Weather Eye: Skies should clear, precipitation diminish for the weekend
Thursday, November 17, 2011
Wednesday was a stormy day in the great Northwest with high winds, heavy rain and mountain snows. Easterly winds kept morning and afternoon temperatures on the chilly side until southerly winds took over briefly and temperatures moderated.
A strong warm front caused the warming which was short-lived as a very strong trailing cold front brought the coldest air aloft of the season. This will continue through the weekend but the precipitation will be dropping off. Moisture that we get will be convective in nature, meaning scattered showers, sometimes heavy, and possible hail or wet snow mixed in at low elevations and some occasional snow in the higher elevations around 1,000 feet or so.
When skies clear later this weekend we will be surrounded with a rim of white on the hills to our east and west. Plenty of snow is falling in the mountains and several ski areas were hoping to open this weekend, at least on a limited basis. Seems rather early, doesn’t it? But then again, I find it hard to believe Thanksgiving is almost here as well.
We had a similar situation last year with a cold spell the week near Thanksgiving and heavy mountain snows. Maybe history does repeat itself? This time around, however, after a very chilly weekend with lows into the 20s and highs struggling to surpass 40 degrees things will warm up closer to seasonal normals next week.
As mentioned here earlier, La Niña is in full control now and it will remain stormy next week.
I kind of lost track of our monthly records for a while and discovered as of Nov. 15, Vancouver was 1.39 inches below average on precipitation. We will make up some of that for sure. The average mean temperature was at 44.5 F, 3.7 degrees below average. The cool temperatures the next several days will add to the negative figure and November most likely will end up as a cooler-than-normal month.
A befitting tribute to the month of November and the “fall” of the autumn leaves:
How silently they tumble down
And come to rest upon the ground
To lay a carpet, rich and rare,
Beneath the trees without a care,
Content to sleep, their work well done,
Colors gleaming in the sun.
At other times, they wildly fly
Until they nearly reach the sky.
Twisting, turning through the air
Till all the trees stand stark and bare.
Exhausted, drop to earth below
To wait, like children, for the snow.
— Elsie N. Brady, “Leaves”