Updated Saturday 4:15 p.m.
In a summer where the weather just keeps getting more out of sorts, 'Autumn in August' made its mark on Western Washington today. A very strong area of low pressure--much more like we'd see in November than late summer--blew through the region on Saturday, clocking impressive wind gusts as it passed. Whidbey Island gusted to 70 mph, Everett recorded blows over 60 mph, and much of King and Pierce County saw winds in excess of 50 mph. With such a dry summer season, the trees were already stressed, and loads of limbs and branches littered streets, yards and parks by afternoon.
The gusty conditions were just as severe in Eastern Washington, resulting in dangerous cross winds and blowing dust/low visibility for drivers. The fire zones saw more wind than rain, making things even tougher for the firefighting efforts.
Not only was it windy on the west side of the Cascades, but it was wet. Steady rain fell in Western Washington through early Saturday, and another round is moving in for the evening. Thundershowers with hail are possible, and highs will stay in the 60s--5 to 10 degrees below average for late August.
Sunday will feature more showers and sunbreaks, with highs mainly 60s to low 70s. Some of the showers could again include thunder, lightning or hail.
In fact, the pattern stays wet off and on right into early September, with several more disturbances set to push through Puget Sound right toward Labor Day Weekend. Most afternoons next week will fall short of the 70-degree mark.
The holiday weekend itself is looking slightly warmer and drier as a weak ridge tries to gain ground again. This is a ways out, and given the stormy turn of events, could change as we get closer...camping may still require a blue tarp next weekend, too!
Have a good night,
Meteorologist Shannon O'Donnell
The KOMO4 Forecast Team