It had, as its opening salvo while starting to face the Earth, unleashed a moderately strong solar flare that reached us late Friday, triggering a display of the Northern Lights that reached as far south as Colorado.
Updated Saturday 11:10 p.m.
A weak spring front moving through the Northwest Saturday brought clouds and occasional rain into Western Washington. Afternoon highs dropped back to either side of 60°...cool for middle May (average at Sea Tac for May 18th is 65°). Some of the soggier spots--like Tacoma and Forks--picked up nearly 2/10 of an inch of rain, whereas many Puget Sound locations didn't see any measurable precipitation at all.
The front quickly weakened and fell apart as it moved through Eastern Washington, and we'll just see a few leftover showers for the rest of the overnight and into Sunday morning. Lows will drop into the 40s for most of the Sound as we lose our insulating cloud cover, so it will be a tad chilly by dawn. Afternoon highs will rebound back into the middle 60s thanks to partly sunny skies later in the day. Not bad!
Monday looks even brighter and warmer. After some patchy morning fog for the drive, blue skies and sunshine will carry many communities close to the 70-degree mark.
This looks especially lovely considering what's to follow...increasing clouds by Monday night will be a sign of a major pattern shift to come by Tuesday. Rain moves in by mid-day, and highs will drop back into the low 60s at best. A deep upper trough settles in behind the cold front, and by Wednesday most cities in Western Washington will drop back into the 50s--10 degrees below average. It also looks quite unsettled, with a good shot at thunder, lightning and hail. Locally blustery winds on Wednesday may gust to 30 mph or more.
We'll recover some on Thursday with just a few scattered showers, and Friday and Saturday look mainly dry and partly sunny. Highs will come back into the low to middle 60s as we dry out and brighten up. It won't be the nicest Memorial Day Weekend we've ever seen, but at least we'll get the really stormy business out of the way beforehand!
In the meantime, enjoy the weekend at hand,
Meteorologist Shannon O'Donnell
The KOMO4 Forecast Team