A record dark December - and now the coldest week of the year

Jan 4, 2013

If you feel like last month was dark and dreary, you're not imagining things. KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass says December 2012 was one of the darkest on record.

"We've had a terrible period. It was one of the darkest Decembers we've had. Certainly we were in the top five of the last 50 years."

He says in records kept for the last 13 years, we tied with December 2007 for the worst wet, damp and dreary skies.

It won't be that bad in the days ahead. Cliff's forecast is for more typical Northwest clouds and scattered rain, with some sun breaks on Monday.

"Amazingly, that cold air that was in place for days has now been scoured out. "

He says temperatures will get into the mid-40s today, with some clouds. " A weak front is expected to come in late Saturday and into Saturday night, with thicker clouds and some rain in the afternoon. Lows won't get below the freezing point.

Sunday will get off to a soggy start, but will dry out as the day progresses with some chance of Sun in the afternoon. Sun breaks are also in the forecast for Monday.

Despite the relatively mild temps, it is the coldest week of the year, meteorologically speaking, Mass says. And that's a bit counterintuitive, because it comes a full two weeks after the winter solstice. Cliff says it thas to do with the lag time in winter for the warming power of the sun to get through.

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