Warm weather in Olympia will continue through Monday

Warm weather once again descended on the Olympia area Sunday, capping a weekend of sunshine that is expected to continue through Monday, according to the National Weather Service.

Although it was warm on Saturday and Sunday, with daytime temperatures around 70 degrees, it is forecast to get even warmer Monday, with temperatures set to rise to 76 degrees, meteorologist Josh Smith said.

But that’s not a record for April 20, he said — Monday’s temperature will have to climb to 79 degrees to break the record of 78 set in 1956.

Still, it has been warm, National Weather Service data show.

The average maximum temperature between Jan. 1 and April 18 was 55.1 degrees in the Olympia area, making it the warmest start to a new year since record-keeping for the area’s weather began in 1948, Smith said.

The warm weather has meant that Dottie Simonsen and Shirley Atwater, two friends and longtime residents at Panorama — the large retirement community in Lacey — began working on their garden plots back in March.

They were back at it Sunday, planting red onions and tending to their plots, two of 96 at the Panorama Pea Patch, Simonsen said.

Panorama residents can rent the plots for $15 a year, but there’s a waiting list because they are so popular, said Simonsen, a past president and current board member of the pea patch.

Simonsen, who has been gardening at Panorama for 10 of her almost 13 years there, said the outdoor activity keeps her healthy.

“This is really good for you,” she said.

The two of them grow fruit, vegetables and flowers, and donate about 25 percent of their yield to Friday Share, a weekly event later in the year in which all of the pea patch food and flowers is shared with Panorama residents in exchange for a donation, Simonsen said. Donations have helped fund equipment purchases for the pea patch.

“It’s a lovely place,” she said about the pea patch, “and we always enjoy it so much.”

After Monday, the weather is going to change, meteorologist Smith said.

Beginning Tuesday, temperatures are expected to cool to 62 degrees with clouds and a chance of rain Tuesday night.

There will be a 20 percent to 30 percent chance of rain the rest of the week, he said.