If you have any plans over the next few days that require a break in the rain, do them on Friday. The National Weather Service in Seattle is predicting unseasonably warm temperatures and some dry air that day, followed by a blustery, wet weekend that could stretch into a whole wet week.
Looking further ahead, January is expected to be colder than normal in the Pacific Northwest, according to the weather service’s Climate Prediction Center. January in the Seattle area typically has highs of about 47 degrees and lows near 36 degrees, said weather service meteorologist Dustin Guy.
It’s less clear how much rain we can expect in the coming month, as the climate center says we have about equal chances of getting more rain than usual, less rain than usual or about the typical amount of 5.57 inches. Guy said the prediction center’s forecasts are focused on the overall outlook and are intentionally vague.
Rain moved into Seattle by Thursday afternoon and is expected to taper off early Friday. A front will temporarily bring warm, dry air and temperatures that should reach the mid-50s. Guy said he doesn’t expect Friday’s high to break Seattle’s Jan. 3 record of 58 degrees, but he said it could be close.
“It’s going to be quite warm and dry,” Guy said. “But then, the rain is going to come in fast and furious, and it’s going to get pretty windy.”
The rain and wind could last “right on through next week and maybe longer,” he said.
This wave of storms is likely to bring more mid- and lower-elevation snow and bolster the state’s snowpack, a vast and vital frozen reservoir that, as 2019 came to a close, was at about half its normal year-end depth.
December was warmer and wetter than normal for Western Washington, according to the weather service. Last year as a whole was drier than normal, with annual precipitation coming in below average at five of the weather service’s Western Washington measurement sites.
The agency shared on New Year’s Eve a list of the most remarkable weather days of the year. You may remember some or all of these dates:
- Warmest day: June 12 (95 degrees, breaking a daily record and almost breaking a monthly record)
- Coldest day, by high temperature: Feb. 4 (32 degrees, the day after the first snowstorm hit)
- Coldest day, by low temperature: Feb. 5-6 (tie, 20 degrees)
- Wettest day: Dec. 20 (3.25 inches, the most Seattle had seen on a single day this decade)
- Most snow: Feb. 8 (6.4 inches, and a state of emergency declared by Gov. Jay Inslee)
Seattle Times staff reporter Hal Bernton contributed to this story.