Weather Eye: Blue skies are smiling on us, and probably will till mid-February

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Well, it just doesn’t get any better than this in the month of February -- at least the early part. The price we had to pay for the sunshine was of course those gusty east winds, but hey, we will take it. And a nice one for National Weatherperson’s Day,Feb. 5!

Looking ahead, I certainly do not see much weather action the next 10 days or so -- maybe some clouds this week from time to time, and a sprinkle here and there, but really not much to write home about.

Temperatures varied greatly around Clark County Friday and Saturday depending on wind exposure. Wind-sheltered areas dipped into the 20s while other locations remained in the 40s. Afternoon highs reached 60 degrees in some locations. I saw a bank sign reading 60 degrees Friday afternoon.

If you want to read some amazing facts about the snow and ice that hit western Washington last month, the Washington State Climatologist’s office has it all in its February newsletter: http://climate.washington.edu/newsletter/2012Feb.pdf.

There you will find that during the five-day event, Ocean Shores recorded over 16 inches of snow; Olympia Airport, 14.2 inches; Rochester, 19.9 inches; Winlock, 27.6 inches; Onalaska, 26.2 inches; Cosmopolis, 17.6 inches; and Forks, 27.5 inches.

For sure, the heaviest snowfalls were in Southwest Washington, from Olympia to Castle Rock and over to the coast. Clark County escaped the five-day onslaught for the most part, except the higher elevations.

At the beginning of February, the snowpack in the Washington Cascades was actually about normal or slightly above, with the greatest depths in the north Cascades. Of course with this two-week dry spell, the percentages will go down. If you remember, last year at this time, we were piling the snow up in the Cascades. Of course we still have time for that.

At least with the break in the weather, one can prune the roses, get the ground ready for an early crop of peas and just plain get out and soak up some natural vitamin D and break away from the winter blues. Although the sunshine may be filtered through high clouds from time to time, it will still be nice.

Enjoy your week.

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