Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Warmer Weather and Sunny Skies Expected As 'Ridgezilla' Moves Into The Region

Ariel Van Cleave
The sun peaks through the trees in the Grand Forest on Bainbridge Island.

A ridge of high pressure is heading in our direction and that will mean warmer weather and sunny skies. KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass says it'll feel "spring-like." But we will have to contend with some rain and snow for just a bit longer.

"And it'll be pretty heavy tonight. Some good, heavy showers. In the mountains, as the front moves through in the evening and on Saturday morning, we'll see snow developing," he says.

By Sunday, Mass says there will still be a few clouds sticking around, maybe a few sprinkles along the coast and the northern part of Western Washington, but all of that changes on Monday. That's when a huge ridge of high pressure he's dubbed "Ridgezilla" moves into the region.

"Temperatures are going to soar. The temperatures are gonna go up 10, 20 degrees, and I suspect the highs on Monday could get very close to 60, and same thing on Tuesday."

Mass says we haven't seen ridges like this for most of the season, and there's a reason for that: El Niño.

"But what happened was, there was a very strong area of convection, or thunderstorms, in the western Pacific, and that gives a kick to the atmosphere," he says.

Mass says the big ridge moving into the area could be traced to thunderstorms all the way back to the Philippines and Indonesia. And while many will be grateful for the warmer, dryer weather; the rain hasn't been all bad. In fact, Washington is officially out of a drought and California is well on its way to being at or above normal reservoir levels.

"I think we've broken the back of the West Coast drought," Mass says.

Ariel first entered a public radio newsroom in 2004 while in school at Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois. It was love at first sight. After graduating from Bradley, she went on to earn a Master's degree in Public Affairs Reporting from the University of Illinois at Springfield. Ariel has lived in Indiana, Ohio and Alaska reporting on everything from salmon spawning to policy issues concerning education. She's been a host, a manager and now rides shotgun with Kirsten Kendrick as the Morning Edition producer at KNKX.