Clouds hover over the waters off Everett’s western edge Monday morning. (Sue Misao / The Herald)

Clouds hover over the waters off Everett’s western edge Monday morning. (Sue Misao / The Herald)

Get ready for La Niña and a soggy winter in Snohomish County

After a hot, dry summer, Washington feels like Washington again. Damp. Gray. Normal.

EVERETT — Now might be a good time to invest in a good pair of boots. Maybe even an umbrella, if you’re not the type to take a strong moral stance against it.

Since the last week of September, Paine Field in Everett has seen more than 2½ inches of rain.

And it’s going to keep raining a lot through the winter — and maybe snow, too — if La Niña has anything to say about it.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center issued an advisory Thursday noting an 87% chance of La Niña conditions starting in December. The predictor? Cooler-than-average sea surface temperatures in the central and eastern Pacific Ocean, near the equator.

La Niña means Western Washington will be cooler and wetter than normal, said Steve Reedy, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Seattle. And thanks to the convergence zone, Snohomish County will probably get even soggier.

It usually happens every three years or so, but this will be the second La Niña winter in a row. NOAA calls it a “double dip.” It’s not uncommon, a news release notes.

The region’s iconic drizzle is sweet relief after a summer that saw an unprecedented and deadly heat wave, droughts throughout much of the state and wildfires rampaging through the west.

Now, at last, Washington feels like Washington. Skies are a dull gray. Lawns are green and overgrown. Leaves are changing colors, falling and turning into mush on the sidewalks.

So get cozy with your newspaper. It’s supposed to rain all day Sunday, Reedy said. Then there’ll be a break Monday, before a couple more systems move through the region later this week.

“Fall is here,” Reedy said.

Zachariah Bryan: 425-339-3431; zbryan@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @zachariahtb.

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