WeatherWatcher: Near Springtime heat wave coming to area

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Sunny N 185th St, Shoreline
Photo by Carl Dinse

It's going to feel like June for the first half of the week. An upper atmosphere circulation pattern is causing very warm and sunny weather over the region for Monday through Wednesday. High temperatures for all three days are expected to break 70°F, with Tuesday being the warmest at possibly 72-73°F. Low temperatures are out of the risk of freezing for now, with lows in the low 40's.

Thursday is a transition day, with temperatures more seasonal, high around 63°F with a low near 40°F. Clouds will be increasing during the day Thursday as well. Friday a chance of rain returns, and right now it looks like the bulk of the rain will be Friday evening or Saturday morning. A threat of showers remains through next weekend with seasonal temperatures. Highs in the upper 50's to near 60°F and lows in the low 40's.

For those that are wondering about the statistics for February, it was 3rd coldest on record, and snowiest on record. We had two days with a high temperature below freezing, 18 days with a low temperature below freezing, and five of those nights got into the teens. The average temperature at the Northridge weather station in Shoreline was 34.1°F; normal for February at that station is 41.6°F.

The graph below shows the real picture of last month's cold weather.

As for snow, there were several events, with accumulations on seven days out of the month. Several of these events were back to back from February 8-12th. First snowstorm arrived Sunday evening February 3rd and ended around 11am February 4th. The last of the snow was Tuesday February 12th in the morning as things warmed slightly with rain mixing in.

For the second half of February we remained cold and on the margin of snow, with occasional showers. Some showers were mixed with snow or were all snow but they were non-accumulating. We had a total snow accumulation of 19.7 inches, and I believe the most we had on the ground at any one time was close to 14 inches. Our snowiest and coldest period since December 2008, and February 2019 is now ranked in history among the few Seattle region big snows.

Rainfall totals were below normal for the month, but part of that was due to the majority of our precipitation falling as snow. Some snow melt off makes it into the rain gauge but with the cold, dry winds during these snow events a lot of the snow was blown off of the gauge and evaporated from the gauge before it melted.

Longer range: Cooler weather is possible again near the beginning of April, but nothing like February. I think we are still at risk for some overnight frosts, probably through late April. We will probably have several dry periods with weak rainmakers once a week or so, but the trend is looking drier than normal with seasonal temperatures on average.

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