Weather

Are the frigid nights going to last?

Icy beauty and slippery hazards at Tacoma's Larry Frost Memorial Park

The frigid temperatures have turned Larry Frost Memorial park in downtown Tacoma into a beautiful – but potentially dangerous – place as the water fountain creates a icy display.
Up Next
The frigid temperatures have turned Larry Frost Memorial park in downtown Tacoma into a beautiful – but potentially dangerous – place as the water fountain creates a icy display.

That last frigid night should be behind us, as should the windy weather that had gusts above 50 mph in parts of the South Sound on Wednesday.

Don’t expect it to be too warm until the weekend, though.

“It’s going to end,” University of Washington meteorologist Cliff Mass said. “We have just two days left of it, then we’re going to start transitioning out of it.”

High temperatures are expected to only eke above freezing Thursday in parts of the South Sound with sun and calm winds, followed by highs Friday in the mid-30s, according to the National Weather Service. Low temperatures are expected to be in the mid-20s for both nights.

The “extremely powerful” east winds that caused damage and power outages throughout Pierce County were more damaging than usual because they didn’t come from the usual southerly direction, Mass said.

Enumclaw saw gusts of nearly 60 mph, Mass said, because the east winds came through Stampede Gap in the Cascades.

By Saturday, a chance of snow will linger throughout the day before turning to rain late and staying rainy through most of next week with highs in the low 40s and lows in the low 30s, the Weather Service is forecasting.

The storm coming this weekend might have mild effects in Western Washington, but it’s expected to soak most of Northern California and the Bay Area, Mass said.

“We’re going to get the tail of it,” Mass said. “Basically, we’re going to get our clouds and precipitation on Saturday and Sunday — it’s sort of the northern portion of what’s going to be centered on Northern California.”

Mass said the storm “is going to kill off the drought in California.”

The storm will affect the Northwest economically, Mass added: Power prices should go down as hydroelectric dams in California are able to produce more electricity, and fruits and vegetables should be more affordable as there will be enough water for irrigation.

Kenny Ocker: 253-597-8627, @KennyOcker

  Comments