Saturday should provide a respite from the bout of rain and snow showers that have been hanging around Western Washington this week.
Best to get out and enjoy it if you can, says knkx weather expert Cliff Mass. On Sunday, the threat of snow showers returns, although temperatures will stay warm enough to keep much of the white stuff from sticking.
Get Outdoors On Saturday
“The best day is going to be Saturday, no doubt about it,” said Mass, explaining that a small ridge of high pressure is set to build over the region that day, bringing pleasant conditions with it.
“Temperatures will climb into the mid-40s. You’ll see a little bit of sun. It’ll be a dry day. Everybody’s going to be happy on Saturday,” he said.
Tricky Forecast Sunday
On Sunday, Mass says the weather gets “more interesting.”
He says late Saturday and into Sunday morning, an upper-level trough of low pressure starts bearing down, pushing temperatures low enough to freeze some of the precipitation.
“We’re going to be right on the edge of rain versus snow,” Mass said.
He predicts mainly rain will fall in lower elevations and near the warming influence of Puget Sound. But at higher elevations, the chances of snow will increase substantially.
“Certainly above 3 to 400 feet,” Mass said. “So I expect some people on Sunday morning will see some light snow. Maybe half an inch, an inch – if you are above 3 to 400 feet.”
He says there’s also a chance some of the snow showers will reach sea level. It’s a tricky forecast though and will become clearer as the weekend progresses.
“So it’s something you’ve got to watch. It’s not going to be the end of the world, but there could be some snow on Sunday morning.”
As Sunday unfolds, Mass says temperatures are expected to reach 40 degrees, preventing any of the possible snow from sticking around.
“I don’t expect much accumulation and the roads should be fine,” he said.
'Normal' Next Week
Mass says after the cold spell, rain showers will return, with temperatures reaching the mid-40s on Monday.
“So, back to normal,” he said.
Mass will be part of a Northwest Weather Workshop on March 3-4 in Seattle. Anyone interested in learning more about meteorology can attend, but registration is required. The agenda and more information (including how to register) can be found here.
To hear the forecast along with Cliff’s discussion of the official end of La Niña and the prospects for a return of El Niño next winter, you can click on the “play” icon at the top of this post.
The weekly knkx feature 'Weather with Cliff Mass’ airs every Friday at 9 a.m. immediately following ‘BirdNote’, and twice on Friday afternoons during ‘All Things Considered’. The feature is hosted by knkx environment reporter Bellamy Pailthorp. Cliff Mass is a University of Washington professor of atmospheric sciences, a renowned Seattle weather prognosticator, and a popular weather blogger. You can also subscribe to podcasts of ‘Weather with Cliff Mass’ shows, via iTunes or Google Play.