When is the Inland Northwest going to warm up?

SPOKANE, Wash.– If you feel like it hasn’t warmed up much during the month of May, you’d be right. Spokane is on pace to have the coldest month of May since the early 2010s and is close to assuring a spot in the top 10 for coldest Mays on record. Remember, April was the 9th coldest on record.

Spring as a whole in the Inland Northwest will be the coldest since 2011. It’s a dramatic twist from the upper 60s that paid the region a visit in late March. Instead of a sign of impending doom, that warm spell has become the exception to the rule in 2022. Spokane will set a new record for the latest 70-degree day on record once we pass the old record on Saturday. The Lilac City will also fall behind the average this year of the first average 80-degree day, which was back on May 12th.

We might be waiting on that first 80 for a long time. Climate models are showing a strong signal that the last few days of May will be cold and wet again after a notable warmup heading into the middle of next week. June doesn’t look frigid on these computer simulations, but it certainly doesn’t look warm either.

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In weather forecasting, the first rule is that it’s a good assumption that the weather pattern happening right now will persist. In other words, the weather will keep going the way it has been until there’s some compelling evidence to suggest a change. So far, this cool, wet pattern has stayed persistent since early April with only a day or three of breaks for sun and warmth.

What signs could change that weather from continuing? We need more high pressure, not just for a day or two but for multiple weeks. Two weeks of dry and sunny weather this time of the year can take us from spring to summer conditions quickly.

Early Temps

Late Temps

Any signals of a change don’t show up in the climate models until we get close to July. Does that mean we’ll be chilly all next month? Certainly not. We will see gradual warming just like every year, but a long spell of hot weather is the least likely scenario this June. After last year’s apocalyptic June heatwave, even average June weather will probably feel cool.

As for the rest of summer, any thoughts of cool weather will likely evaporate in July. The June-July-August outlook from the National Climate Prediction Center looks like a pattern the West is becoming all too familiar with.

summer outlook from the climate prediction center

NCEP

summer rain outlook climate prediction center

NCEP