Spring weather will require a little more patience

Apr 18, 2023, 2:03 PM | Updated: 2:04 pm

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The Skagit Valley Tulip Festival under cloudy, rainy skies. (MyNorthwest photo)

(MyNorthwest photo)

While much of the rest of the nation is currently experiencing warmer conditions, it seems like the Pacific Northwest is suffering a La Nina hangover.

It has been another cool, wet start to spring, much like last year. La Nina, the cooling of the Eastern Pacific Ocean tropical waters, ended last month after a rare 3-month run.

Many are asking – when will more spring-like conditions arrive? The second half of April is underway and it has not warmed to 60 degrees so far this month.

In fact, the last 60-degree day at SeaTac Airport was on March 29 at 61 degrees. The warmest day thus far this year has been 65 on March 18.

The average high-temperature Tuesday is 60 degrees. If longer-range forecast guidance is on target, sunshine with temperatures topping 60 degrees is quite possible by the middle of next week.

Until then, more unsettled cool showery weather with occasional sunbreaks is in store. This unsettled weather also includes the threat of thunderstorms and small hail.

Snow levels will also remain low, hovering between 1500 and 3000 feet. The low snow levels may actually be a silver lining. As of mid-April, the Cascade mountain snowpack ranged from 81 percent of the average at Stevens Pass to 135 percent at White Pass.

Crystal Mountain extended ski season into late May

Several snow resorts have extended their operational seasons including Crystal Mountain, White Pass, and The Summit at Snoqualmie. Stevens Pass closed on April 16. The additional mountain snows will help add to the snowpack, just like it did for last year’s spring.

Gardeners are asking when they can put their seasonal plants in the ground. Given the cool start to spring and referring to historical weather records, the threat of freezing temperatures and frost will generally be over around May 1. Specifically, the risk of frost in Everett and at SeaTac Airport usually ends during the final week of April. But in more outlying areas, the threat of frost usually comes later. In Monroe, it is around May 1 while Olympia and Arlington will be garden ready a week later.

The urge for sunshine and warmer temperatures is strong. With a little more patience, those wishes will come true.

Ted Buehner is KIRO Newsradio’s meteorologist

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Spring weather will require a little more patience