Record heat possible in the Pacific Northwest this weekend

The spring had its moments, but for the most part nationwide, the spring of 2015 was fairly normal. Parts of the East Coast experienced some pretty warm numbers with the central US below average because of all the rainfall, but the west has been fairly typical… until now. We enter the summer season and the heat builds almost instantly. A LARGE ridge will build across the western US allowing the heat that usually entrenches the Desert Southwest to push further north. In fact, even parts of southern Canada could have triple digit heat. Conversely, the heat the much of the southeast has been living with for a couple of weeks will break as a trough dives in and allows temperatures to return to seasonable or even below seasonable norms. Check out the current forecast track for the next few days…

Here is where the jet stream will likely be late Thursday…

 

It's in what we call "zonal flow" or in a very east to west orientated line. Now check out late Saturday…

 

And then Monday, that ridge tries to shift further east…

 

By the weekend, the jet stream looks more like a giant wave with it pushing north in the west (called a ridge) and south in the east (called a trough). This allows air to move into areas that isn't typically there, leading to drastic warming in the west and cooling in the east. This warming could lead to records falling in the Pacific Northwest over the weekend. Watch how the warmest of numbers start closer to the coast and shift slowly eastward overtime as that ridge slides east…