Satellite this morning suggests a welcome break period in the active weather today with one weather system exiting to the east and the next major storm system gathering steam well offshore in the Gulf of Alaska. Areas where fog and low clouds break up today stand to see some sunshine with the best chance over the Columbia Basin and areas east. Wenatchee Valley forecast for today calling for increasing clouds light wind with afternoon highs in the upper 20’s and lower 30’s.
The next storm system visible on satellite as a well-defined tight circulation far off the northwest coast will move into Northcentral Washington beginning late tonight. Much like Wednesday’s winter storm, this system looks to be focusing its main accumulating snow potential over the Cascades, the Wenatchee Valley area and the western basin as well as the Okanogan area. There is an 80% chance of snow tonight with 1-3 inches possible by morning. There is a 90% chance of snow on Saturday with another 1-3 inches of snow possible, highs Saturday in the mid 30’s. A winter storm watch will go into effect at 1:00 a.m. tomorrow morning through 5:00 p.m. Saturday.
Saturday night this latest storm passes off to the east with general drying across Northcentral Washington with probably some fog and low clouds re-developing throughout the region by Sunday morning.
For Sunday and Martin Luther King Day Monday, Northcentral Washington will dry out and warm up as an upper level ridge builds over the Inland Northwest. Expect cloudy skies both Sunday and Monday with afternoon high temperatures into the upper 30’s to near 40 degrees.
Precipitation returns on Tuesday as the next weather system pushes a frontal boundary across the Inland Northwest. Under cloudy skies, there is 1 40% chance of rain mixed with snow late Tuesday with highs in the upper 30’s.
By Wednesday and Thursday, weather models suggest more unsettled conditions with mostly cloudy skies, a 20-30% chance of a rain/snow mix and afternoon high temperatures in the upper 30’s and lower 40’s.