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Seattle rain
Gardens around the region could use some rain, but Thursday’s trace amount of precipitation in Seattle won’t end a lengthy dry spell. (GeekWire Photo / Kurt Schlosser)

If you woke up in the Seattle area Thursday morning thinking the streak for consecutive days with no measurable rainfall must surely be over, well, we’re here to lift the fog around what actually constitutes “rain” these days.

The misty drizzle which coated cars and decks and gardens looked and felt like more than just the cool, damp air we see on a lot of mornings, especially in northern parts of the city, or those closer to the water.

But according to the National Weather Service in Seattle, a trace amount of precipitation is not enough to end the streak of dry days that now stands at 40. And apparently that’s what they got at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, where official measurements are conducted.

It takes 0.01 inches to be considered measurable rainfall, and despite NWS Seattle tweeting that it recorded 0.02 itself, the streak is alive. Others on Twitter were sure that what they saw was rain — and it sure sounded like it in at least one video.

The record of 51 consecutive days would be tied on Aug. 7 if we stay (mostly) dry until then. In a blog post this week, before Thursday’s drizzle, Northwest weather guru Cliff Mass wrote that it’s increasingly likely the record will fall.

For those new to the area wondering where the all-consuming rainfall went, Mass said it’s important to remember that this is “the driest time of the year in the Northwest and we are one of driest places in the country during midsummer.”

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