Seattle weather sunny to start the week, but rain is on the way

Nov 27, 2023, 8:30 AM | Updated: 10:01 am

warm dry summer 2023...

(Getty Images)

(Getty Images)

The weather this Thanksgiving holiday weekend was about as good as it gets with plenty of sunshine across Seattle and the Pacific Northwest.

The sunshine is expected to continue through the middle of this week before the high pressure aloft over the region that has delivered the rare late November sunshine shifts inland. The change in the weather pattern will permit the North Pacific storm track to begin steering a series of wet weather systems onshore as early as Thursday. Rain will definitely return Friday and continue through the coming weekend.

More from Ted Buehner: King Tide season is back, here’s how to prepare

The recent stagnant weather pattern with little if any wind has resulted in declining air quality. As of this morning, a number of Puget Sound air quality sensors have slipped into the moderate category, and several counties in the region have implemented stage one burn bans, meaning no wood burning fireplaces and all outdoor burning is prohibited.

On the bright side — literally the bright side — the Beaver full moon that occurred early Monday morning will continue to illuminate the night sky with these nearly cloud-free skies into mid-week. The full moon also means that it is aligned with the sun and earth, resulting in the season’s first set of king tides. The Seattle high tide will peak at 12.5 feet near sunrise Wednesday. But thanks to the high pressure aloft and light winds, this set of king tides is not expected to create any local shoreline flooding.

Despite the wet first half of this month, the recent dry streak could mean many Western Washington locations will end up drier than average. So far this month, Sea-Tac Airport has had just over five-and-a-half inches of rain. The normal for the month is about six-and-a-third inches of rain. Many other locations in the region are in the same rainfall position.

More on King Tides: Stark outlook into rising Puget Sound sea levels

The recent dry weather also means there has not been any fresh snow in the mountains. It is nearly the first of December and the North Cascades Highway is still open, which is abnormal for this time of year. The change to a wetter weather pattern by this weekend will likely close the highway for the season as snow returns to all the passes including Snoqualmie Pass with the snow level around 2,500 feet.

Enjoy the lingering late November sunshine through Wednesday, though temperatures will remain cool. Highs will climb only into the 40s, with overnight temperatures dipping to below freezing in many locations and more frosty mornings. Before hitting the road this week, remember to scrape all your windows and watch for icy spots on the roads, particularly overpasses and bridges. Wet roadways will be back by Friday as the calendar rolls over to December.

Ted Buehner is KIRO Newsradio’s meteorologist.

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