April 19, 2019

A Very Nice Holiday Weekend

This is a special weekend, including both Easter and Passover celebrations.   And we are in the midst of a rapid transition in our surrounding vegetation, with trees leafing rapidly, blossom's blooming, and time to think seriously about gardening.

So weather is important.   And it won't disappoint.

Friday was a dreary dark day for most of us, as a frontal band sat over the region most of the day.

Visible satellite imagery at 1 PM Friday.

Fortunately,  a modest ridge of high pressure will move over us on Saturday, ending all precipitation and resulting in partly cloudy skies (see image of upper level heights at 500 hPa...about 18,000 ft...below ).   Highs will get up to around 60F.

An important issue for all gardeners is that the soil temperatures are progressively warming.  The WSU AgWeather  Network shows that the 8 inch soil temperatures in western WA are all in the 50s, and here in Seattle the soil temperature are above 55F--warm enough to start thinking about lawn seeds and perhaps beans/zucchini (see graphics below).  My pea seeds, planted two weeks ago, have all germinated and now push up through the soil.  Too soon for tomatoes, though.

By Sunday, the ridge will be weakening and increasing westerly flow will be moving in aloft.  Expect increasingly high cloudiness later during the day, but no rain (see upper level map at 2 PM Sunday).

And now an important point....eastern WA, which has been substantially cooler than normal for most of the past month, is finally warming up, with many locations in the Columbia Basin getting into the 70s this weekend.    Here is the forecast temperatures for 5 PM Sunday, showing the warming from Yakima to the Tri-Cities.  Good for agriculture.

In short, a great weekend to do anything you like outdoors and welcome warmth east of the Cascade crest.   There is only one thing to worry about....the pollen count.  Without rain removing pollen from the air and all the flowering plants, the pollen count is predicted to rise....sorry.

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