AgWeatherNet Weekly Weather Outlook for Feb 7 to Feb 13, 2020

Pleasant second half of the weekend statewide and a fairly mundane week ahead.

Craig Oswald, Field Meteorologist, 509-786-9256
Joe Zagrodnik, Postdoctoral Research Associate
Mark Ingalls, AgWeatherNet Intern

Discussion:

Some sunny skies and a week of relatively little precipitation looks to be in store for Washington State this coming period. On the heels of the ongoing storm system, a more modest surface cyclone looks to impact the southern coast of British Columbia and bring with it rain and snow showers for many parts of the state from late Friday through Saturday. Lowland areas look to receive mostly rain while upland areas look to trend more toward snow. The Cascades are expected to receive more consistent snowfall with several inches of accumulation likely at pass levels and of course, more than that amongst the highest peaks. Behind this system, a short-lived pocket of cold air looks to move in from the north on Saturday, dropping our temperatures slightly. Depending on the timing of the cold air and the advancement of the precipitation, lowland parts of eastern Washington may see a few snowflakes in the air before precipitation tapers to an end through Saturday night with only an inch or so of snow expected along far eastern Washington and less elsewhere. Lowland areas of western Washington are expected to remain all rain.

As the weekend progresses beyond Saturday, it appears that a strong high pressure will continue to build into the north Pacific from equatorial regions. This looks to effectively push the Aleutian low into the Bering sea and move its storm track away from the Pacific Northwest for the week ahead. With this high pressure residing just off the coast, next week’s weather looks to be defined as mostly dry. A low chance for a few scattered rain/mostly snow showers in eastern Washington, particularly northern and far eastern Washington reappears in the Tuesday night time frame. Western Washington can be expected to see more consistent scattered rain showers during this time. These chances for precipitation appear to be in association with a clipper type system moving from the northwest to southeast and into the upper Midwest/high plains. This disturbance is expected to create just enough instability and a small resurgence of cooler air that we must at least acknowledge the chance for scattered showers. This low threat for scattered precipitation will remain in place through the end of the period, with again, western Washington expected to have a better chance at precipitation than eastern Washington.

As alluded to earlier, temperatures are expected to dip a little cooler than we have experienced with overnight lows likely to drop into the mid-teens throughout upland/mountain areas of the northern part of the state. These temperatures look to be the coldest statewide, which means that there are no anticipated concerns for cold hardiness or bud kill at this time.

As a brief recap, many of us know that January was a wet month, especially for the west side of the state. On the Olympic Peninsula, Quillayute has experienced 50 consecutive days with measurable precipitation (as of Wednesday). This breaks the old record of 47 (set in 1990) and means that they have yet to experience a single dry day so far in 2020. They also set a new record for monthly rainfall, reaching 30.78 inches for January.

While the Stevenson AgWeatherNet site east of Vancouver had two dry days during January, it recorded 23.59 inches of precipitation. As far as we can tell, this is the highest monthly rainfall value recorded at any station within our network. The Long Beach Station also recorded over 20 inches of rain, and many others broke January records. These repeated wet weather systems have effectively decimated the minor drought that was in place west of the mountains. Eastern Washington did not experience the same record-breaking rainfall and a minor drought remains in place.


Key Points:

  • Rain and snow showers for the first half of the weekend.
  • Dry Sunday and early next week with mostly scattered type rain and snow returning mid week and lingering through the period.

Temperatures
  • Temps cooling slightly for the period Saturday night.
  • Remaining near seasonable even with the slight cool down.

Precipitation
  • Rain and upland snow showers, with more consistent mountain snow through Saturday.
  • Several inches of snow accumulation expected at pass levels with snow levels in general lowering Saturday evening.
  • Precip to taper off Saturday night.
  • Return of scattered rain and snow showers state wide in the Tuesday night time frame.

Wind
  • Somewhat breezy conditions through Saturday with W/SW winds expected to subside Saturday night.
  • Light winds Sunday and early next week.
  • Slight uptick in wind speed for the latter part of the week with wind broadly from a SW direction.

