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Olympic Peninsula Weather
The climate on the Olympic Peninsula varies greatly depending on the location. The weather can be be quite unpredictable and varied, but is generally considered moderate.
Port Townsend weather is usually quite pleasant, with an average daily wind speed of 10 miles an hour making it a mecca for boating and sailing enthusiasts.
Sequim sits in the rain shadow of the Olympic Mountains, and receives an average of about seventeen inches of precipitation a year, giving it an arid climate perfect for agriculture and golf.
Port Angeles is impacted by both the mountains and the sea, has predominantly a marine type climate, with cool summers, mild but rather cloudy winters, moist air, and a narrow daily range in temperatures.
Forty air miles to the west, in the rain forest valleys of Forks and Quinault, precipitation can average 120 inches per year. Seventy-six percent of the yearly precipitation falls during the six months between October 1 and March 31.
There is no definite time for the beginning and ending of the dry or rainy seasons. The transition is gradual and variable.
Spring is mostly wet, mild and often windy. Higher elevations are cooler with some snow. Temperatures usually range from 35 degrees F. to 60 degrees F. The Olympic Peninsula has a climate conducive to flower growing, and the color show in spring is usually quite spectacular.
Summers are generally fair and warm. Afternoon temperatures in the warmest summer months average from 65 degrees F. to 70 degrees F., occasionally reaching 80 degrees F. A temperature of 85 degrees F. is considered unusually warm. Night time temperatures can drop as low as 45 degrees F. Frequently, during the latter half of the summer and early fall, fog banks and low clouds form over the ocean and move inland at night. Tops of the clouds are generally below 3000 feet; thus higher elevations are sometimes clear while the lower valleys are filled with fog. Fog sometimes disappears before mid-day. On most summer afternoons near the water, a moderate to cool breeze can be expected. A few thunderstorms usually occur each summer, especially in the higher elevations. Normally very little rain falls during the summer months but it has also been known to rain for several days during this period.
Fall is usually cool and wet with occasional winds. Early snow storms are possible in the mountains. Temperatures usually range from 35 degrees F. to 65 degrees F. Frequently, during the latter half of summer and early fall, fog banks and low clouds form over the ocean and move inland at night and usually burns off by mid-day.
During the Winter season, afternoon temperatures are in the 40's and night time readings are usually in the upper 20's or lower 30's. Wind storms can occur. In lower elevations and near the water, snow seldom reaches a depth in excess of six to ten inches or remains on the ground more than a few days. However, snowfall and depth on the ground increases dramatically along the slopes and tops of the mountains, with Hurricane Ridge averaging 400 inches of snowfall each year.