MYNORTHWEST WEATHER

Seattle weather: The big warm-up will stick

Jan 22, 2024, 7:50 AM | Updated: 7:53 am

Greenlake weather...

The sun through Saturday will give way to a return of winter. (Photo: Bill Kaczaraba)

(Photo: Bill Kaczaraba)

What a difference a week in weather makes! A week ago, Western Washington was still in a deep freeze. Now, it feels almost balmy outside.

Last week, it took several days to erode the sub-freezing air as milder air moved onshore from the Pacific. Some sheltered locations or areas still exposed to winds with colder air blowing in from Eastern Washington and the interior of Western Canada resulted in lingering snow or freezing rain.

But now, all of Western Washington has warmed up and will remain that way this week. Westerly flow from the Pacific is expected to bring a series of weather systems onshore with rain at times and temperatures a little above mid-January averages. Highs will hover around 50 degrees all week, the warmest since early in the month with lows only ranging from the upper 30s to the mid-40s.

In the mountains, periods of rain and snow will continue throughout the week with snow levels ranging from 4000 to 5000 feet. Yet, colder air from the eastern half of the state is expected to seep westward through the passes and retain a mix of rain and snow until mid week.

The SMN Interviews: Jancee Dunn, Matt Markovich, Herb Weisbaum

Heading into this month, the mountain snowpack was well below average ranging from about 30 to 60 percent of average. The recent snows in the mountains helped make up some of that deficit. The snowpack in the Olympics and Cascades now stands about 45 to 90 percent of average, depending on the location.

The latest seasonal weather outlook released late last week maintains good odds on warmer and wetter than average conditions for the rest of this winter season through March. Warmer than average temperatures usually means a higher mountain snow level than average – not the best news for building that snowpack.

The milder wet weather offers a silver lining. At least heating bills should be lower than they were during the cold snap.

MyNorthwest Weather

Photo: A makeshift fire truck puts water on a wildfire, which is part of the Okanogan Complex. Wash...

Ted Buehner

Buehner: Fire season kicked into high gear by heat wave

At the risk of voicing the obvious, Washington fire season is here! The recent heat wave essentially kicked it into high gear.

2 days ago

Photo: A paddle boarder is pictured at Alki Beach as excessive heat warnings remain in effect....

Bill Kaczaraba

As temperatures ease, no rain in sight for the next 10-14 days

Summer is beginning to look more "normal" in the Pacific Northwest as the heat wave eases with temperatures in the 80s in most places.

4 days ago

Image: The sun sets over Mountlake Terrace and Edmonds on a warm evening on Wednesday, June 5, 2024...

Steve Coogan and Frank Sumrall

Cliff Mass: ‘No doubt’ PNW is in a heat wave, but the end is near

Cliff Mass, a professor at the University of Washington (UW), discussed high pressure areas and the strength of the sun on KTTH.

6 days ago

Photo: A paddle boarder is pictured at Alki Beach as excessive heat warnings remain in effect....

Ted Buehner

Seattle’s record-breaking heat wave sticking around through Tuesday

Driving this first heat wave of the year for Seattle and surrounding areas is the combination of strong high pressure aloft and low-level air flow.

7 days ago

pedestrian sun glare...

Ted Buehner

Dangerous heat has arrived in Washington; highs in the 90s

After picture-perfect Fourth of July weather, sizzling temperatures have arrived and will hold on through the weekend.

8 days ago

fourth of july...

Ted Buehner

This week’s weather: Does it always rain on Fourth of July?

Some locals say it always rains on the Fourth of July, but does it? Is that a myth? Let’s look at some Puget Sound area weather records.

14 days ago

Seattle weather: The big warm-up will stick