Under the weather: Dry streak to come to an end by Sunday

Just as expected, the dry weather has continued over the past week or so. We did see a trace of rain very early on Jan. 21 (which barely counts as anything), but we’ve had seven days in a row with no measurable rainfall if you include Thursday, the 27th.

I’m sure many of you are very happy over the dry weather we’ve been having but around here, there’s usually a caveat when we have extended periods without rain—and that’s exactly what we’ve been experiencing this past week.

Last week I mentioned the possibility of fog and poor air quality that can be a result of high pressure aloft over the span of several days. At the time of writing this, the National Weather Service has two advisories out: a dense fog advisory and an air stagnation advisory.

Fog has been a significant issue the past week, with some locations even seeing areas of freezing fog. Using official data from Paine Field, we had several days where the fog did not even burn off during the day as is typical. With high pressure aloft and therefore stable air, the fog was unable to burn off. However, if we broke out of the fog, the sun was out and shining.

Using visible satellite imagery, we can see fog in place over much of the Puget Sound area from Thursday morning (the 27th). Take a look at the animation below.

I think it’s fascinating to see the region caked in fog from this perspective, but even more so to see the evolution of it burning off.

The air quality issue will resolve itself once we begin to see a pattern shift in our weather—thankfully, one is coming. But we still will need to contend with a couple more days of similar conditions before that happens.

Friday will start like many of the days have over the past week—foggy. This is expected to burn off however, giving way to partly cloudy skies and an overall pleasant day. Like clockwork, fog will likely form overnight Friday into Saturday. Again, this should burn off, but we will likely begin to see clouds developing over the course of the day on Saturday ahead of an incoming system that will impact us on Sunday. Highs will be in the upper-40s for both Friday and Saturday.

If the system holds off with rain until Sunday, the active streak of days without measurable rainfall will end at nine days (this includes the day with a trace amount of rain, as it doesn’t count as “measurable”). At this time, this system isn’t looking too strong. We’ll see some lowland rain and some mountain snow, which is typical of a storm at this time of year. It’ll be just what we need to help clean up our air.

An upper-level trough develops over our region by Monday, leading to some unsettled weather for the first half of the week. Rain is likely at times during this period, but there is also a slight chance to get cold enough for a few snowflakes to fall in some areas. There are ensemble members for both the GFS and European Ensembles that suggest this possibility. However, at this time, temperatures are looking marginally cold enough, so anything that falls would likely not stick around. But forecasts can change—especially since we’re several days out—so I would recommend paying attention to up-to-date forecasts to get the most accurate information on that possibility. The second half next week shows the chance of another ridge taking place, which could dry us out again for early February.

Have a great weekend.

— By Kelsie Nelson

Kelsie Nelson is a meteorologist and recent University of Washington graduate who grew up in Lynnwood and now lives in Kenmore. After writing weather blogs as a KOMO News intern, she discovered a passion for writing about weather. You can learn more in her blog www.wxnoggin.com and you can also follow her on Twitter at @kels_wx3. Questions can be directed to Kelsie at kelsie@myedmondsnews.com.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Real first and last names — as well as city of residence — are required for all commenters.
This is so we can verify your identity before approving your comment.