Weather Eye: 2012 ends with a snowy surprise for Clark County

By Patrick Timm, Columbian weather columnist

Published:

 
photoPatrick Timm

Surprise, surprise, surprise! What a way to end 2012 — with a nice, white snowfall!

Looking at the weather charts, the current conditions of cold and dry air and a weak weather system moving our way Sunday evening, it appeared we most likely would see some snow on Monday. It just goes to show you how things can change in such a short time from writing Sunday's column on Saturday afternoon.

Snow began falling around 9 or 10 am on the west side of Clark County, mainly in the Felida area, and moved ever so slowly eastward. As of mid-day Monday, snow amounts were one to three inches, maybe a little more mainly in the Salmon Creek/Felida region.

With skies expected to clear Monday night, New Year's Day should be off to an icy start. Overnight lows early Monday had dipped into the low to mid-20s as the cloud cover approached. That, coupled with dry east winds blowing down the Columbia River Gorge, created a cold dome over parts of the local area. With the weak front coming in, one wouldn't expect much in the way of precipitation but the warmer air off the coast rode up over the cold dome of air and actually squeezed moisture out from the clouds.

Felida and Salmon Creek just happened to be in the bull's-eye. Everyone got to see some snow in Clark County on Monday since elevation didn't really play a part in this episode.

So, anymore on the way? Looking at forecast models the rest of the week, everything actually looks fairly quiet, with freezing temperatures at night and varying amounts of clouds during the day. Another weak system is forecast on Thursday, so we will have to keep a weather eye on that one just in case we get a repeat. I like surprises. Ha-ha.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

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