is about 4 inches…not as high as January but still pretty impactful for the month.

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Our rain isn’t kind of “sheet rain” that falls all at once. It’s more like the drip of a leaky faucet. This can lead to:

  • Drizzle - Small, slowly falling water droplets, with diameters between .2 and .5 millimeters
  • Rain - Liquid water droplets that fall from the atmosphere, having diameters greater than drizzle (0.5 mm).

Source (US National Weather Service)

Even when our wet weather moves from drizzle to rain, our varied topography divides rain clouds into individual pockets, leading to intermittent rain showers, varying in scope and intensity that wander through our region until they reach the Cascade foothills and turn to snow. If you like predictability, this can be disconcerting…but our native mosses sure like it.

So, a “chance of rain showers” means that you should pack your umbrella and a light waterproof covering, but have no expectations about using them. Sure, rain might come, but it’s hard to say where or when or how much they will be used. So, it’s best to be prepared.

On the Bright Side (Pun Intended)
Weather forecasters in the area are saying that the sun will be peeking out more starting on Wednesday, February 17, our first full day of the MVP Global Summit and the chance of precipitation will drop. That, of course depends on cooperation of ocean weather systems off the coast of Washington State and arctic systems coming down from Canada into the Puget Sound area.

You can follow the twist and turns of our weather for your visit by checking out SeattleWeather.com specifically for the Global Summit locations in Bellevue and Redmond. KING-TV also provides great radar maps and extended forecasts to give you sense of what is happening, weather-wise. If you are intrigued by the wacky weather system we have here or are just curious about what it means with a forecaster says “20% chance of rain showers,” here are some other resources.

Beyond the Forecast: The unpredictability of NW weather

What is the Puget Sound Convergence Zone?

Deciphering a 20% Chance of Rain

Authored by: Brian Boston
MVP Lead, Americas
Community & Online Support