Are you curious what line of latitude runs through Seattle, Washington? As the largest city in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States, Seattle’s geographic coordinates reveal its unique position along the west coast.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: Seattle is located at 47.6 degrees north latitude.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore Seattle’s exact latitude, what latitude lines indicate, how latitude influenced Seattle’s climate and environment, and how Seattle’s latitude compares to other major U.S. cities.

Defining Latitude and Locating Seattle’s Exact Coordinates

Understanding latitude and longitude:

Latitude and longitude are the two primary coordinates used to locate any point on Earth’s surface. Latitude lines run horizontally and are measured in degrees north or south of the equator, which is 0 degrees latitude.

The equator is considered the starting point for measuring latitude, with positive values indicating points north of the equator and negative values indicating points south of the equator.

On the other hand, longitude lines run vertically and are measured in degrees east or west of the Prime Meridian, which is 0 degrees longitude. The Prime Meridian, located in Greenwich, England, serves as the reference point for measuring longitude.

Positive values indicate points east of the Prime Meridian, while negative values indicate points west of it.

Pinpointing Seattle’s latitude coordinates:

Seattle, a vibrant city in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States, is located at a specific latitude coordinate. To pinpoint Seattle’s exact location on the Earth’s surface, we need to know its latitude coordinates. Seattle is situated at approximately 47.6 degrees north latitude.

The latitude coordinate of Seattle places it in the northern hemisphere, above the equator. This means that Seattle is closer to the North Pole than it is to the South Pole.

Seattle’s latitude position has a significant influence on its climate and weather patterns. Being located at a higher latitude, Seattle experiences cooler temperatures compared to regions closer to the equator.

This is why Seattle is known for its mild, temperate climate with relatively cool summers and mild winters.

For more detailed information about the latitude of Seattle and its impact on the city, you can refer to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) website at

How Latitude Influences Seattle’s Geography and Climate

Seattle, the largest city in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States, is located at a latitude of approximately 47.61 degrees North. This latitude is significant in shaping the city’s geography and climate.

Seattle’s climate characteristics

Due to its location at a relatively high latitude, Seattle experiences a temperate marine climate. This means that the city has cool, wet winters and mild, relatively dry summers. The proximity to the Pacific Ocean also influences Seattle’s climate, as it brings a moderating effect on temperature extremes.

The city receives an average annual rainfall of around 37 inches, with the majority of the precipitation occurring between October and April. The mild temperatures and abundant rainfall create a lush and green environment, earning Seattle its nickname, the “Emerald City.”

Latitude’s effects on daylight hours

Seattle’s latitude significantly affects the length of daylight hours throughout the year. Being situated at a higher latitude means that the city experiences longer days in the summer and shorter days in the winter.

During the summer solstice in late June, Seattle enjoys around 16 hours of daylight, allowing residents and visitors to make the most of the long summer days. Conversely, during the winter solstice in late December, Seattle experiences only around 8 hours of daylight, resulting in shorter and darker days.

Latitude’s relationship with Seattle’s natural environment

Seattle’s latitude also plays a role in shaping its natural environment. The higher latitude contributes to the city’s rich biodiversity, with various plant and animal species thriving in the temperate climate.

The surrounding landscape, including the Olympic Mountains to the west and the Cascade Range to the east, is influenced by Seattle’s latitude. These mountain ranges create a rain shadow effect, resulting in different weather patterns and ecosystems on either side.

Additionally, Seattle’s latitude has an impact on the city’s proximity to other natural wonders such as Mount Rainier, a dormant volcano located about 59 miles southeast of the city. The latitude positioning allows for stunning views of this majestic peak, attracting outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers.

Comparing Seattle’s Latitude to Other Major U.S. Cities

Seattle vs. East Coast Cities

Seattle, Washington is located at a latitude of approximately 47.6° N. When comparing this latitude to other major cities on the East Coast, we find that Seattle is actually further north than cities such as New York City (40.7° N) and Boston (42.4° N).

This means that Seattle experiences a slightly cooler climate compared to these east coast cities.

However, it is important to note that despite being further north, Seattle enjoys a milder climate due to the warm currents of the Pacific Ocean. This unique combination of latitude and oceanic influence contributes to Seattle’s relatively mild summers and cool, damp winters.

Seattle vs. Southern U.S. Cities

When comparing Seattle’s latitude to cities in the southern region of the United States, such as Miami (25.8° N) and Houston (29.8° N), it becomes evident that Seattle is significantly further north. This difference in latitude results in a notable contrast in climate between Seattle and these southern cities.

While Miami and Houston enjoy warm, tropical climates, Seattle experiences a temperate marine climate characterized by mild summers and cool winters. The latitude of Seattle also contributes to its distinct seasonal changes, with vibrant autumn foliage and occasional winter snowfall.

Seattle vs. West Coast Cities

Seattle’s latitude also sets it apart from other major cities on the West Coast. For example, San Francisco, California has a latitude of 37.8° N, making it considerably further south than Seattle. This southward shift in latitude results in a warmer climate for San Francisco compared to Seattle.

Similarly, Los Angeles, California sits at a latitude of 34.0° N, placing it even further south than San Francisco. The difference in latitude between Seattle and these west coast cities contributes to variations in temperature and climate patterns.

It is worth noting that latitude alone does not solely determine a city’s climate. Factors such as altitude, proximity to bodies of water, and prevailing wind patterns also play significant roles. Nevertheless, understanding the latitude of Seattle in comparison to other major U.S. cities provides valuable insights into the unique climatic conditions experienced in the Emerald City.


Seattle’s exact latitude of 47.6° N places it firmly in the northern hemisphere and gives the Emerald City its distinctly northwest climate and environment. As you can see, a city’s geographic coordinates tell us so much more than just its location on a map. Latitude lines create a hidden structure that shapes regional cultures and identities in many surprising ways.

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