After a four-month stretch of above-normal precipitation, the forecast calls for sunshine (and warm temperatures) in Western Washington through Wednesday.
If the sunshine in Western Washington for the next couple days feels especially precious, that’s because it’s coming after a four-month stretch of rainfall totals 50 percent above normal.
Sunny skies are forecast through Wednesday, before rain or showers return each day through the Presidents Day holiday weekend.
So far in this “water year,” which started Oct. 1, Seattle-Tacoma International Airport has had 32.86 inches of rain, compared with a normal 21.91 inches for the period.
In fact, the rainfall since the start of October has been nearly 88 percent of what Sea-Tac normally gets for an entire year.
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The upper-level ridge of high pressure helping the Puget Sound area dry out is expected to produce high temperatures approaching 60, 10 degrees above normal.
Sea-Tac hit 60 twice in December, with both days (Dec. 3 and 8) setting high-temperature records for their dates. But they weren’t opportunities for outdoor fun: Dec. 3 saw a half-inch of rain at Sea-Tac, and Dec. 8 had 2.13 inches, triggering widespread flooding.
This week’s sunshine on a hefty snowpack is creating springlike conditions for skiers. Base amounts of snow are at 87 inches or higher on Snoqualmie Pass.
It’s not unusual for Seattle to have a stretch of dry days in February, as if nature is offering a preview of spring. Last February had 10 dry days at Sea-Tac, with temperatures that topped out at 61.
Long-range outlooks from the Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center point to temperatures and rainfall above normal in the Puget Sound area for the next eight to 14 days.
The picture shifts in the three-month outlook, calling for temperatures above normal and precipitation below normal for all of Washington state.