Weather Eye: As the seasons roll on, the signs that winter will end show up



The dense freezing fog had lifted and the skies were clear Friday afternoon as the weak January sun did its best to warm the blue skies. I sat on a bench down along the Columbia River, pondering seasonal thoughts.

She walks up and asks if she could join me. Sure, say I. Have a seat. She’s wearing a long black wool coat and matching gloves. “Quite a day, isn’t it?”

I pause, staring at the river. “Yes it is — a little on the chilly side, but at least it is dry.”

The last time she stopped was to comment as the seasons changed last fall. Her visits are becoming a kind of a ritual.

“Have you noticed the subtle changes going on?” she remarks. “The pussy willows are popping out, a few rhodies are bursting with some color and many of the spring bulbs are shooting up. I even noticed a tulip tree budding out.”

“You aren’t going to tell me the seasons are changing, now, are you?”

She laughs and lowers the scarf down below her face. “Well, not quite yet, but it does seem like we may be past the worst of the winter, don’t you think?”

I reluctantly abandon my anticipated solitude on the bench and say I am about ready to take my winter tires off. I tell her I am heading over to the islands the last week in February and that maybe while I am gone, it will snow again. Some really good weather events always seem to occur when the weatherman is out of town. So if it snows then, don’t blame it on me.

“The season is changing,” she says, “from mid-winter to late winter, and I am looking forward to the week of mild and dry weather we sometimes get in February.”

She begins to depart and smiles: “See you again when the season does change.”

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