Weather Eye: As the year turns quietly, we'll have dry, cold Gorge winds

By Patrick Timm, Columbian weather columnist

Published:

 

Portland froze for the first time this season early Saturday, at 29 degrees. Many locations in Clark County dipped into the mid-20s, with Vancouver officially recording its coldest winter temperature at 26 degrees.

It appears there won't be much if any precipitation the rest of the year. Seattle has its seventh-wettest year, as of Saturday, since 1946 when records began at Sea-Tac. Portland is at its fourth-wettest since 1940 at the airport.

A weak weather system moved through southwest Washington on Saturday -- little precipitation, but some reports of sprinkles and even light snow flurries.

The weather pattern looks benign the next five days, with a split flow diverting storms to our north and south. We just get the leftovers. East winds down the Gorge are forecast to bring cool but dry air.

Overnight lows will be at or below freezing, mainly in the 20s in wind-sheltered locations. Sunday and Monday night will be cold, with some outlying spots maybe in the upper teens. Our normal high and low are 46/34 degrees.

Much of eastern and central Washington is snow-covered, which creates its own cold air mass in the lower 3,000-4,000 feet of the atmosphere, the source of the cool air coming down the Gorge.

Enjoy ringing in the New Year on a dry note, a nice respite from three months of excessive rainfall. I will share local rainfall reports for December in the near future. Vancouver stood at 7.65 inches as of Saturday afternoon.

We will chat next year on Tuesday!

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