La Niña | KNKX

La Niña

Bellamy Pailthorp / KNKX

‘April showers bring May flowers,’ or so the saying goes. Like Groundhog Day or dozens of sayings you can find cataloged in a Farmer’s Almanac, it’s part of the weather-related folklore that’s been passed down for generations. They hold some truth.

But most meteorologists prefer more scientific observations. For long-term forecasting, the ENSO - or "El Niño Southern Oscillation" - provides some of the most reliable guidance on what kind of weather to expect in winter.

The Oregon and Washington Cascades are getting their first significant snowfall of the season at mountain pass level Thursday. It's a possible harbinger of a cool and snowy winter.

Tim Durkan / Tim Durkan Photography

Residents of the greater Puget Sound region have already been feeling the transition to fall with a shift down to lower temps and more clouds last week. But Friday marks the official end of summer, with the autumnal equinox on the calendar.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

Saturday should provide a respite from the bout of rain and snow showers that have been hanging around Western Washington this week.

Best to get out and enjoy it if you can, says knkx weather expert Cliff Mass. On Sunday, the threat of snow showers returns, although temperatures will stay warm enough to keep much of the white stuff from sticking.

Get Outdoors On Saturday  

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration declared Thursday that a weak and short-lived La Niña weather phenomenon is over.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

A good weekend for getting outdoors and enjoying nature lies ahead, with mild temps  and mostly dry conditions in the Northwest, and sun peeking through the clouds.

“It’ll be very nice, said knkx weather expert Cliff Mass on Friday morning. “A ridge of high pressure is building over us as I speak.”

He says the low clouds that are hanging around in places such as the South Sound will give way as the day progresses.

“It will be partly sunny by the afternoon, temperatures getting up into the upper 40s to around 50. So, really decent day,” Mass said.

What kind of weather might the Northwest be in for this fall and winter? Well, one meaningful clue came when federal forecasters at the National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center Thursday dropped their "La Niña Watch.”

Tim Durkan Photography

Expect a fairly normal spring day on Friday, but keep your summer gear handy for the weekend. KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass says temperatures will surge upward on Saturday.

”We’re going to a profound warming trend,” Mass said, “And no precipitation.”

Blue Skies Start Saturday Afternoon

He says it’s due to a ridge of high pressure that will start building over us on Saturday.

“And the temperatures are going to push up into at least the mid-60s, maybe some clouds in the morning, but lots of sun, so definitely a warm-up,” Mass said.

Associated Press

Climate experts have predicted a colder and wetter than normal winter on the way for Washington, thanks to a second year in a row of La Nina’s effects. 

While some people in the area will be happy about a surge in showers, a lot more are probably disappointed or worried.

Erin Hennessey / KPLU

With the first day of summer this week, it’s finally beginning to look like it outside. If you think that’s a good sign for the rest of the season, think again. There really isn’t a good way to tell how summer will turn out.

Sadie Babits / Northwest News Network

The southern part of the U.S. – Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California – will likely have significant wildfires this year. Already fire crews are battling more than a dozen fires just in Texas. But here in the Northwest, the fire outlook is much rosier.

Elaine Thompson / AP

The Washington State Climatologist is out with a report card on how the weather phenomenon La Niña treated the Northwest. If you thought it’s been wetter and colder than usual since November, you’re right. But overall, this La Niña was milder than predicted. KPLU's Tom Banse reports: