Weather Eye: Quick switch to summer swelter could come about July 5

By Patrick Timm, Columbian weather columnist

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I went down to Long Beach for the weekend, and Friday evening there was cool, cloudy and damp. Damp as in raining. I mean, there were mud puddles even.

In contrast, Vancouver was warm and humid, but dry.

The drizzle began to wane by midmorning Saturday, and the skies had lifted and the rain had stopped at midafternoon. I guess this was about the time the light rain began in the Vancouver area.

So nice to share the wealth, isn't it? With today being the first day of July, it appears a trough of low pressure will dominate our weather scene until after the Fourth. Then when July 5 dawns, a massive ridge of high pressure -- currently over the desert southwest -- is forecast to slowly move northwestward. This means that summer could really start.

If this all pans out, this time next week we could be sweltering, with temperatures in the 80s and 90s. Yes, indeed, our switch to summer mode usually happens quickly.

I had email last week from Amboy resident Ken McGoffin about my recent statement that summer usually begins on July 5: "Gotta disagree. … Summer here starts on July 13 and ends on Aug. 21. Like it or not, we have to endure 40 days and 40 nights of reasonably dry, warm weather. Must be something Biblical about the area! I downloaded local archived weather data and used Mathcad to analyze and plot it. That's the 'guaranteed' dry stretch -- sort of -- summer here is more about dry than warm! Yeah, I'll grant a week more on each end, maybe. But that's it around here."

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