Weather Eye: Fresh snow graces peaks, but down here there’s chance of rain



With the clearing skies Monday afternoon one could see a fresh mantle of snow on Mount St. Helen’s and Mount Hood. On St. Helens it looks like at about the 7,000-foot level and higher. More snow to the higher Cascades coming up perhaps as we round out the latter half of the month.

The storm track stays pretty much to our north through the weekend but just close enough I believe, after Tuesday, to present some cloudiness at times and even some showers, especially as we head into the weekend. So like the forecast “chance of” will stay in there. I hate stating “chance of” because most folks want to know is it going to rain or not?

Not so clear cut as I wish but there you have it. Certainly wouldn’t take much to get a soaker later in the week but for now the Emerald City gets a shot of autumn rains. We will get our turn soon I am sure, we usually do.

My fellow weather observer Roland Derksen in Vancouver, B.C., says that the media up there is forecasting a “very cold winter” for that area. He has his doubts at this point but adds, “You can’t judge a winter by the autumn before it.”

Word on woolly bears

I enjoy old folklore that tries to foresee the winter weather by autumn’s escapades but then again, most are a hit-and-miss theory and suitable for a good night’s reading sitting around the fire.

I think the finale is in on the woolly bears. Fellow weather observer Pete Conrad of Battle Ground counted 96 of them in his neck of the woods and says all but two or three had four orange segments. Kind of what I came up with. So they are predicting an average winter, whatever that is, ha, ha!

He adds that he hasn’t see very many grasshoppers this year, like last year. Cyclical or weather related? Heard both sides of the story. I do know one thing, the squirrels are madly dashing hither and thro’ stashing their winter supply of walnuts. I was going to say that they were busy as beavers but then I don’t know what the beavers are up to.

I did see numerous woodpiles stacked 10 feet high while I was at the coast last week. Someone know something I don’t?

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