Expect cooler and cloudy weather conditions today as an upper level low pressure system drops across the Inland Northwest. Satellite imagery this morning shows more cloud enhancement across the Wenatchee Valley into the Columbia Basin. The one noticeable change today will be the cooler temperatures, a few degrees cooler than yesterday, with gusty westerly winds this afternoon from the Cascade lee side valleys into the Columbia Basin, and northerly winds from the Okanogan Valley to the Waterville Plateau and Wenatchee Valley. Peak wind gusts will reach 25 to 35 mph across most of Northcentral Washington for Thursday with afternoon high temperatures today around 70 degrees. With the colder air aloft, snow levels will be near 5000 feet this afternoon with a rain snow mix in the showers at the higher elevations.
On Friday, the low that moved through the region the past few days will be over Eastern Montana ushering in a return to normal temperatures. The loosening of the pressure gradient and near normal temperatures will help keep the winds light with some occasional gusts into the low teens. High temperatures Friday near 80 degrees.
For the weekend, Saturday will be mostly sunny with light winds and afternoon highs in the lower 80’s. Nice weather on Sunday too with mostly sunny skies and temperatures in the upper 70’s.
Slightly cooler on Monday, with mostly sunny skies and highs in the mid to upper 70’s.
A quasi-zonal flow will develop over our area on Tuesday as an embedded shortwave passes through the upper level flow over Northcentral Washington. This will be enough to tighten pressure gradients and kick up winds over our area, but mainly for those locations up against the lee side of the Cascades. In the Wenatchee Valley, wind gusts could be up to 45 mph on the exposed ridges with gusts 25-35 mph being more common elsewhere.
By Wednesday or Thursday, weather models swing this low through our area bringing widespread precipitation for most Northcentral Washington locations. For now, there is a 30% chance for showers on Wednesday next week with afternoon highs in the upper 70’s and overnight lows in the lower to mid-50’s.