After a record wet October, Olympia broke consecutive heat records Tuesday and Wednesday, according to the National Weather Service.
Tuesday’s 70-degree high broke a 20-year record of 62 degrees set Nov. 8, 1996. As of 3 p.m. Wednesday, the new record was 64 degrees, 2 degrees warmer than the Nov. 9 record set most recently in 1997. The warmest November day in the books was 74 degrees Nov. 4, 1949, said Johnny Burg, meteorologist with the National Weather Service Office in Seattle.
Don’t expect the record warmth to last long, although it’s likely the wet weather will. The expected arrival of a mild La Niña weather pattern means the Northwest is likely to have a wetter- and colder-than-normal winter.
“Right now, we’re at neutral,” Burg said, adding that there’s a 70 percent chance of a weak La Niña and a 55 percent chance that continues into the winter.
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The forecast could mean a better chance of snow in the lowlands this year than recently and a better chance of significant snow in the mountains, Burg said.
Olympia averages about 4 inches of snow a year, he said.
Overall, snowfall has decreased in recent years as temperatures have gradually warmed. Average daily lows that were at or near freezing in 1950 have been in the upper 30s and low 40s since the 1990s, state climatologist Nick Bond said.
“We can’t make any predictions about how much and how bad with these patterns,” Burg said. “But, we could have the chance of seeing some lowland snow.”