Weather Eye: Conditions for Thanksgiving trip inspired gratitude

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We didn’t get much of a weather break here on Thanksgiving Day, as another Pacific weather system rolled through. Strong winds and sheets of rain pelted the coastline as well as the western valleys.

The Cascades got a mantle of new snow, helping to replace some of what melted at the lower elevations on Monday and Tuesday. They didn’t really lose that much snow, at least from Mount Hood southward, as rainfall was surprisingly much lower than the 2-3 inches we had here.

My travel over to Sunriver was uneventful; the roadways were just bare and wet over Mount Hood. As we dropped down into Warm Springs on U.S. 26, it was a balmy 60 degrees Wednesday morning. At Redmond, when we stopped for lunch, it was very breezy with strong southerly winds but also near 60 degrees.

We arrived at Sunriver to skies that were just partly cloudy and winds gusting between 40-50 mph. The six inches of snow that had fallen the day before was mostly gone except in shady and wind-sheltered areas.

Thanksgiving Day dawned clear and sunny but clouds increased in the afternoon and the wind came up very strong. Just as we walked into the Great Hall for the Thanksgiving feast, it started to snow, and it was almost a whiteout all the while we were eating. What perfect timing for a holiday feast — this weatherman gave plenty of thanks, amen.

Thanks to a couple of days of heavy rain this past week, Vancouver now has surpassed its monthly average and is running about an inch and a half above normal. It doesn’t take much — one or two good storms. Just too bad it all came at once.

Looks like we will have a few dry days this week to help getting outdoor decorations up and dashing between stores Christmas shopping. Actually, after some rain Sunday and maybe Monday, the week doesn’t look all that bad at this point, with seasonable temperatures.

I will mention gift ideas this week for the weather buffs in your family, so stay tuned. Enjoy your week everyone.

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