AgWeatherNet Weekly Weather Outlook for May 8 to May 14, 2020

A dry and mild weekend with a wet week to follow

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

Discussion:

A rather unusual weather pattern for late spring looks to continue to build over North America through the weekend and into next week. A very high amplitude, short wavelength ridge continues to build over the west coast and into the high arctic of Alaska. Upstream of the ridge, a robust and persistent trough with a cut off upper level low continues to reside over the north Pacific, maintaining an active weather pattern over the Pacific. Downstream of the ridge, another broad and potent trough resides over the eastern portion of North America. This trough looks to keep temperatures across the eastern half of the U.S. well below normal as well as bring a strong Nor'easter through the northeast with a few inches of rare May snow possible tomorrow (Saturday) in parts of New England.

Returning a little closer to home, conditions look to be much warmer for Washington state this weekend as we reside under the ridge. There will be little concern for overnight frost. Plenty of sunshine is also on tap. However, windy and generally breezy conditions look to arrive primarily through eastern Washington Saturday. Breezy weather is expected to remain through the weekend, especially within the Basin and Palouse. Here, gusts approaching 40 mph are possible. This looks to create large areas of blowing dust which can blow into roadways and homesteads/towns. Strong easterlies can also be expected through the Cascade passes.

Temperatures look to turn back to seasonable early in the week along with more active weather expected to begin impacting the Pacific Northwest. This is due to the encroachment and passing of a series of upper level troughs and cut off lows moving east from the north Pacific. As these features move east, they look to place Washington state under southwesterly and diffluent flow immediately downstream of the trough axes. A location prime for surface systems to track and to help produce instability in general. These systems look to begin passing Monday evening as rain showers start to move into western Washington form the southwest. Showers look to remain off and on through western Washington through the week as the next trough and upper level cut off low move into the Pacific Northwest immediately following the system early in the week. Cloudy to mostly cloudy skies can also be anticipated through the week, all of which is a stark contrast in weather compared to the upcoming weekend.

Eastern Washington looks to see rain showers and scattered rain showers, primarily through far eastern portions of the state as well as upland areas in northern Washington. Due to the generally weak nature of the surface systems expected to pass through early in the week (Tuesday) and again later in the week (Thursday), south central and interior portions of the state are likely to see a few passing showers, but nothing widespread or terribly consistent. Winds look to be mostly light to slightly breezy while shifting SW mid week.

Despite recent rainfall, drought conditions continue to hold (and in some places worsen) in Central Washington. Over the last couple of weeks, showers have brought about a quarter inch of rain to the Tri-Cities, Yakima, and Wenatchee. While this rain is a welcome sight, it was not enough to resolve the existing deficit. For the 30 days ending May 6, precipitation values in this area remained well below 50% of normal.

Things are drying out in the southwestern part of the state as well. Recently, the National Drought Mitigation Center has listed Vancouver as being in a severe drought (level 2 on their scale from 0 to 4). The whole state has seen below average precipitation over the last month, but surpluses early in the year have helped keep non-coastal Western Washington north of about Tacoma in the clear for now.


8 to 14 Day Outlook  May 15, 2020 to May 21, 2020
  • Slightly above average temperatures and slightly above average precipitation are expected during the 8 to 14 day time frame.

Important Points about Next Week's Weather

South Central Washington
Weekend
  • Wind: NE and becoming windy Saturday with gusts near 40 mph possible, particularly through the Basin and Palouse. Remaining elevated and windy through the weekend.
  • Precipitation: Dry conditions expected.
  • High Temps: Upper 70s Friday, low 80s Saturday, low 80s Sunday.
  • Low Temps: Mid 40s Friday night, upper 40s Saturday night, low 50s Sunday night.
  • Sky Cover: Sunny Friday, clear Friday night, sunny Saturday, partly cloudy Saturday night, mostly sunny Sunday, mostly cloudy Sunday night.
Next Week
  • Wind: Remaining NE and windy Monday and Monday night with gusts around 35 mph possible, particularly through the Basin and Palouse. Trending lighter Tuesday and shifting SW Wednesday.
  • Precipitation: Chance for a few rain showers to move in from the S/SW Tuesday and Tuesday night. Any shower activity to trend dry Wednesday. Renewed chance for rain showers Thursday with any activity to again trend dry Friday.
  • High Temps: Mid 70s Monday, near 70 Tuesday, low 70s Wednesday, low 70s Thursday.
  • Low Temps: Near 50 Monday night, upper 40s Tuesday night, mid 40s Wednesday night, mid 40s Thursday night.
  • Sky Cover: Partly sunny to mostly cloudy.

