We had a very nice break from the heavy rains after Thanksgiving and we will enjoy one more day before we enter an extended stormy period Wednesday and beyond.
East winds were running between 40-50 mph in the far east county near the Columbia River Gorge, with lower velocities in the rest of the county. They will continue today and still be quite strong Wednesday as a large low pressure system drops down from the Gulf of Alaska. By Thursday, southeast winds will remain rather blustery, especially along the coast.
Although the trough of low pressure contains colder air offshore, we will remain in a southerly flow aloft, keeping the snow falling only above the timberline on the Cascades. By the weekend and early next week, I think snow levels will drop back down to pass levels and give lower ski areas some much-needed snowpack.
There is some uncertainly with the extended forecast models, so things could go either way, with either low snow levels or quite a bit higher. Too much of a moving target to throw my dart. Ha-ha.
We are getting into that time of the year when low-level snowfall chances increase. The National Weather service website in Portland has a handy elevation chart for Clark County and southwest Washington.
I went on my annual trek over to Sunriver, Ore., for Thanksgiving and it was snowing Wednesday morning over Highway 26 at Government Camp, with several inches of snow on the ground. Coming back Sunday, it was just bare and wet. All the snow was gone except little patches.
In Central Oregon, we had a dusting Wednesday evening and again Sunday morning. Sandwiched between was two days of sunshine, 50-degree temperatures and a wet Saturday. A mixed bag; you never know what the weather will bring.
See you on Thursday!
Patrick Timm is a local weather specialist. His column appears Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. Reach him at Weather Systems.