The best time to visit Seattle is from June to September, during the summer months. Whether exploring national parks, hiking in the mountains, or lazing on the beach, summer in Seattle is all about the outdoors. Festivals are held every weekend, and the city is alive with sun-kissed energy.
The cooler seasons of spring and fall are ideal for avoiding Seattle’s summer crowds. These months are also great on the pocket as many hotels drop their prices. If you don’t mind bundling up and carrying an umbrella, winter is a wonderful time to explore the city’s incredible museums and art galleries.
Can’t decide when to visit the Emerald City? Plan the ultimate trip to Washington State’s biggest city with this detailed Seattle weather guide by season and by month!
Weather in Seattle
Spring arrives in Seattle in March, and the weather starts to warm up significantly after the frosty winter. The sun begins to make an appearance from behind the clouds as the incessant rainfall of winter starts easing off. At the same time, Seattle’s cherry blossoms begin to bloom from mid-March, usually hitting their peak in late March or early April.
While average temperatures in Seattle are still fairly cool in March (53°F / 12ºC), by May, they’ve warmed up significantly. Days are sunny and bright with blue skies and day temperatures hang around 65°F (18ºC).
Spring is the perfect time to enjoy sightseeing and go hiking in nearby national parks. Nights are still quite cool with the odd drizzle, but it’s nothing that a warm jacket and an umbrella can’t cure!
Ahh… summer in Seattle! With great weather, outdoor activities galore, and festivals almost every weekend, summer is definitely the best time of the year to visit Seattle. June through September sees the city come alive as temperatures warm up, days get longer, and skies are cloudless and blue.
With the longest days falling in June – you’re looking at 12 hours of sunshine! – this is a great time for outdoor fun. You can hike, bike, and explore Seattle to your heart’s content. It’s also not as busy as in July, so you’ll still get a table at the restaurants and find a spot on the beach.
The crowds arrive in July and August, and the city heaves. Day temperatures are a balmy 77°F (25°C), and the beaches and mountain trails are busy. There are festivals and parades every week, and restaurants are fully booked.
If you’re planning to travel during the high season in summer, be sure to book your accommodation well in advance and expect to pay premium prices. It’s best to reserve a table at busy restaurants, too, to avoid disappointment.
By September, the crowds have left, and the weather is beginning to cool down. This is a great time to travel to Seattle as it’s less frenetic with fewer tourists, and the weather is still quite pleasant, with average temperatures around 72°F (22°C).
September through October marks fall in Seattle. Autumn is a lovely time of the year to explore the Emerald City. As with any shoulder season, there are fewer tourists at the main attractions, restaurants tend to have tables, and hotels begin offering discounted rooms. The weather in Seattle remains mild during September and begins cooling off in October.
If you want to see the most spectacular fall foliage show, head to Seattle in October. Mount Rainer and the trees in the parks and national reserves burst into golden hues, and it’s quite the sight to behold!
Bundle up and stay warm: Winter in Seattle is cold and wet. Very wet. The skies are grey, and there’s a constant drizzle. Temperatures drop into the scarves and beanies numbers at 47°F (8°C). The city sees the most precipitation at this time of year – hence the relentless drizzle as opposed to downpours.
While the wetter weather drives tourism down, there are still plenty of fun things to do in Seattle. Explore the many amazing Seattle museums and galleries, hit the restaurants, and dive into the live music scene. The rain certainly doesn’t stop grunge: You’ll find plenty of concerts and gigs happening around town.
December is the time to head for the hills as the ski season opens. There are some great resorts for skiing and snowboarding in the area. Cozy mountain escapes are a fun way to beat the grim weather!
In January, Seattle’s rainy season is in full swing. Precipitation is high, the air is damp and cold, and rain threatens every moment. Temperatures are cold but not quite cold enough for snow.
Days see average temps of 43°F (6°C), while nights are a chilly 38°F (3°C). The sun barely appears during January, with just 2.5 hours of sunshine a day.
Festivals & events in January
- The Seattle Boat Show
- The Seattle Chamber Society Winter Music Festival
Grey, windy and cold, February is not a favorite month among locals. But the rain does begin to let up, and the air becomes drier.
Temperatures slowly start rising in February, with the mercury hanging around 50°F (10°C) during the day. The sun holds out for a bit longer during the day with four hours of sunshine, and days last for about 10 hours.
Festivals & events in February
- Exhibitions at the Washington State Convention Center
- The Wintergrass Music Festival
Winter finally breaks in March, and you’ll find more sunshine and warmer temperatures during this month. There may still be the odd breezy drizzle, but the sun is out for six hours, and the skies become bluer.
Temperatures in March range from 47°F (8°C) to 54°F (12°C). It’s a wonderful time to get out and enjoy the neighborhoods and nearby national parks.
Mid-March also marks the start of cherry blossom season in Seattle. Head into the University District to check out the blooms at their peak near the end of March on the University of Washington (UW) campus.
