Look to Alaska for temperatures in the 80s

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photoPatrick Timm

Normally, people look for relief from our cloudy, rainy and cool weather by heading south to California, Arizona or Mexico. I could offer an alternative. How about Alaska? With the longer hours of sunlight — about 20 hours now — and a high-latitude blocking ridge of high pressure, highs in Fairbanks have been in the 80s. Saturday afternoon, while Vancouver was struggling to reach the upper 50s, it was 85 degrees in Fairbanks.

I guess I didn’t realize how long their daylight hours were. Since we have had so much cloudy and rainy weather, I didn’t notice how far north the sun was in the latter part of the day!

It’s not real common, but Fairbanks has reached temperatures in May of 86, 87, 89 and 90 degrees in past years, such as 1947 and 1960. Funny, Vancouver is still waiting for its first 80-degree day, and I don’t see that coming any time soon. The outlook through all of this coming week calls for a chance of showers. A low-pressure system spins off the Oregon and California coasts and presents a risk of showers almost any day. That also means we could see some breaks in the weather, as well, so not a washout by any means.

As the next low drops southward off our coast tonight and Monday, we could see showers and maybe even a thunderstorm for Memorial Day and Tuesday. Temperatures this week will be mostly in the 60s as the cool and cloudy regime continues. So we’re looking toward after the Fourth of July for maybe, just maybe, some real summer weather!

I mentioned here last weekend that I planted a garden. The vegetable plants I put in look OK, but the corn and bean seeds have yet to sprout. The ground and surface temperatures are a bit on the chilly side for these warm-weather crops. My backyard is like a sponge. Hey, not complaining by any means, just an observation.

If you get bored the remainder of the holiday, you can always go skiing or sledding, because the mountains are packed with snow. Happy Memorial Day, everyone, and blessings to all the veterans.

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