Will unseasonably warm weather continue for Western WA?
Jan 29, 2024, 6:16 AM
(Photo: Bill Kaczaraba, MyNorthwest)
Yes, it is quite mild outside. Record-high daily temperatures could fall again today and tomorrow.
On Sunday, Seattle-Tacoma International Airport reached 61 degrees, breaking the previous daily record of 57 in 2018. Olympia climbed to 63, eclipsing the earlier record high of 60 in 1976. Along the coast, both Hoquiam and Forks set new daily high-temperature records of 58 and 61 degrees, respectively.
The unseasonably warm weather will continue today and tomorrow, with more daily record highs likely to be tied or broken. High temperatures will again top off on either side of 60 degrees across much of Western Washington. Lows will only run from the mid-40s to lower 50s.
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The weekend soaking rain resulted in elevated river levels, with a few streams rising above flood stage. Saturated soils also led to a landslide along SR 106 in Mason County, closing the highway. The threat of more landslides will continue through much of the week.
The rain has tapered off for the moment, with just spotty light amounts expected through much of Tuesday. However, another atmospheric river is anticipated to spread another healthy dose of rain onshore Tuesday night into Wednesday. The heaviest rain amounts are likely along the coast, the Olympics, and the northern half of the Cascades with up to 3 more inches of rain. The rest of Western Washington should receive between one-half to one inch of rain. This additional burst of rain will help keep rivers high.
Snow levels soared over the weekend and are expected to remain above 7000 feet into Wednesday, meaning rainfall along all the Cascade highways.
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After Wednesday, the overall weather pattern will evolve, resulting in cooler showery conditions, with snow levels gradually dropping to around 3,500 feet by Friday. Highs are expected to ease back close to seasonal averages, ranging from the mid-40s to lower 50s, and lows in the mid-30s to lower 40s across the region.
This cooler, showery weather pattern is anticipated to extend into this weekend, allowing rivers to recede. And looking into at least early next week, the odds are tipped toward temperatures that are a bit cooler than early February and drier than average.
If Punxsutawney Phil lived in Western Washington rather than Pennsylvania, he would likely not see his shadow on Groundhog Day this Friday.
Ted Bushner is KIRO Newsradio’s meteorologist