There is a sun. Proof is expected this weekend.

Share story

Say goodbye — or good riddance — to La Niña, and hello to sunshine for the opening weekend of boating season.

Forecasters say the clouds and rain of the past couple of days — including some record totals Thursday — could linger into Saturday morning for Opening Day and the Windermere Cup races. But they should start giving way to sunnier weather by Sunday.

“This week, the weather is going to turn quite decent. People are going to be happy,” said Cliff Mass, a University of Washington professor of atmospheric sciences who writes a popular weather blog.

The forecast from the National Weather Service in Seattle is for a partly sunny Saturday with highs in the 50s to low 60s. Sunday and Monday, that changes to mostly sunny with highs near 70.

That will be a dramatic change from Thursday when a record rainfall of .73 of an inch at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport broke the record of .59 set in 1948, according to the Weather Service. Olympia and Hoquiam both had about an inch of rain Thursday, breaking earlier records.

The Weather Service also reports significant snow for this time of year in the Cascades. A foot of snow fell Thursday at Paradise on Mount Rainier, and 5 inches at White Pass. Meanwhile, the U.S. Climate Prediction Center this week said the La Niña pattern that has dominated the past two years has ended — and is not likely to reappear this year.

La Niña is a cyclical pattern caused by cooler-than-usual waters in the equatorial Pacific. In the Seattle area, it has meant extra-wet winters and early springs. What its demise means for summer is not terribly clear.

The end of a La Niña pattern usually means a drier winter and late spring in the Pacific Northwest, but that correlation fades by summer, according to Mass.

“At this point, there is no real reason to expect anything worse or better than normal for the summer,” he said.

Material from The Associated Press is included in this report.

Jim Brunner: 206-515-5628 or jbrunner@seattletimes.com. On Twitter @Jim_Brunner.