North Central Washington
Weekend
  • Wind: Generally NE and light, yet breezy at times through far northern parts of the region. Becoming windy Saturday through the Basin with gusts near 40 mph possible. Remaining elevated and windy through the weekend.
  • Precipitation: Dry conditions expected.
  • High Temps: Mid 70s Friday, upper 70s Saturday, mid 70s Sunday. Cooler through high terrain.
  • Low Temps: Upper 40s Friday night, upper 40s Saturday night, upper 40s Sunday night. Cooler through high terrain.
  • Sky Cover: Sunny Friday, clear Friday night, sunny Saturday, partly cloudy Saturday night, mostly sunny Sunday, partly cloudy Sunday night.
Next Week
  • Wind: Remaining NE and light/breezy at times Monday and Monday night. Continued windy conditions through the Basin with gusts around 35 mph possible. Trending lighter Tuesday and shifting SW Wednesday while becoming a bit more variable through far northern portions of the region.
  • Precipitation: Rain showers to move in from the S Tuesday and Tuesday night. Shower activity to trend dry Wednesday with a few showers lingering over high terrain. More rain showers to move in Thursday, trending dry Friday.
  • High Temps: Mid 70s Monday, mid 60s Tuesday, upper 60s Wednesday, upper 60s Thursday. Cooler through high terrain.
  • Low Temps: Mid 40s Monday night, mid 40s Tuesday night, mid 40s Wednesday night, mid 40s Thursday night. Cooler through high terrain.
  • Sky Cover: Partly sunny to mostly cloudy.

Eastern Washington
Weekend
  • Wind: NE and becoming windy Saturday with gusts near 40 mph possible, particularly through the Basin and Palouse. Remaining elevated and windy through the weekend.
  • Precipitation: Dry conditions expected.
  • High Temps: Upper 60s Friday, mid 70s Saturday, mid 70s Sunday.
  • Low Temps: Low 40s Friday night, mid 40s Saturday night, mid 40s Sunday night.
  • Sky Cover: Sunny Friday, clear Friday night, sunny Saturday, partly cloudy Saturday night, mostly sunny Sunday, mostly cloudy Sunday night.
Next Week
  • Wind: Remaining NE and windy Monday and Monday night with gusts around 35 mph possible, particularly through the Basin and Palouse. Trending lighter Tuesday and shifting SW Wednesday.
  • Precipitation: Rain showers to move in from the S Tuesday and Tuesday night. Shower activity to trend dry Wednesday. More rain showers to move in Thursday, trending dry Friday.
  • High Temps: Near 70 Monday, low 60s Tuesday, near 60 Wednesday, low 60s Thursday.
  • Low Temps: Mid 40s Monday night, low 40s Tuesday night, low 40s Wednesday night, low 40s Thursday night.
  • Sky Cover: Partly sunny to mostly cloudy.

Western Washington
Weekend
  • Wind: Generally NE and light. Becoming a bit breezier at times Saturday and remaining so through the weekend.
  • Precipitation: Dry conditions expected.
  • High Temps: Near 80 Friday, mid 80s Saturday, low 80s Sunday. Much cooler through the Cascades and Olympics.
  • Low Temps: Upper 40s Friday night, low 50s Saturday night, low 50s Sunday night. Much cooler through the Cascades and Olympics.
  • Sky Cover: Sunny Friday, mostly clear Friday night, mostly sunny Saturday, mostly cloudy Saturday night, partly sunny Sunday, mostly cloudy Sunday night.
Next Week
  • Wind: Shifting SW Tuesday and remaining generally light.
  • Precipitation: Rain showers to start moving in from the S/SW Monday evening. Showers to persist on/off through the week.
  • High Temps: Mid 70s Monday, mid 60s Tuesday, mid 60s Wednesday, mid 60s Thursday. Much cooler through the Cascades and Olympics.
  • Low Temps: Near 50 Monday night, upper 40s Tuesday night, mid 40s Wednesday night, mid 40s Thursday night. Much cooler through the Cascades and Olympics.
  • Sky Cover: Mostly cloudy to cloudy.

Like us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/AgWeatherNet
Follow us on Twitter at https://www.twitter.com/AgWeatherNet
Washington State University