Weather Eye: Frost on rooftops, smoke in the air, no rain in sight pays an early visit to some local rooftops

By Patrick Timm, Columbian weather columnist

Published:

 
photoPatrick Timm

Easterly winds brought lots of smoke and haze to Clark County late Wednesday and will continue throughout today, as well. There are several fires burning to our east, and we will have to endure a bit of unhealthful air before the winds switch around from the west on Friday and Saturday.

It was very warm into the 80s Wednesday, and we could see 90 degrees today. A little cooler Friday and over the weekend but continued dry. Looking ahead, I don't see any rainfall heading our way for quite some time, maybe all next week.

It was very cool early Monday and Tuesday morning around the county, with several reports of frost on the rooftops and lows getting down to 32 degrees.

Weather observer Tom Dixon of Amboy reported a low of 34 degrees Tuesday but noted plenty of frost on the rooftops. And yes, we can have frost on rooftops and car tops and other areas despite having the thermometer at 5 feet off the ground displaying 34 degrees. Some materials lose heat at a faster rate than others, and also many micro climates come into play, as well. I see frost on barkdust but not on adjacent grass; go figure. Anyway, it may have been enough to stress some warm-weather plants.

Rik Roberts of Orchards woke up early Tuesday with frost on the ground and on the rooftops, as well, and noted that this was the earliest in his 65 years as a Northwest resident that he has seen frost this early.

I had a couple of inquiries to my column on Tuesday about Seattle's dry spell ending at 48 days and what was the longest for the Emerald City. It was 51 days ending on Aug. 26, 1951. We know it was very dry here in Vancouver and was tied with other years with only a trace, with records going back to 1898.

The leaves are turning brilliant yellow and red on some tree-lined streets around our area, signs of things to come.

Enjoy the pleasant remaining days of summer, as autumn officially rolls in next week.

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