Under the Weather: Rain expected at times for first weekend of meteorological spring

In the eyes of meteorologists, it is finally spring. Although astronomical spring doesn’t begin for a couple more weeks, meteorological spring officially arrived on Monday. I don’t know about you, but it definitely felt like spring on Wednesday. What a gorgeous day!

Just for fun, let’s take a look back at our meteorological winter as a whole.

First, here’s a snapshot of the temperatures over the span of the three-month period, taken from Paine Field. One thing that is interesting to me is that there weren’t a lot of days that we got below freezing. According to this data, Paine Field only got below freezing 16 times. Over the span of 1999 through the present, the average number of days with low temperatures at or below freezing in meteorological winter is 22. Most notable is the span of Feb. 8-15, which is when our big snow event occurred. If we hadn’t had that span of cold temperatures, we would’ve only had eight days at or below freezing during the whole three months.

Next, let’s look at the amount of precipitation over the course of our meteorological winter.

Notice how, for the bulk of December, we were below average in terms of total precipitation. But remember our wet start to the year? That’s when things changed, and for the remainder of meteorological winter, we were above average for precipitation. In total, we ended at 14.75 inches of precipitation, compared to the average 12.66 inches. Keep in mind, however, that this total is liquid precipitation. On the days that it snowed, the precipitation was recorded as liquid equivalent, meaning how much liquid the snow would produce when melted.

Unfortunately, our one day of springlike weather was not an indicator of things to come, and the rain has already made a comeback. At the time of writing this, a slow-moving front is making its way inland; you can see this occurring on the visible satellite image from Thursday afternoon.

This front will continue to impact us throughout the day Friday, leading to rainfall over the area. Another system is expected overnight Friday into Saturday morning, again bringing the chance of showers. However, it is looking like most of the rain should subside by Saturday afternoon, with the chance for the sun to peak out at times Saturday afternoon. Saturday is looking like the nicest day out of the weekend.

Another system is expected Saturday night into Sunday, bringing with it another round of rain.

At this time, the start of next week looks to feature some showers at times, but also the chance of some sunbreaks, as well.

It may be spring (at least to my fellow meteorologists), but alas, we still have some rain to contend with. It still is March, after all. But don’t lose heart—summer will be here before you know it!

— By Kelsie Knowles

Kelsie Knowles is a meteorologist and recent University of Washington graduate who lives in north Lynnwood. 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.




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