What will likely be the wettest rainy season in Seattle’s modern history will finally yield to weekend sunshine as temperatures climb toward 80 degrees.
Clouds and scattered showers will persist Wednesday, but then a high-pressure system will dry out the soggy Puget Sound region.
The seven-day forecast calls for a high of 63 on Wednesday, climbing to 66 with mostly cloudy skies Thursday, and by Sunday a high of 74 – and 79 degrees by Tuesday.
Swimmers and boaters will be playing in rivers and inlets fed by an unusually big snowpack, which brings an elevated risk of drowning from “cold water shock.”
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Tall grasses, runaway blackberry vines and toppled trees in parks remain from the soaking that came before.
At Paradise Inn on Mount Rainier, 23 inches of snow fell Tuesday and Wednesday morning, in what the National Weather Service calls “Mayuary’s last gasp.” Snoqualmie Pass began Wednesday morning at 37 degrees with snowy slopes but clear roadways.
Seattle is almost certain to break its official record of 47.23 inches of rain for Oct. 1 to June 30, set only a year ago. The weather service says the city received 47.08 inches since Oct. 1 – so even after next week, only one-seventh of an inch must fall in June to raise the water mark. (Local lore says summer unofficially begins July 5.)
Unlike last year, when a warm North Pacific “blob” lingered offshore to generate precipitation, there’s been no strong pattern this year, except for consistently rainy days, said Dana Felton, a weather-service meteorologist.
The coming week should bring Western Washington’s longest period of dryness, of seven to 10 days, since September.
A ridge of high pressure, forming over the state to elevations of 20,000 feet, will be strong enough to fend off moisture from the ocean, forecasts say. “The jet stream is heading to the Alaskan panhandle instead of here,” Felton said.
“It’s going to be near 80 on Monday and Tuesday. I think people will be pretty excited for the most part. There are people who like rain here, but the general sentiment is, we’ve had enough,” Felton said.