Festivals & events in March
- The Moisture Festival Comic Festival
- The Seattle Irish Fest (St. Patrick’s Day)
Days are longer and sunnier in April, but a persistent cool breeze keeps those jackets firmly on. The rain begins to ease off during April as temperatures notch up a few degrees.
You can enjoy lovely clear, blue-skied days in April at around 59°F (15°C); ideal hiking weather, if you ask us! You’ll also find good hotel rates and fewer tourists around.
Days are getting longer in April as Seattle heads toward summer, with over seven hours of sunshine a day.
Festivals & events in April
- The Skagit Valley Tulip Festival in Seattle
- The Cherry Blossom & Japanese Cultural Festival
May is one of the best months of the year to visit Seattle. Days are sunny and pleasant, with temperatures floating between 58°F (14°C) and 66°F (19°C). You’ll see more blue sky than clouds and only the slight possibility of a shower in the evenings.
Towards the end of the month, the mercury can reach the mid-20s, making May a perfect time for hiking, hitting the beach, and sightseeing.
Activities in & around Seattle ramp up. It can still be quite chilly when the sun goes down, so be sure to take a warm jacket when heading out after sunset.
Festivals & events in May
- The Opening Day of Boating Season
- The Seattle International Film Festival
- Northwest Folklife Festival
As May swings into June, the weather just keeps getting better, and this month is the best time for outdoor activities. As the solstice approaches, the days are at their longest, and the sun doesn’t set until 10 pm.
Days on the beach, picnics at sunset, hiking in the cool forests around the city – June is the time to hit the great outdoors. Temperatures range from 62°F (17°C) to 71°F (22°C), getting warmer towards the end of the month.
Festivals & events in June
- The Fremont Solstice Fair
- The Seattle PrideFest and the Seattle Pride Parade
July is hot and happenin’ in Seattle with fine weather, cloudless blue skies, and an energy that only summer brings. It’s also high season so expect plenty of tourists everywhere.
Restaurants are packed, and it’s advisable to book ahead to get a table. Visit popular museums and galleries early in the morning to avoid long queues.
You’ll experience average temperatures of between 67°F (20°C) and 77°F (25°C) during the day. On the warmest days of the month, the mercury can top 91°F (33°C). During heat waves, the only place to be is on the beach or high in the cool mountains.
Festivals & events in July
- The Seattle International Beerfest
- The Bite of Seattle Food Festival
- The Capitol Hill Block Party
- The Chinatown DragonFest
- The Seattle Chamber Music Society Summer Festival
The warm weather continues into August, Seattle’s warmest month. August is a fantastic time to enjoy water activities on Puget Sound, like kayaking and sailing.
The breezes off the water offer a cool respite from the heat of the city. Evenings are perfect for alfresco dining. Temperatures liken to those in July, ranging from the high sixties to high seventies.
Festivals & events in August
- The Hempfest
- The Seattle Seafair Weekend
Temperatures begin to wane in September as summer makes way for autumn, but days are still warm enough to enjoy fun outdoor activities around Seattle. The crazy summer crowds have left, and Seattle has fewer tourists at the main attractions and out on the town.
Restaurants have tables available, and you can usually get tickets to concerts without dealing with dodgy scalpers. You can enjoy clear days with blue skies at around 72°F (22°C) and over seven hours of sunshine a day.
Nights are beginning to get cooler in September, and temperatures can drop to around 46°F (7°C), so it’s time for a warmer jacket again.
Festivals & events in September
- The PAX Prime Gaming Show
- The Bumbershoot
Seattle’s local and national parks burst into color during October. The fantastic fall foliage on Mount Rainier and Washington Park is spectacular.
It’s getting chillier during the day, with temperatures hanging around 54°F (15°C), while the air dampens, causing soft drizzles throughout the day.
You’ll only see about 4.5 hours of sunshine now. Nights are cold at around 37°F (2°C), so bundle up when going out.
Festivals & events in October
- The Hempfest
- The Seattle Seafair Weekend
Winter has set in, with November marking the beginning of Seattle’s rainy season. Days are dark with heavy rain and high winds. Temperatures during the day rarely rise above 52°F (12°C).
November may not be a great time for outdoor pursuits, but there are plenty of fantastic museums and galleries to keep you busy. November also sees Christmas festivities begin, and there are a few markets worth visiting to find that special gift.
Festivals & events in November
- The Sheraton Seattle’s Gingerbread Village
- The Magnuson Park Fair
It’s time to get out of the city and head for the hills. December in Seattle is cold, grey, and rainy, but all the ski resorts open during this month, so you can escape the city and enjoy some skiing and snowboarding. Bear in mind the sun sets around 5 pm now; hit the slopes early to get a full day of action.
Temperatures during the day range between 37°F (3°C) and 47°F (8°C); nights can see the mercury dipping below zero to 25°F (-4°C).
In December, days are short, with the winter solstice falling on the 21st. You’ll only see about 1.5 hours of sunshine a day on average, so the best place to be is indoors next to a roaring fireplace with a mug of eggnog.
Festivals & events in December
- The Winterfest of December
- The Great Figgy Pudding Caroling Competition – Westlake Center