March 09, 2019

FINALLY! Springtime Warmth Is Coming to the Northwest

Imagine 60 degree temperatures.

Think about the luxuriant warmth.  The ability go outside in a short-sleeve shirt and be comfortable.

The chance to build an honest sweat while working in the garden or going for a run.

You won't have to imagine it soon.

After one of the most impressive late-season cold waves in years, it now appears that a major warm-up is near certain.

To the dismay of many, the cooler than normal temperatures have continued, with the last few days even cooling a bit.  Our daily highs have been 5-10F cooler than normal.
Fortunately, virtually all the major global models indicate a change in atmospheric circulation with a major warm-up occurring late next week.  

Take the European Center's ensemble forecast of surface air temperatures for Seattle: 59F next Sunday and 63F on Monday, March 18th.  We are talking about ABOVE AVERAGE TEMPERATURES (the normal high is about 54F at that time).

The National Weather Service ensemble (GEFS) is going something similar, with all members predicting a substantial warming.

Why the big change?    Because there will be a substantial reconfiguration of the atmospheric circulation.  For weeks we have had a situation with a ridge offshore and northerly flow bringing cold air into our region. Plus a trough of low pressure near us (see below)

But by next weekend the ridge of high pressure aloft will be on top of us, a MUCH warmer situation (see below) and the forecast models keep the shift in place out into the future. 

Looks like real relief from the persistent cold.


  1. Most excellent, running the Dash on St. Pat's Day!

  2. The peas planted in the garden finally have hope!

  3. At my location in NW Bellingham, 34 of the past 36 days have featured minimum temperatures at or below freezing. The other two bottomed out at 34F. The last time the temperature reached 50F or higher was 1/29/2018. The last March which produced an equal or colder monthly minimum temperature was that of 2009. The last February which produced an equal or colder monthly minimum temperature was that of 1989.

  4. Tell it to the weather condition reporting rock-on-a-string here in Bow WA. Frost covered this AM on March 10.

  5. 24.6F in NW Bellingham this morning.

  6. It was quite cold in Whatcom county this morning but the afternoon when the sun was shining it was a lovely spring day. When the sun slipped behind a cloud later in the day, the air had a bite to it.

  7. Lake Mead benefited from the Gulf Streams southerly flow and our cold.

  8. I'm getting weather alert for snow tonight and tomorrow....???

  9. Any concern for flooding? Lots of pockets of snow yet in lowland hills anywhere in the shade and a TON of snow in the foothills and mountains.

  10. And the streak continues...minimum temp today in NW Bellingham 29.3F.


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