Weather Eye: Doesn’t anybody care that the wind blows here, too?

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While our friends along the East Coast feel the wrath of Hurricane Irene, we are basking in late-summer sunshine. About the only change this coming week is that we will be much cooler — chilly, almost, compared to late. A northwest flow of air will keep some cloudiness and cooler marine air filtering in, so highs will drop into the 70s. We still aren’t likely to see much in the way of rainfall.

It always amazes me how the media gives so much coverage to the East Coast hurricanes while, when we have a potent windstorm off our coast, hardly any attention comes our way even on The Weather Channel.

Take, for instance, the big windstorm of December 1995. Wind speeds were over 100 mph at the coast and almost that high inland, with widespread damage. Barometric low pressures were comparable to Hurricane Irene’s. Maybe the difference is that our storms are unnamed and not technically labeled as hurricanes. Still, we can get some pretty intense storms.

I chalk it up to “They have their weather and we have ours.” I am not by any means downplaying the severity of a hurricane … just saying.

It was a scorcher Saturday east of the mountains, with temperatures hovering around 100 degrees from The Dalles to Yakima to the Tri-Cities area. Vancouver wasn’t doing too bad either, with temperatures in the upper 80s at 5 p.m. Saturday. We have managed three 90-degree days so far this summer but didn’t quite make it on Friday with a cooler 88 degrees. The average mean temperature for Vancouver so far in August is 70.3 degrees — over half a degree above average.

Not that we ever get all that much rain in August, but we are running about 0.6 of an inch below normal.

In Monday’s brief rainfall, which totaled 0.03 of an inch in Vancouver, one weather observer up in Bear Prairie measured about a half-inch of rain. Enough to make the moles happy.

Enjoy the cooler week ahead, and I will chat with you on Tuesday!

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