Washington dry stretch to end by Mother’s Day

SEATTLE — The second-driest start to May on record in Seattle will end in time for rain on Mother’s Day, the National Weather Service said.

Saturday will likely be the final dry day in a stretch that began April 30, said meteorologist Dana Felton.

“We’ve got a system coming in. We might squeeze out one more dry day tomorrow,” he said Friday.

Eleven dry days at the beginning of May would be the second-longest period since 1946 when it didn’t rain until May 24. In 1958, May also had a dry start with nine days without rain.

Oddly, this dry spell follows the second-wettest April on record in Seattle.

“We had a really fast transition, not only to really dry but to really warm,” Felton said.

The high temperature of 78 forecast for Friday at Sea-Tac Airport would approach the record of 81 for the day set in 1987. A near-record high also was forecast Friday for Olympia. The expected high of 82 pushes the record of 85, also set in 1987.

That would be terrific weather for Mother’s Day, but it’s not going to happen.

“Unfortunately, that’s the case,” Felton said. Have your picnic Saturday, he suggested.

The rain coming in late Saturday will not be a big producer, but it will dampen the dust and drop the high temperatures in Western Washington back to the more-normal 60s by next week, with showers.

The front will lower Eastern Washington’s 90s, but the high temperatures are expected to remain in the 80s east of the Cascades, even with some clouds.

“They could see showers and thunderstorms but not the steady rain like we get over here on the west side,” Felton said.

Many rivers in Eastern Washington and the Idaho Panhandle are running high because of melting snow in the mountains. Minor flooding is expected on the Okanogan, Kettle and Stehekin rivers. Other rivers nearing flood stage are the Entiat, Kootenai, Methow, Moyie and Similkameen.

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