WALLA WALLA — Mostly sunny skies are forecast for Thanksgiving Day, but after that keep the umbrellas handy.
Although patchy freezing fog will be possible in the morning, sunshine should rule Thursday with the high going above 40 degrees.
According to the National Weather Service, a ridge of high pressure will keep the area dry through Thursday night, but change will be in the air by this weekend.
Starting Saturday, a strong low pressure system is expected to sink south from Western Canada. Along with increased chances for rain and mountain snow, the low will also bring breezy conditions on Sunday and Monday and much colder air into the region.
By Tuesday highs will only be in the mid-30s and snow showers will be possible at all elevations, the weather service said today.
The high pressure system has prompted an air stagnation advisory through Friday as well as a ban on all outdoor burning through Wednesday afternoon. The use of uncertified wood-burning devices, including fireplaces, wood stoves and inserts, is also prohibited unless they are a home’s only adequate source of heat.
While the prospect of more freezing temperatures next week isn’t cheery, a glance at weather records shows it really hasn’t been as cold as it can get locally.
An invasion of arctic air three years ago dropped the mercury to minus-2 degrees on Nov. 23, 2010 and, by coincidence, on the same date in 1985 the low was bone-chilling minus-11 degrees.
But extremely cold weather usually waits until December, January and February to hit. Some of the record lows from past years have been minus-24 degrees on Dec. 30, 1968, minus-18 degrees on Jan. 27, 1957, and minus-16 degrees on Feb. 1-2, 1950.
Andy Porter can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 526-8318.