Weather Eye: Nightly rains bring welcome moisture

By Patrick Timm, Columbian weather columnist

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I know we received a bit more rain than we anticipated but who is complaining? I haven't heard one yet. In fact, many readers would like a good soaking rain to fall. A rather strong weather system was just off our coast at 5 p.m. Wednesday and promised to bring at least a half soaking, with amounts varying from a quarter to one half inch of rain -- the heaviest, of course, was over the coastal areas. There will be some scattered thunderstorms too as we get some day-time heating.

The nice thing about the rain this week is that it has occurred at night with fair weather during the day. I do expect showers today, so that trend is over. The good news is the holiday weekend looks nice with any rain holding off until Monday.

With the clouds and rain at night, the overnight lows have been very warm causing record warm lows in some cities around western Washington. Seattle, Bellingham, Olympia and Hoquiam all tied or set new record high minimums this month.

Along with an 81 degree high in Vancouver on Wednesday came some high humidity making it feel a little muggy. Even Seattle reached 80 degrees. It was in the low 70s along the coast. I think this is the best summer weatherwise in a long time, and not much else can be said about that!

Just a word of caution if you are going camping or backpacking over the long weekend. As clouds and rain increase Monday, the snow level is expected to drop to areas above timberline in the Cascades or perhaps down to 6,000 feet. A warm start to the weekend and a cooler finish, at least what I can see as of this writing. Check the forecast before heading out and carry your weather radio.

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