THE NORTHWEST’S INLAND SEA: WINDY, DRY, OR WET Three weather patterns mark west- ern Washington’s climate. North- easters roar down the Fraser River Valley, spilling over Bellingham and the San Juan Islands all the way to Sequim and dropping temperatures 20°F (11°C) in a few hours, which can kill otherwise hardy plants. The rain shadow—protected from rainstorms by Olympic and Van- couver Island mountains—covers much of the same area, holding rainfall at 15 to 30 in. per year. Pacifi c storms drench the rest of Puget Sound with 36 to 66 in. of annual rainfall.
Vancouver Islands Juan San Victoria
Seattle Tacoma Olympia Rainier Mt. 5 Seaside Western Washington
5 5 Astoria 4 Longview OREGON 6 0 20 40 60 miles
Pe Ell 4
Fraser Bellingham Baker Mt. 101 Raymond 101 Queets 1A 4