That shouldn’t even have to be said, but there are people out there who don’t seem to follow logic. With the lack of moisture and high heat we’ve been getting, the entire state of Washington is basically a tinder box, just waiting for the spark(ler). If you do plan on doing fireworks on your own, at least make sure people around you are aware, and keep the phone/hose ready. OK, now that the PSA is out of the way, let’s get to the weather.
Wednesday – High 89°F, Low 68°F; The low is closer to the normal high for this time of year. So there’s that. Clear skies all day, with winds picking up in the afternoon.
Thursday – High 92°F; Clear skies, with breezes in the afternoon.
WARNINGS – There are a few warnings out right now. For the water, we have a Small Craft Advisory in effect for the Strait. On our side of the Cascades, there is a Heat Advisory that will be expiring tonight, but could be extended to tomorrow. Stay hydrated! On the other side of the Cascades, there is a Fire Weather Watch as well as the Heat Advisory. For more info, please see here.
FIRES – This report is current as of 4:46pm. There are only 4 major fires to report on tonight, one new and the big one more contained. First, the Paradise fire on the Olympic Peninsula near Quinault is still burning, and only 21% contained and 1,060 acres consumed. Next, we have the Saddle Lakes fire near Desert Aire. This one is 50% contained, and has consumed 14,357 acres. The new fire is the Monument fire, located near Quincy. At 20% containment and 1,953 acres consumed, this fire is also threatening 21 structures. Finally, we have the Sleepy Hollow fire near Wenatchee. The fire fighters have been able to get a handle on this with the break in the weather, as it is now 83% contained. With 2,950 acres consumed, it has unfortunately destroyed 29 residential and 3 commercial structures. For a map of the fire locations see here, and for details on the fires themselves see here.
Not a whole lot will be changing with the jet stream and upper level systems. The jet stream will still be to the north, keeping all of that very warm southern air over us. This will be the case for the entire weekend.
High pressure will continue to dominate our side of the mountains as well. The pressure will drop slightly as you move east of the Cascades, but not enough for clouds it looks like. We’ll test that theory below, but I won’t be posting this model.
As I was expecting, no rain this weekend. With the high pressure we will be having as well, it looks like we’ll be in the same situation as last forecast: very little chance of convection forming for thunderstorms. The CAPE model is still showing a couple of blooms, mainly on the east side of the mountains. This is probably due to the slightly lower pressure and the high heat. Once again, I’m not expecting thunderstorms, but there’s still the slight chance for some dry lightning. We’ll see for sure below.
Clouds will follow the same trend as the last forecast: hazy in the morning, clearing up a little bit later in the day. There may still be some haziness due to the high pressure keeping pollution and air particulates down, but it shouldn’t be too bad. Now for the interesting bit. Remember the CAPE model above, with the blooms on Friday (Olympics) and Saturday (Cascades)? Well, the cloud model is showing some clouds developing in those same areas. So there is a pretty decent chance of something forming in the afternoon/evening. It’s still entirely possible to have a thunderstorm with no rain, as if it is really hot the rain can evaporate before it hits the ground. This is where we get dry lightning from. Now I’m not promising anything, but if you happen to be in either of these areas on either of these days (like me), keep an eye out for possible lightning. Remember, we’re in a tinder box right now…
The winds will also follow the same trend as we’ve seen, with Saturday being slightly on the calmer side. That trend being calm in the morning, picking up in the afternoon/evening. What is concerning me is Friday afternoon/overnight. The winds in the Cascades will start to pick up in the afternoon, but will stay that way overnight and won’t calm until Saturday morning. This is concerning because there may still be some wild fires over there, and the winds give the possibility of fanning the flames. So we’ll have to see how that goes, hopefully the fires will be mostly contained by then.
Temperatures will continue to be hot over the weekend. Friday will see highs in the high 80s for most of the Sound, warming to the south. Lows will drop down to the low to mid 60s, this time cooling as you move south. Saturday will be about the same for highs, but lows will be in the mid 60s. And as a teaser/warning for Sunday, expect significantly warmer temperatures, like in the mid to high 90s.
TL;DR: Hot holiday weekend, windy in the mountains, possible thunderstorms, and excessive heat on Sunday. This normally doesn’t happen until later in the summer.