Mount Rainier temperatures hit 69 degrees Friday

KIRO-TVJanuary 18, 2014 

If you want sunshine with temperatures around 70 degrees, you usually have to book a flight this time of year. However, Friday that wasn’t the case.

One very unlikely location saw mostly sunny skies with a high temperature of 69 degrees; a temperature even warmer than what Las Vegas saw Friday. That balmy spot was over 5,000 feet up Mt. Rainier at Paradise.

It’s the warmest temperature ever recorded during the month of January up there.

I know what you’re thinking, why on earth are temperatures pushing 70 on Mt. Rainier while Seattle was only in the low 40s today?

That 30 degrees temperature difference is being caused by a ridge of high pressure sitting over Western Washingon. Sinking air under that ridge creates a temperature inversion; a layer of warmer air that is sitting above the surface. Instead of the temperature going down with height, it is warming up. That layer of warmer air acts like a lid, trapping in the low clouds and fog across Western Washington.

We have a very weak cold front moving into the area on Saturday. Most of the energy from it is being directed up to our north, it’s falling apart as it moves into Western Washington. It will bring the chance for a few sprinkles along the coast, but the Sound looks dry with mostly cloudy skies. High temperatures will be hovering in the mid 40s.

We’ll keep it dry on Sunday, with morning clouds around to start the day. Some sun at times is possible during the afternoon with temperatures in the mid to upper 40s at kickoff for the NFC Championship Game at CenturyLink Field. The weather will be much calmer than the rain and wind the Seahawks and Saints dealt with last week.

This dry and stagnant pattern holds through most of next week. Low clouds and fog will be the story with limited afternoon sunshine around the Sound through next Friday. Forecast temperatures remain in the mid to upper 40s.


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