Updated Tuesday 3:10 p.m.
It's been a pretty tranquil start to spring, but the weather's about to get a bit zany as we head into the season's first weekend.
The tranquil weather holds for another night, as we'll be partly cloudy with lows in the mid-upper 30s.
Wednesday will be dry during the daylight hours, but clouds will increase ahead of an approaching cold front. Highs will be in the mid 50s.
Our first rain in a while comes in Wednesday night, and it'll be a little breezy too. Frequent showers hold through much of Thursday -- maybe a few sunbreaks squeezed in -- with highs cooling to near 50.
A more active weather pattern will begin Friday as the main low pressure center swirls closer to our region and the air mass becomes quite cold and unstable. That will allow for towering clouds that could develop into thunderstorms with small hail. Lowland snow is not much of a threat here, moreso the bursts of heavy rain and occasional lightning strikes with perhaps enough hail to whiten the ground as if it snowed. Highs will only be in the mid-upper 40s, but well above freezing.
It's Friday night into Saturday morning when the temperatures are expected to drop into the 30s and some of these heavier showers roaming around could have enough power now to briefly get snow levels down into the 500 foot range, but only if the showers are heavy enough. Any snow that falls will be mostly a fringey "mid-30s" snow for show because ground temperatures are well above freezing. You might get a dusting on the grassy surfaces but roads will remain bare and wet. Temperatures will warm a little back away from the mid 30s when the showers pass -- even at night -- so any snow will quickly melt.
We remain cool enough for this fringey snow into daybreak Saturday morning, but temperatures will quickly rise above freezing, on their way to highs in the upper 40s by the afternoon. So you can see why this is not a big deal, impact wise. More for the "gee whiz, it's really snowing in spring?!?" factor.
Greater weather impacts from the storm cells Friday will be lightning safety, potential slick roads if heavy rain and/or hail creates sudden ponding, and the spring time challenges we face when it pours rain, makes road puddles, then the sun comes out and blinds drivers off the reflections. So have sunglasses handy if driving this weekend.
A few showers and possible isolated thunderstorms linger into Saturday but the air mass will be stabilizing and the risk of thunderstorms and hail is diminished, and showers will become more isolated. Sunbreaks will be becoming more common Saturday as well.
Incidentally, Seattle has seen measurable snow this late in the season. In fact, much later. Our official latest measurable snow is 1.2" on April 17, 1972, coming off 1.1" that fell on April 16th, but both days would eventually hit the upper 40s for highs so it was a similar situation of a nighttime/early morning snow that quickly melted. If Seattle does even manage a trace amount this weekend, it would put March ahead of January (zero) in this year's winter snowfall totals.
It'll be chilly again Saturday night into the 30s but we're drying out now. Sunday has been clinging dry but some newer models are suggesting a few showers may roam around once again but highs by now will be back into the 50s.
More traditional springtime rains come in for early next week with highs in the 50s.
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Today's Record Temperatures