Weather Eye: Dry December about to get very soggy in a hurry
Sunday, December 25, 2011
Merry Christmas! I certainly hope you all are having a joyous holiday season and getting an opportunity for some downtime to relax from the hustle and bustle of the holidays.
Our weather gift for the holidays will be a return to rain and rain and more rain. After weeks of basically unheard-of dry weather in December, the last week will be rather damp. At least one storm every day or two with little dry time between.
But that is how it goes with weather and why “normals” are just a collection of extremes. Dry for part of the month and wet for another part. We’ll see just how much we get, but I would still think we end up below average for the month, as we have a ways to go. And it will not turn out to be the driest December on record or even in the top ten, like we are now.
Looking at the rain bucket in Vancouver at Pearson Field, there has been only .23 of an inch of rain as of Saturday for the entire month. That is five inches below average. Last year at this time, we had gotten 5.80 inches of rain.
Excellent weather for homebuilders for sure. One house I saw was being framed roofed during the dry days without any rain saturating the shell. That is amazing for December.
As we transition to more “normal” weather beginning Christmas Day, things will warm up a bit, with no freezing overnight temperatures to worry about. Snow levels will rise as well, with the bulk of the precipitation coming as the new week wears on, staying at 6,000 feet or so. There will be some snow early at pass levels, but only the higher ski areas wil see a buildup in snowpack for now. Things could turn around and cool off greatly in January.
Meanwhile, Christmas Eve was beautiful, with hazy sunshine and mild temperatures. The calm before the storm so to speak, and maybe the last dry day of the year.
Enjoy your day, keep dry and warm with that extra log on the fire or in front of that electric fireplace.
Patrick Timm is a local weather specialist. His column appears Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. Reach him at http://weathersystems.com.