Plenty of sun and cold ahead for Pacific County coast

Late December sun combined with rough winter surf to create a classic seascape in Cape Disappointment State Park this week, with a solitary gull looks for a meal out among the storm-tossed waves. With occasional exceptions, forecasts expect plenty of sunshine through late next week, with sub-freezing temperatures on several days. Longer range models hint at the possibility of significant snow for parts of Western Washington a week or more in the future.

LONG BEACH — Lots of winter sunshine along with relatively cold temperatures are expected to continue over the next week or two, according to weather forecasters.

With occasional exceptions — including some rain Saturday and possible light snow on New Year’s Day — a ridge of high pressure in the northeast Pacific Ocean will steer storms around the Washington coast but keep us locked in a chilly pattern for the foreseeable future.

“We’re getting into a classic cold weather pattern for the Northwest where a stubborn ridge of high pressure will become anchored Gulf of Alaska. That pattern takes the jet stream out of the Northern Pacific, shoves it waaaaay north into the arctic regions of Alaska, where it picks up quite a bit of cold air, then shoves that air down the backside of the ridge through British Columbia and into the Pacific Northwest,” KOMO News meteorologist Scott Sistek wrote Dec. 29.

National Weather Service forecasters expect the Southwest Washington coast to barely get above freezing next Monday through Wednesday, before warming back up to a daytime high of around 40 degrees on Thursday.

Farther into the future, with low reliability, meteorological models hint at the possibility of more challenging conditions.

“There have been some pretty amazing/incredible wintry scenarios painted with each forecast model run, some suggesting widespread heavy snows, some more of a snow to freezing rain to rain, others a heavy snow-to-rain, others still just days with scattered light snow showers and yes, some with just enough warming to push it back to fringey rain/snow events. But none of them have been consistent to date, time, amount, or how they’d even play out. Right now, we’re just wide-eyed as if we’re watching a slot machine spin,” Sistek said.

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