Weather Eye: Warm and cold trade places

By Patrick Timm, Columbian weather columnist

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No change in the weather pattern through early next week, except hopefully the warmer and drier air aloft will work its way to the surface at some point and bring our temperatures back up to normal or above and get rid of the low clouds.

Wednesday afternoon temperatures in the lower regions of Clark County hovered in the 30s while the higher elevations were in the 50- to 70-degree range. Kind of backwards, eh?

My high temperature Wednesday was 34 degrees and the low was 33 degrees here in Salmon Creek -- not much of a change. Vancouver officially was 36/34 degrees. The average mean temperature for Vancouver so far this month is 35.8 degrees, 5 degrees below average. Of course, it is drier than normal, as well, with only an inch of rain in the bucket, about 2 inches below average.

The free air freezing level at 10,000 feet is why the higher elevations were enjoying springlike temperatures. Still cold in the Columbia Basin, but the Bend-Redmond area in Central Oregon had highs in the mid-50s. The coast was warmer, as well. I had several reports in the foothills of Clark County that the sun appeared Wednesday and finally melted some of the snow and ice that has been on the ground since New Year's.

Eventually the rains will be back, so at least enjoy the dry weather.

The Oregon Chapter of the American Meteorology Society will have a no-host pizza social at 7 p.m. Jan. 24 at Stark Street Pizza, 9234 S.E. Stark St. in Portland. Members and the public are invited for an informal gathering and chat about the weather.

Just for fun, what was the weather like one year ago today? Wet and chilly. We had a high of 41 degrees, a low of 33 degrees, and 0.42 of an inch of rain. The next day, on the 18th, it was really wet with 1.15 inches falling and a high of 54 degrees, and even wetter on the 19th with nearly 2 inches of mild rain. What a difference a year can make! See you on Sunday.

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