Pineapple for Thanksgiving? Warm, wet weather all thanks to 'Pineapple Express'

It was just a few weeks ago that we saw snow in the Inland Northwest and now our jet stream is moving a bunch of warm, tropical air towards us.. It's like a Hawaiian vacation! (11-22-17)

Pineapple for Thanksgiving, anyone?! 

Turns out the weather pattern heading our way Wednesday through Turkey Day will be shaped by what's considered a true "pineapple express."

A Pineapple Express is a type of weather phenomenon known as an atmospheric river. 

A narrow band of moisture, typically only about 250 miles wide, atmospheric rivers carry heavy rain and strong winds.

If the atmospheric river originates near Hawaii, it's called the Pineapple Express! 

Look at the snapshot below of the water vapor satellite animation provided by the National Weather Service. It shows the "tropical" origin of the airmass streaming into the Northern Rockies today, leading to the very mild conditions.

Things will stay warm - in fact, maybe the warmest EVER on Thanksgiving Day for Spokane - but definitely in the upper 50s and low 60s across the Inland Northwest through much of the day Thursday.

Mountain pass travel will be nice for holiday travelers. Since temperatures will be warmer than normal, most of the heavy precipitation will fall as rain passes over the area instead of snow. We're expecting just about 0.25"-0.5" in the Spokane area. 

In the Cascades, there will be probably a lot more rain Wednesday through Thursday. It is looking like about 2.5-4" in the mountains over the next two days.

We're also expecting some winds on Thursday! Southwest wind gusts from 30 to 50 mph are possible on Thanksgiving.

Enjoy your Hawaiian vacation across the Inland Northwest! 

© 2017 KREM-TV


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