Weather Eye: Snow in higher terrain; what about lowlands?




Winter weather is upon us, at least in the higher terrain. We are slowly but surely adding to the Cascade snowpack. Freezing levels will remain low enough for the next week or so that any moisture falling will be in the form of snow above 2,000 to 3,000 feet but occasionally dropping to the foothills and Coast Range passes. I am sure most folks here in the lowlands don’t mind that we don’t have to shovel the moisture that is falling here. Computer forecast models are certainly not in any agreement beyond a few days, so my confidence on what the weather will be like as we head toward Christmas is very low.

After my column Tuesday, I had a few readers write me that they still have a few roses blooming in their yards and geraniums blooming in pots. I think nature is confused, as I noticed a couple of flowering cherry trees blooming; go figure. No worry at this point; there is still plenty of time for a good freeze and some cold weather.

There is plenty of very cold air over northern Canada, and it appears that the far reaches of North America will be in an arctic deep freeze for some time to come. That makes it interesting for us as there will be a cold air source; we just need a mechanism to get it down here. So, bottom line: a slow start to the winter season but a good chance of a lowland snow event coming up in the next two or three months.

Clark County weather observer Phil Delany reported a few wet flakes mixing in Tuesday night as he returned home near Dole Valley. At least we are not sitting under a stagnant high pressure air mass and a thick blanket of fog. I like to see the clouds roll by!

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