Say hello to the sunshine

MUKILTEO — The warmest weather this year is expected Sunday.

That’s when the high is expected to hit 76 degrees in Everett, according to the National Weather Service. If temperatures do hit that mark, it will be the warmest day on record at Paine Field since Sept. 29, when the high was just two degrees higher. Temperatures on Monday are also expected to reach 76 degrees.

Those numbers sounded good to Anna and Larry Ehoff, who on Friday afternoon took their children, Jaden, 4, and Joss, 2, to Mukilteo Lighthouse Park for a picnic lunch.

“Any time it’s sunny and we’re off together we like to come here because there’s so much to see and the kids enjoy it,” said Anna Ehoff, 41.

A weekend with sunny skies means the Mill Creek couple plan to do some yard work at home and barbecue. It does seem like a long time since temperatures were in the high 70s, said Larry, 50.

“It’s about time,” Anna agreed.

The sun Friday also felt good to Kristina Loe, 40, who along with her 2-year-old daughter, Kamrynn MacGinnitie, walked along the beach at the park, built sand castles and played in the water with other children who are part of her day care.

“We were having a great time,” Loe said. “(The sun) just makes your mood. It makes everyone happy.”

Loe, a resident of Marysville, said she plans to spend Mother’s Day at the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle and is looking forward to more sunshine.

“We deserve this after last year’s summer,” she said.

Sunny skies and temperatures in the upper 70s are expected until Tuesday, said Andy Haner, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Seattle.

“We’re not expecting a change toward cloudier weather or even rain until Wednesday,” Haner said. “It’s getting toward the upper end of what you would expect for nice weather for May.”

There’s a 20 percent chance more rain will fall Wednesday, Haner said.

The warm weather prediction prompted an avalanche warning that began Friday and is set through Monday for all of the Washington Cascades, the Olympics and North Oregon Cascades.

Be cautious when planning outdoor activities, especially in higher elevations, as this weekend’s warm sunny weather may bring big avalanches with it, warned Mark Moore, meteorologist and Northwest Weather and Avalanche Center director. Warm weather, strong sunshine and light wind can cause melting and weakening of snowpack in high elevations.

“It’s a beautiful weekend but not in terms of avalanche danger,” Moore said. “It’s prudent to be a little more conservative than you might otherwise be. We’re going to get a lot of surface snow melting.”

The month of May is on track to be one of the warmest since 2008, when a high of 88 degrees was recorded. The highest temperature in May 2009 was 73 degrees and in May 2010 highs reached 72 degrees. Last year was cooler with a high in May of 66 degrees.

May weather typically includes periods of cool, wet weather broken up by stretches of warm and dry weather, Haner said.

“It’s normal to go back and forth between the two,” he said. “Last year we had a notoriously cold and wet spring. We’ve had pretty good success this year with having our warmer and sunnier days on the weekends and cloudier weather on the week days. Most people I’ve talked to like it better that way.”

The warm weather comes during Mickey and Elizabeth Neal’s weeklong vacation to visit family in Snohomish County. The couple is visiting from Charleston, W.Va., and saw the park in Mukilteo for the first time.

“We were impressed about how thrilled people were to have several days of sun,” said Mickey Neal, 58. “It’s not that uncommon where I’m from.”

Herald reporter Johan Chandra contributed to this report.

Amy Daybert: 425-339-3491; adaybert@heraldnet.com.

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