Washington State is surrounded by the tallest mountain ranges in the US, including the Olympic and Cascades ranges. Although these mountains help prevent some rain, Washington is a famously rainy state. If you’re considering visiting or moving to Washington, you may wonder what the driest areas include.
Most areas in Washington state see a decent amount of rain. However, you can expect minimal rainfall in cities such as Wenatchee, Ellensburg, and the Tri-Cities. This is because the Cascades Mountains shield the areas from clouds.
Whether you are planning to visit Washington state or relocate there, you can enjoy lots of sunshine throughout the year in some places. Keep reading to learn more about the weather patterns across Washington state!
Where Does It Rain the Least in Washington State?
When someone thinks of Washington state, the first thing that comes to mind is usually cloudy, rainy weather.
Luckily, the Cascades Mountains capture most of the rain that would normally fall in the eastern part of the state.
Less than ten inches of rain falls annually in the southeastern part of Washington.
Some of the cities in Washington that can see up to 300 days of sunshine per year include:
- Port Townsend
Below, we’ll discuss more information on each of these areas.
Wenatchee is located in North Central Washington. It was named for the Wenatchi Indian tribe that lived in the area.
Wenatchee is referred to as the “Apple Capital of the World” because of its many orchards.
From these orchards, the Apple Capital Recreation Loop Trail was formed. This 10-mile loop perfectly follows the Columbia River for hiking and sightseeing.
Wenatchee is also the perfect place to play tennis or go for a swim, two activities available at the WRAC Tennis Club.
If you’re a golfer, you can also enjoy a round of golf at one of the area’s many courses.
They include 9-hole courses, 18-hole courses, and even 9-hole disc golf courses.
Ellensburg, Washington was first incorporated in 1883. William Bud Wilson built the first log cabin there in 1868.
This town is full of historical buildings, rodeos, wine tastings, breweries, and shopping,
You can take scenic drives by Ellensburg’s Barn Quilt Tour, green pasturelands, and basalt canyons.
You can also enjoy museums and galleries, such as Dick and Jane’s Spot.
This exciting gallery has original art done by Dick and Jane, as well as artwork from other local artists. The site is not only an art gallery but also a home.
Anything seen outside is for the public to enjoy, but the rest of the property is private.
Washington’s Tri-Cities consist of Kennewick, Pasco, and Richland.
These three cities lie along the banks of the Yakim, Snake, and Columbia Rivers, giving the people who live and visit ample fishing opportunities.
The rivers themselves generate clean energy for the area and support a host of job opportunities.
When out enjoying these cities, you can participate in various activities such as:
- Ax throwing
- Farmers’ markets
- Walking or hiking
The Tri-Cities are home to miles of beautiful shoreline.
This area also hosts an annual event called The Taco Pasco Crawl.
Held between October 1st and October 16th, this event brings more business to the quieter places in East Pasco.
Participants can purchase tickets and enjoy tacos from various restaurants and local street vendors.
The western side of Washington state gets an average of 7-9 inches of rain per year. This is because this side of the state is in the shadow of the Olympic Mountains.
One of the cities in this area is Port Townsend, which is two hours northwest of Seattle.
It has a mild climate with cool breezes and fog that rolls in off the Strait of Juan de Fuca.
The Cascades Mountains capture most of the rain that would normally fall in this area.
What Are the Rainiest Parts of Washington?
Now that we know which areas are the driest in Washington, you may wonder what areas get the most rain.
The rainiest area in Washington is considered Aberdeen Reservoir. This city is known to average 76 inches of precipitation a year, with only an inch of that being snow.
Aberdeen Reservoir is part of Grays Harbor County and home to Nirvana singers Kurt Cobain and Krist Novoselic.
Aberdeen has a rather unruly past, as it was a central location for saloons, brothels, and gambling.
With all of its mountainous beauty, Washington state is a great place to visit or live. While some areas receive a lot of rain, others have less precipitation.
Places like Port Townsend in the western part of the state. Wenatchee and Ellensburg are two other areas. They receive 300 days of sunshine a year.
Whether you are visiting or moving there, you can be sure of plenty of clear-skied days to enjoy your favorite outdoor activities.