Weather Eye: Rain went on summer vacation in July, spurring several records

By Patrick Timm, Columbian weather columnist


photoPatrick Timm

Wednesday was a pretty quiet day in the weather department despite the risk of thunderstorms that were moving up the Cascades from the south. As of this writing at 5 p.m. Wednesday, nothing had reached Clark County.

The marine clouds were slow to burn off, holding afternoon highs in the 70s — although it felt a little warmer than that with increased humidity. We are in the warmest time of the year and our average high should be 83 degrees. We will be close to 10 degrees below that today and a couple degrees warmer on Friday.

Unless we had some stray heavy sprinkles off the Cascades after my writing, July went into the record books as a dry, rain-free month. With the roller coaster ups and downs of the temperatures last month, we finished just about average for July.

In the Puget Sound region, Sea-Tac Airport measured only a trace of rain in July, tying the driest July there. Other years with only a trace were 1958 and 1960. Quillayute, in the rainforest corner of our state, also measured only a trace in July, setting a dry weather record. The previous record was in 2010, with .35 of an inch. Olympia and Hoquiam also tied their 55-year-old records just a trace of rain.

Normally, we think of breaking records in July as record-high temperatures not record -ow rainfall.

A massive dust storm was blowing off into the Atlantic from Africa which will result in the tempering of any tropical storm development in the first week of August. Good news for the Atlantic hurricane season. Most likely no worries for several days.

Checking the wildfire report late Wednesday, fires are burning form southern Oregon up into the mid-section of Washington, east of the mountains. It was so smoky in Medford, Ore., that the sun could barely be seen through the smoke.

See you on Sunday.

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