Weather Eye: While the East frets about Irene, we’ll have it nice

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We finally broke our dry spell with .03 of an inch of rain Monday night with the weather system that brought heavy rains to northwestern Washington. Portland airport received 0.17 of an inch, and several locations around Clark County had similar amounts, as well.

Things rebounded Tuesday with highs back up in the 80s, and Wednesday was on the hot side, too. Thunderstorm activity began moving northward through southern Oregon early Wednesday and was forecast to affect Clark County Wednesday evening and overnight. These clouds were visible already by midday over Clark County. Severe thunderstorms were possible, mainly over and east of the Cascades in Oregon. It will remain warm through the weekend, and maybe 90 degrees again on Sunday.

The earthquake on the East Coast was a surprise considering the magnitude. It sure rattled a whole lot of folks, for sure. And now they have Hurricane Irene (category 3 as of midday Wednesday) to fret about later in the week. At least we don’t have to worry about hurricanes in our neck of the woods, and I don’t think we really worry about earthquakes, either, although we live in an active earthquake region.

The weather should be outstanding for the Hood to Coast run this Friday and Saturday. Warm but not excessive with afternoon temperatures Friday in the low to mid 80s and in the upper 70s on Saturday, and of course cooler at the coast. The roadways will be dry.

Looking ahead for that last big weekend of summer, Labor Day weekend, forecast models vary from clouds and rain to warm and dry. It is way too early to tell that far out, given the uncertainly of our summer weather lately.

Oh, how much rain did Quillayute end up with on the vigorous weather system on Monday? How about 3.23 inches? Not bad for August, especially all in such a short period.

Looking at Mount St. Helens on Tuesday evening, there was still plenty of white remaining on the peak. Usually by late August, none can be seen. Could it last until maybe an early surprise snowfall sometime in September?

Enjoy the rest of your week and the nice weekend ahead.

Patrick Timm is a local weather specialist. His column appears Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. Reach him at http://weathersystems.com.