Washington weather will feel like a yo-yo this week before the holiday weekend

May 20, 2024, 8:14 AM

Image: Boats can be seen at the Edmonds Marina on a sunny day in Edmonds on Saturday, March 16, 202...

Boats can be seen at the Edmonds Marina on a sunny day in Edmonds on Saturday, March 16, 2024. (Photo: Steve Coogan, MyNorthwest)

(Photo: Steve Coogan, MyNorthwest)

It’s the week before what many people feel is the first summer holiday weekend of the year and the weather in Washington will feel like a yo-yo. Monday will have plenty of sunshine thanks to high pressure aloft. Highs will rise into the 60s – around average for the region this time of year.

Yet this sunshine will be short-lived. A weather system tracking southeast from the Gulf of Alaska will bring rain Tuesday and knock high temperatures down about 10 degrees as it’s only in the 50s. Showers are then expected to linger into Wednesday.

By Thursday, the temporary high pressure aloft should allow the sun to pop out again with highs warming into the 60s again. Skies should have enough clearing to see the full moon, called the Flower Moon, both Wednesday and Thursday nights.

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Washington weather: Looking toward Memorial Day weekend

Heading into Memorial Day weekend, another weather system from the Gulf of Alaska is anticipated to roll through Western Washington Friday and Saturday for a renewed threat of showers and cooler temperatures. Highs both days should nudge into the lower 60s.

But not all is lost for the holiday weekend. Higher pressure is expected to build into the Pacific Northwest Sunday and Monday, bringing back some sunshine and drier conditions. Highs for the rest of the weekend should rebound back into the 60s.

The latest seasonal weather outlook was recently released by the National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center. This refreshed outlook still points to overall warmer and drier than average conditions through June as well as into September.

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Much of Washington remains in drought conditions. Seattle-Tacoma International Airport is currently just over four inches below average for the year. Olympia is about an inch and a quarter below average. The mountain snowpack usually peaks in early April and this year, finished 60 to 80% of normal.

The dry conditions have raised concerns about water supply and the wildfire threat this summer. Water managers are keeping an eye on supplies for agriculture, hydro power generation, enough water in rivers for fish, and municipal water resources.

Wildfire managers are concerned about an early start to the wildfire season and one that may extend into early fall. In fact, several wildfires in Western Washington were extinguished several weeks ago, reflecting the current dry surroundings.

This drier than normal situation points to a community wide effort to help conserve water and avoid wildfire starts through this summer.

Ted Buehner is the KIRO Newsradio meteorologist. You can read more of Ted’s stories here and follow him on X.

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Washington weather will feel like a yo-yo this week before the holiday weekend