Weather Eye: Record-breaking cold weather may be on its way out

By Patrick Timm, Columbian weather columnist

Published:

 
photoPatrick Timm

It took its time coming but when it did, wow! Wednesday was cold, very cold indeed. Vancouver dipped to 19 degrees, breaking the record of 21 degrees set in 1919. As the clock struck midnight Tuesday, Vancouver had already dropped to 22 degrees, tying the record of 22 degrees in 1919. It is possible at the time of my writing that by midnight Wednesday it dropped below 19 degrees, setting the record low lower. Unlikely, but maybe, since we were at a lower temperature at sunset than on Tuesday.

So, what about snow? As I write this column late Wednesday afternoon it still appeared the possibility of snow stays to our south over Oregon and at most some clouds and a stray flurry today and Friday. But then again … .

I can tell you as that low drops south and east on Friday more arctic air will filter in and lows over the weekend will hover near 10 degrees and maybe colder in the outlying areas. East winds will pick up so the wind-sheltered areas will be warmer (I use that term loosely).

Long-range computer forecast models as of Wednesday were hinting at a return to more seasonal weather next week, with rain and highs back in the 40s. Of course any transition out of the very cold air could present problems with precipitation types. Still time to figure that out. At least the weekend looks dry and cold.

Sometimes we get out of the cold weather without any excitement because No. 1 moisture off the Pacific has to make its way through some very dry air. The east winds would help keep that at bay for a while. Depends on the position of the weather system as well. Complicated to say the least. Stay tuned for the latest as we get closer to next week.

I'm sure most folks know the drill with the extreme cold. One good thing you can do for yourself is get some extra moisture in your house to prevent skin, sinus problems and static shocks. The combination of dry air outside and heated air inside, well you get the point.