Weather Eye: Snow threat low for now, but roads may be icy today
Tuesday, January 15, 2013
After I wrote my column Saturday afternoon — of course — one could see moisture streaming over the top of the massive ridge of high pressure and moving southward over the interior of British Columbia on Sunday. This produced enough moisture in the lower layers of the atmosphere and aided in providing a lift that produced some periods of light snow.
With cold air trapped in the upper few thousand feet and lots of containment air particles, it was perfect for some low-level snowfall. It was sunny at Timberline and warmer in some parts east of the mountains than it was right here in Clark County.
The first few flakes fell early Monday and picked up around noontime. Another band came through around 4 p.m. and whitened the ground again in Salmon Creek, where my high was only 32 degrees.
Given the changeable atmospheric conditions, some areas saw more snow than others. With temperatures at or below freezing Monday afternoon, this morning was expected to be icy, with the left over moisture on the roadways.
We should be out of the snow threat as warmer air rides in aloft but still keeps an inversion going. If we get fog, it will be difficult to burn off. Hope for clearing and sunshine but prepare for dismal conditions, too. It should be nice up in the mountains, rather balmy even.
Bottom line: More of the same, with lows in the 20s and 30s and highs in the 30s, warming (like that?) into the low 40s depending on the clearing. When will it get back to our normal rainy, wet weather? Stay tuned for that one. Extended models forecast that to occur toward the end of the month, and a couple indicate maybe more cold and a chance of snow. A mixed bag too far out in the crystal ball to know for sure.
For an explanation of what contributed to Monday's snowfall, go to the National Weather Service Facebook page.
Patrick Timm is a local weather specialist. His column appears Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. Reach him at Weather Systems.