May 22, 2014

Memorial Day Weekend Forecast

The Memorial Day weekend forecast is always an important one.   Yes, many people will be on the the road this weekend, and parades, picnics and other outings are popular.   The weather is generally not reliable yet, even though we have usually had a taste of warmth by this time.  And many weather-related tragedies have occurred during this period:  from avalanches, high and fast water in rivers from rapid melt, and even snow white-outs on high volcanic peaks.

This year we will  get the worse weather out of the way early, as a moderate front moves through Washington and northern Oregon on Friday morning and early afternoon (see 3-h precipitation ending 11 AM Friday below).  We need the precipitation, there hasn't been anything significant for over a week.

After the front moves through Friday afternoon, there will be some minor showers over the lowlands, some light rain on the western slopes of the Cascades, a heavier rain in the Puget Sound Convergence Zone between Seattle and Everett.

Saturday will be a partly cloudy day, with considerable clouds over western Washington.  A few light showers will remain.  To illustrate, here is the precipitation forecast for the 3 hours ending 2 PM.

Want guaranteed sun? Head east of the Cascade crest, as illustrated by the cloud forecast for 11 AM Saturday. Saturday temps getting into the upper 60s away from the water over western Washington.

Sunday will start dry, but a moderate front (and a fairly strong offshore low) will approach late in the day (see precipitation forecast for the 3-h period ending 5 PM). Rain will reach the coast during the mid afternoon, but the interior should remain dry to around dinner time.  Eastern Washington will be warm as will be the Willamette Valley (both in the 70s,see temperature map at 5 PM below).

The front will go by on Sunday night and Monday there will be scattered showers and considerable cloudiness.   No big winds during the weekend, although it will get blustery along the Washington coast on Sunday afternoon.  Enjoy the weekend.


  1. What about the best place around here to try to see tonight's meteor shower and potential meteor storm? We were thinking of taking our chances near Sequim. It looks from the current satellite photo (8:40AM) that much of Eastern Washington will be socked in. The peak shower times - potentially the time for the storm - range from 11PM until 2AM.

    I wish I had the time to drive to SE Oregon to see this. But not this weekend with the Holiday traffic and we have too many other irons in the fire.

    Thanks Cliff!
    Casey Burns

  2. Head to eastern washington, particularly Ellensburg/Yakima/Moses Lake. Olympia and Bellingham are best best in western WA...NOT SEQUIM...cliff

  3. Cliff, the picture ( is from this afternoon. We have strong wind. Are the cloud ripples due to mountain waves? How can I be certain it is due to mountain waves?
    Thank you!

  4. When I arose this morning in West Seattle at 0500 AM, the temperature was 59 degrees. That is hard to beat when the weather is iffy...

    Nice May...I hope June is two-thirds as good...just a mild case of June gloom will be appreciated...

  5. Alas! Not much of a sky out near Shelton last night. Some people had clearing east of Seattle.

    But the meteor storm never materialized and the meteor shower was rather minor, according to reports on the Spaceweather website and other websites. Maybe we'll get lucky with the Leonids this November as in 2003 when he did have an amazing meteor storm.

    Casey Burns


Please make sure your comments are civil. Name calling and personal attacks are not appropriate.

More Wildfire Misinformation at the Seattle Times

 The Seattle Times continues to shamelessly exaggerate and hype the regional effects of climate change. This week they really went overboard...