Forget lions and lambs, May coming in on freight train of sunshine

Forget lions and lambs, May coming in on freight train of sunshine
FILE -- Photo of a sunny Seattle day courtesy Puget Sound Clean Air Agency Visibility Camera
SEATTLE -- For the last four years, February, March and April have might as well have been lumped in with soggy stalwarts November, December and January. It seems one or more of those months has set some sort of either rainfall or cold temperature records (or both!) of late.

Well, May is here to tell you that it is disavowing all ties to those other three months and to prove it, it's going to kick off its 31-day reign with perhaps some record-warm temperatures.

A ridge of high pressure will combine with a rare early-season thermal trough to bring the warmest weather of the year so far, and perhaps warmest weather we've seen this early in a while.

How warm? Forecast models suggest a high of around 80 for Seattle on Thursday. If so, it would be over three weeks ahead of schedule, as the average first 80 degree day is May 23. The record high for Thursday is 81, set twice, most recently in 1998.

It would mark the third consecutive year that the inaugural 80 has been early -- it came along on May 5 last year and May 14 in 2012. But the two previous years we had to wait all the way until July! (July 2 in 2011 and July 7 in 2010.)

Now it'll be a gradual warm up this week to climb to those heights with 60s likely Tuesday and mid 70s or so expected Wednesday. If by some chance Wednesday ends up warmer and manages to crack the 80 degree barrier, it'll be the first time we've had an 80-degree day in April in Seattle since 2004.

The warm weather won't last too long, with a transition to cooler marine flow on Friday knocking highs back into the 60s to low 70s and then more typical temperatures near 60 are expected over the weekend.