Weather Eye: Clark County, get ready to climb aboard the La Nina Express



OK are you ready for some wild November weather? A strong weather system rolls inland on Wednesday with heavy rain and strong winds. Cold air behind the front will lower snow levels and the mountains will receive a hardy blast. Even the Coast Range will see some snow and we could also get some snow in the lower foothills around Clark County by Friday. If things were to materialize, one could even see a mix in heavier showers on Friday in the lowlands. Wait-and-see game.

Looking ahead to Thanksgiving week to the end of the month, it looks rather stormy with rain measured in inches and snow in the mountains measured in feet. Yep the train has left the station folks, the La Niña Express, all aboard!

Weather observer Chuck Houghten of Hockinson Heights commented on the elusive woolly bear caterpillars: “The woolly bear caterpillars certainly have been interesting this year. I think I saw more than usual, a variety of sizes and color mix, and over a considerably longer period as well. I’ve still not made any personal correlations between caterpillars and the weather — but could there be a correlation between seeing more variety and longer bigger woolly bears, and a long, ‘big winter’? Who knows or maybe we should be concerned that the birds that normally eat them may not be as plentiful!”

The weather system that moved through over the weekend brought some very high winds in the Cascades. In Washington on the east slopes of the range at Mission Ridge winds peaked at nearly 100 mph with a reading of 96 mph. One reason for the high winds was that we had a very strong jet stream that hit us from the northwest and interacted with the Cascades. At upper levels over 30,000 feet winds were in excess of 200 mph.

The swift-moving cold front on Friday afternoon caused winds at Timberline of 70 mph and at Mount Rainier over 90 mph. Winds in the lowlands were between 30-40 mph. A good share of the leaves are blowing away now.

As a side note I sure have a load of wild songbirds at my backyard feeder. I can hardly keep up refilling it. Lots of goldfinches and chickadees. They are really stuffing themselves. Maybe they know more than we do, ha, ha.

Enjoy your week.

Patrick Timm is a local weather specialist. His column appears Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. Reach him at