Well, here we go for a dip in the roller coaster ride, and it will be a steep one on Thursday, with rain and lots of it in many places around the Pacific Northwest. Showers are expected to follow Friday, with more steady rain through the weekend. All in all, about three to four weather systems will approach the area between now and Tuesday. Forecast charts hint that we will go back up on the roller coaster, and enjoy some warm, dry weather by midweek next week.
For those on spring break, Oregon had dry weather from the end of this past week through the weekend, and Washington experienced a dry weekend and a dry first half of this week. At least it wasn't a washout by any means. A fair compromise.
Cooler air aloft will roll in this weekend, lowering snow levels to Cascade pass levels, so expect more fresh snow in the mountains. That's good news for many people. Cooler air also transfers to lower elevations, with below-average high temperatures in the low to mid-50s. It's jacket weather once again and, of course, don't forget the umbrella, too.
The latest forecast for April through June from the National Weather Service's Climate Prediction Center calls for our temperatures to be below average, and precipitation to be below average in the southern half of Western Washington, which includes Clark County. The dryness is nice, but I don't know about the cooler-than-average temperatures. But it seems like conditions are either cool and wet or cool and dry most of the time. Maybe the prediction is wrong. It would be better than last year at this time, although we had plenty of rain then.
For weather facts from the Office of the Washington State Climatologist, visit http://www.climate.washington.edu/newsletter and click on "April."
Patrick Timm is a local weather specialist. His column appears Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. Reach him at http://weathersystems.com.