Ides of March brings Western Washington the best weather of the year

Mar 15, 2024, 9:44 AM | Updated: 11:15 am

heat dome...

Western Washington receiving some much-needed sunshine this week. (Photo courtesy of Getty Images)

(Photo courtesy of Getty Images)

On this Ides of March, the first full moon of a month in Roman history, I wonder if Roman Emperor Julies Caesar, in 44 BC, wished he had been outside enjoying this sunshine instead of what tragically happened.

With the Spring Equinox on Tuesday the 19th shortly after 8 p.m., this is the final weekend of winter. Yet, the weather is going to feel like spring has sprung. Temperatures will be the warmest experienced since mid-October last year. Highs this weekend will surge well into the 60s with some of the warmer places like the Cascade foothills cracking the 70 degree mark.

Late winter, spring-like temperatures under plenty of sunshine could threaten or break daily record highs. The records at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport this weekend are in the lower 70s. Olympia has 70 degrees as the record on both days this weekend, with a forecast nudging into the lower 70s there. The record high temperatures at Bellingham of only 63 degrees Saturday and Sunday are most likely to be broken with forecast highs in the mid-60s.

More Ted Buehner: Wash. snowpack rebounding after recent weather, still far below average

In the mountains, freezing levels are expected to rise to at least 10000 feet this weekend, with sunshine and mild temperatures at the ski venues.

Strong high pressure aloft building over the region, along with low-level air flow moving from inland areas to the ocean, is driving the early spring-like weather. This weather system is expected to hold on Monday before breaking down and heading into by Wednesday. Temperatures early in the work week will again be unseasonably warm before cooling by mid-week.

One downside of this late winter warmer weather is allergy sufferers. Many tree species will also enjoy the sunshine and generate a surge of pollen in the air.

More weather: Who do we share the term ‘sunbreak’ with?

For those celebrating St. Patrick’s Day Sunday or any other outdoor activities this weekend like yardwork, there will be plenty of sunshine and warm temperatures. Just be sure to wear sunscreen. Our bodies have not seen this much warm sunshine for a number of months and sunburn is quite possible.

With this spring-like weather extending early into the upcoming work week, it will be interesting to learn how many people will have a bad case of spring fever and make the weekend a three-day weekend. As Jimmy Buffet sang, ‘Come Monday, it’ll be all right.’

Ted Buehner is KIRO Newsradio’s meteorologist.



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Ides of March brings Western Washington the best weather of the year