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Northwest Coast Climate

Rainy is the word along the Northwest Coast. The maritime climate means mild temperatures, frequently overcast days, and lots of precipitation. The Olympic Mountains catch much of the ecoregion’s rainfall.

Mt. Olympus itself receives 220 inches annually, much of that as snow. The rain shadow region on the eastside of the Olympic Peninsula captures only a fraction, roughly 20 inches.

Overall, precipitation ranges from 60 to 240 inches, much of it falling in the late fall to early spring. In the higher peaks of the Olympics, heavy snowfall—up to ten feet—is frequent.

In the coastal valleys, summer fog and cool temperatures are common. The annual climate statistics for Aberdeen are illustrative: an average high temperature of 58 degrees, a low of 42, and about 84 inches of precipitation, most of it rain.

 

For details of this ecoregion within Washington, click a subheading in the left column.

View the more general description of this ecoregion in North America

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