Weather Eye: Hint of high summer won’t fill whole week

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photoPatrick Timm

Wow. I had to pinch myself Saturday afternoon as I began to write this column to really see if I was dreaming or really here in Clark County enjoying this summer sunshine!

Temperatures reached the low 80s early in the afternoon thanks to the easterly winds. Winds from this direction and accompanying warm temperatures are not the signature of June, that’s for sure — more common in late July through August maybe.

Anyway, enjoy the taste of summer 2011 as the coming week will return to more “normal” conditions. By that I mean more clouds, maybe some drizzle or scattered showers, but also some afternoon sunshine. Snow levels will fall in the Cascades with more snow to the higher elevations from Timberline upward. Temperatures will be in the 60s on cloudy days and erupting to 70 or slightly above with any sunshine.

Even the ocean beaches were in the 70s and low 80s Saturday, thanks to those east winds’ continuing all the way to the ocean. If you were lucky and made a jaunt to the coast you know what I mean.

This year, Vancouver had its fourth-coldest May on record. Seattle followed with the sixth-coldest and Olympia, the third-coldest. In Quillayute, it was the coldest May in history.

Everyone thinks it was a bit on the wet side as well, but for Vancouver with 3.09 inches, it was only the 32nd-wettest in 114 years of records. Surprising, Yakima had its second-wettest with 2.55 inches, Bellingham, third-wettest with 4.35 inches and Olympia, sixth-wettest with 4.16 inches. Like I mentioned a short while ago, not the kind of record you want to write home about.

As May ended, can you believe the snowpack in the Olympic Mountains had 431 percent of normal snow water equivalent? The rest of Washington had 291 percent in the Lower Columbia Basin, 256 percent in the upper Columbia, 242 percent in the lower Snake and 201 percent in the Upper Yakima Basin. No wonder we have lots of water chugging down the Columbia!

Enjoy your week — one to cool off with and relax a bit I hope. See you on Tuesday!

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