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Weather or Not: Are We Really in a Rain Shadow?

Word on the street is that Driftwood Key is in a rain shadow when compared to Kingston and other points east. That’s one of the first weather-related observations I heard from neighbors when we first started building our house here. As an avid (albeit amateur) weather watcher, the comment intrigued me and launched my investigation. How much rain do we get in Hansville? How does it actually compare to Kingston, Seattle, and the rest of the country? How do we really experience the weather in our special corner of the universe?


Before we get to the big rainfall question, let’s talk weather in general and look at average high and low temperatures in Hansville.


August is typically our warmest month with an average high of 76 degrees F. Who can deny the perfection of that not-too-hot, not-too-cool, short-sleeve T-shirt temperature? Because even when summer brings the warm temperatures, we’ve typically got a breeze off the nearby waters to cool us while the rest of the US may be sweltering in average temperatures exceeding 85 degrees.


At the other temperature extreme we’ve got December and January, typically our coldest months. While the rest of the US is shivering in an average low of 21.7 degrees F., we’re enjoying a balmy 34-35 degrees. There’s some comfort in that. We’re above the freezing mark after all.


While we’re speaking of cold, it’s interesting to note we average 2.1 inches of snow in Hansville per year. While it may be infrequent, there’s nothing like the unique beauty of seeing a light dusting of the white on our picturesque Driftwood Key community beach.


And now on to the big rainfall reveal. When it comes to rain, Hansville averages 30.7 inches of rainfall per year. Compare that to 40.1 inches in Kingston (and 36.7 in Edmonds, 38 in Seattle and 38.1 in the US overall, or… if you want to compare to the state’s best known rain shadow contender, Sequim comes in at 22.8 inches).


And how many days does it rain in Hansville? Our 30-some inches fall over 150.6 days throughout the year. Compare that to 155.1 rainy days in Kingston. So the numbers are in. We’ve got Kingston beat by nearly 10 inches and 4 days per year. Turns out the neighbors were right: Driftwood Key for the win!

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