Rain gear proved useful Wednesday morning, when Ketchikan easily broke the previous record for summertime rainfall. The record was broken at 7 a.m., with 44.2 inches falling since June 1st. And it’s not stopping. (KRBD photo by Leila Kheiry)


Early Wednesday morning, Ketchikan broke its record for the most summertime rainfall. With more than 45 inches at last count, this summer is officially the soggiest Alaska’s First City has experienced in its recorded history.

          “We been through every kind of rain there is. Little bitty stingin’ rain, and big ol’ fat rain, rain that flew in sideways, and sometimes rain even seemed to come straight up from underneath.” – Forrest Gump

That quote from the movie “Forrest Gump” is a pretty apt summary of Ketchikan’s weather since June 1.

That’s when “summer” starts, according to the National Weather Service. And it ends Aug. 31.

At the time of this story, August isn’t quite done. And it’s still raining. But that doesn’t matter. The summertime rainfall record is busted, but good. Here’s Wes Adkins, with the Juneau-based National Weather Service.

“We have eclipsed 45 inches of rainfall for the entire summer for Ketchikan.

So, let’s break that down by month. June got 10.97 inches.

“That is 66 percent above normal,” Adkins said.

July, we got 11.17 inches.

“That’s 70 percent above normal.”

And then, we had August. Remember the first 11 days of August were dry. Lots of sunshine, warm weather, sunburns.

“And then you got to day 12,” Adkins said. “And you had the rest of the month. All told, Ketchikan received 22.9 inches of rainfall for the entire month.”  So far.

“So, that was 133 percent above normal.”

The first day of school was soggy in the morning. Here, a traffic guard waits in full rain gear to help parents using the new Houghtaling Elementary School drop-off zone. (KRBD photo by Leila Kheiry)

Adkins said part of that was the fault of a typhoon, the remnants of which hit Ketchikan Aug. 21 and 22, when nine inches fell, causing flooding and damage.

The grand total for the year so far is more than 104 inches. Ketchikan’s average annual rainfall is 150 inches.

Ok, so summer has been wet. What about fall?

“Ketchikan and Southeast Alaska in general tends to get wetter towards October, so unfortunately for a lot of us, that is not the best news,” Adkins said. “But, looking at climate predictions, we’re not seeing a lot more rain than normal.”

And normal for October is around 20 inches.

But, last October, it was unusually dry in Ketchikan. So, maybe it will do that again this year?

“I would not bet on it. Unfortunate to say,” Adkins said. “Yeah, that would be a Las Vegas style gamble.”

Anyone willing to calculate the odds?