Why This Weekend Should Be A Good One For Gardening

Mar 24, 2017

KNKX weather expert Cliff Mass is planning to get out into the garden this weekend. He says there should be enough sunshine, intermittently on Saturday, and also Sunday morning. And he says it will be warm enough for sure.

So if you’re outside, be prepared for wet, but don’t worry about getting too cold. The spring equinox has passed and that means the days are getting longer and the sun is stronger. So temperatures will be mild.

“We’ve had temperatures above 50 degrees now for over a week,” Mass said, as further evidence that spring is indeed here. Plants are also blooming again, though many people will have noticed, as Mass did, that sensitive ones left outdoors may not have made it or may have suffered because of the colder winter we have experienced.

“We haven’t seen than in the past few years, which have been quite warm,” he said.

“We had a period – particularly earlier in March – where the temperatures were way below normal, highs getting up only into the mid-40s, well we’ve really transitioned to much more normal springtime temperatures,” he said.

“And everything has responded to that. The birds are back, the weeds are growing, the daffodils are up – even the cherry blossoms are out,” said Mass, who says he can see those blossoms on full display when walking around the UW campus.  

“So we’ve really made the spring transition,” he said.

So What’s The Forecast?

Friday night into Saturday: showery in the lowlands, showers in the mountains, but not too bad for gardening with temps in the lower lowlands.

“Saturday won’t be bad, if you’re on the western side of the Cascades,” says Mass.

Sunday: More complex, with a system of clouds and rain coming in faster. Mass says if that’s your garden day, get up early.

“In the morning early, it’ll be quite dry and very pleasant. But sometime around lunchtime to or two o’clock, the next weather system’s going to come in.” he said. “So if you’re going to do something outside on Sunday, do it early.” He says it will be wetter in the afternoon with temperatures getting up to around 50-52.

Rainy Again Next Week

Mass says next week will be a wet one. “Not a dry period, there’s a series of fronts, an upper level disturbance is coming through, so we’ll have plenty of rain next week.”

On the bright side, the wet soil is easier to weed from —so if you don’t mind mud, enjoy the mild weather.

Spring is here!

To hear the forecast along with Cliff’s discussion of why and how the air above the Northwest is typically coldest and driest around the spring equinox, 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.