Weather Eye: In wake of front, clear skies come with wintry spell

By Patrick Timm, Columbian weather columnist

Published:

 
photoPatrick Timm

Most residents saw a wintry mix falling from the skies Monday as cold air from Canada made its way southward. Snow that fell at elevations of 800 feet and above stuck for a while. The lower elevations saw a mix of rain and snow and ice pellets. I received several reports of large, fluffy flakes falling in the lower foothills of Clark County.

That was just the precursor of a pretty good cold wave settling in for a spell. The high temperature occurred after midnight Monday and only recovered to the low 40s in the afternoon. Under a heavy shower temperatures fell into the 30s.

As of 5 p.m. Monday, the arctic front was just entering the U.S., with Omak in the 20s and a north wind gusting over 40 mph. Bellingham was bracing for the outflow of the Fraser River Canyon. We will get easterly winds here this week bringing in more cold air.

Skies will clear today after Monday night's passage of the modified arctic front. A few snow flurries were possible overnight, so if you have a dusting on the ground you'll know where that came from.

Highs will be in the 30s right through the weekend and lows in the 20s and down into the teens in the colder areas.

What about snow? Forecast models show a couple of weak storms, one on Thursday night/Friday morning mainly slipping south of us, and another Sunday. Once we get such a deep layer of cold air overhead, snow or freezing rain is always a possibility.

When will it warm up? Not for a while, folks, so keep the home fires burning.

My travels to Sunriver for the holiday were uneventful weather-wise as we enjoyed clear and sunny skies and very mild temperatures. No snow. The winds Sunday afternoon in central Oregon were gusty, and I drove by one tractor-trailer that blew over on its side about six miles west of Warm Springs. Needless to say, I had both hands on the steering wheel on that trip.

Bottom line: bundle up as cold weather lingers for a while. Maybe some snow later in the week and weekend. Nothing major at this time.

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