Warmer Through Monday, Staying Mainly Dry

You almost don’t need a coat.

Cloudy skies and warmer air from the west have propelled temperatures north of the 50-degree mark for just the second time this month, with Seattle reaching 52 degrees earlier this afternoon. It’s been equally balmy elsewhere, with 53-degree readings in both Tacoma and Renton, while Whidbey Island also hit 52 and Bellingham cracked 50.

In what’s fast becoming a December 2013 tradition, there’s also been hardly any moisture to speak of, with most of the Sound dodging the raindrops yet again as today’s front fell apart along the coast. To date, Seattle has picked up just 0.64 inches of precipitation this month—nearly two inches less than normal.

We head into the second half of our rain-starved December tomorrow with little change on the horizon, as high pressure over the eastern Pacific continues to keep the big rains at bay. For Monday, it looks dry all around, with the thick cloudcover of the past few days thinning by early afternoon. With a few rays of sunshine late in the day, we should touch 50 degrees once more—close to coat-free weather again.

Gray skies hang over Seattle on Sunday. More clouds are in store next week, but only light rain is expected.

Clearer conditions tomorrow night will send temperatures tumbling back below 40 degrees—erasing our recent spate of warm mornings. (Overnight lows Friday through today have ranged from 42 to 47.) The clouds fill back in again by noon on Tuesday as a cold front approaches, holding afternoon temperatures steady in the mid 40s.

Pockets of light rain are likely Tuesday night into Wednesday, with the greatest risk outside of the Seattle metro, where the Olympic rain shadow won’t be in play. For Seattle and surrounding suburbs, shadowing off the Olympics will limit amounts to a tenth of an inch or less—echoing the anemic totals of previous fronts this month.

Drier air filters in from the north by midday Wednesday, offering a reprieve of the gray skies of late. Most places should see a little sun late in the day, with highs cresting near 45 degrees.

Overnight Wednesday into Thursday, temperatures plunge to the freezing mark as a blast of arctic air headed for the upper Midwest brushes the region. With cool air remaining in place through Thursday, highs will struggle to climb past 40 degrees—although skies will thankfully remain partly sunny.

So while a coat will definitely be required by then, at least you won’t need a hood.