8 to 14 Day Outlook – Feb 14 to Feb 20, 2020
  • Below average temperatures and near average precipitation are expected during the 8 to 14 day time frame.

Important Points about Next Week's Weather

South Central Washington
Weekend
  • A few light rain showers with more consistent rain around Walla Walla. Clearing through Sunday with some patchy fog. Mostly dry Sunday. Mostly sunny to overcast.
  • Highs in the mid 50s Friday, low 50s Saturday and upper 40s Sunday.
  • Lows near 40 Saturday morning, and upper 20s Sunday morning.
Next Week
  • Dry Monday with a low chance of precip Tuesday, especially east of Prosser. Precipitation chances remain low but become more widespread Wednesday with this continuing through the end of the period. Upland areas likely to see rain/light snow with a stray snow shower possible through lowland areas during the overnights. Sunny to overcast.
  • Highs in the upper 40s Monday and low 50s Tuesday. Gradually cooling to mid 40s by Wednesday and Thursday.
  • Lows near 30 Monday morning and mid 30s Tuesday. Returning to low 30s for Wednesday morning and Thursday mornings.

North Central Washington
Weekend
  • Light rain showers and upland snow with modest accumulations especially west of the Columbia. Clearing through Saturday night with some patchy fog. Mostly dry Sunday. Mostly sunny to overcast.
  • Highs in the upper 30s Friday, low 40s Saturday, and upper 30s Sunday. Cooler throughout higher terrain.
  • Lows near 30 Saturday morning and low 20s Sunday morning. Cooler throughout higher terrain.
Next Week
  • Mostly dry Monday. Scattered precip returning late Tuesday and remaining through the period. Light snow showers expected with any precip. Mostly sunny to overcast.
  • Highs around 40 Monday and upper 30s Tuesday. Low 30s Wednesday and mid 30s Thursday. Cooler throughout higher terrain.
  • Lows in the mid 20s Monday morning and upper 20s Tuesday morning. Mid 20s Wednesday and Thursday mornings. Cooler throughout higher terrain.

Eastern Washington
Weekend
  • Continued light to moderate rain showers with some snow mixed in, primarily during the overnights. Transition to mostly light snow Saturday evening before tapering off through night with only an inch or so of accumulation. Mostly dry Sunday. Patchy fog at times. Mostly sunny to overcast.
  • Highs in the low 40s Friday, near 40 Saturday, and upper 30s Sunday.
  • Lows in the mid 30s Saturday morning, and upper 20s Sunday morning.
Next Week
  • Mostly dry early in the week. Chance for a few passing rain/mostly snow showers by Wednesday. Chance for precip remaining through Thursday. Sunny to overcast.
  • Highs near 40 Monday and upper 30s Tuesday. Mid 30s Wednesday and Thursday.
  • Lows in the mid 20s Monday morning and upper 20s Tuesday morning. Mid 20s Wednesday and Thursday mornings.

Western Washington
Weekend
  • Continued light to moderate rain and mountain snow. Snow accumulations of several inches down to pass level. Precip to taper off through Saturday night. Mostly dry Sunday. Patchy fog at times. Mostly sunny to overcast.
  • Highs near 50 Friday, and upper 40s Saturday and Sunday. Much cooler throughout the Cascades/Olympics.
  • Lows near 40 Saturday morning, and low 30s Sunday morning. Much cooler throughout the Cascades/Olympics.
Next Week
  • Mostly dry Monday. Scattered rain showers and more consistent mountain snow showers return Tuesday and linger through the period. Partly sunny to overcast.
  • Highs in the upper 40s Monday and Tuesday. Mid 40s Wednesday and Thursday. Much cooler throughout the Cascades/Olympics.
  • Lows in the low 30s Monday morning, and mid 30s Tuesday morning. Low 30s Wednesday morning, and mid 30s Thursday morning. Much cooler throughout the Cascades/Olympics.

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