Weather Eye: Under inversion, Vancouver's been abnormally cold and dry

By Patrick Timm, Columbian weather columnist

Published:

 

The afternoon high temperatures for Saturday went like this: In the foggy areas, it remained just a couple degrees above freezing. In the sunny areas, it managed to pop into the 40s. Along the coast, it was in the 50s and in the mid-elevation levels of the mountains, it was in the 60s and even some 70s, about 30 to 40 degrees above average for January.

So, if you went to the ocean or up to the mountains, you enjoyed a clear, sunny, mild day!

We have another two or three days of this before we get back to "normal" -- colder air aloft and periods of rain. Then the forecast's cloudier. After Thursday, do we go back to high pressure and yucky conditions, or do we get colder with snow in the mountains and chilly precipitation here in the lowlands? I'll pass on that until we know whether the ridge of high pressure will build back up.

Friday's east winds gave us plenty of sunshine; after sunset, they helped the cooling. Vancouver fell to 22 degrees and recovered only to 34 degrees Saturday where fog persisted.

We are three-quarters of the way through the month, and the average mean temperature in Vancouver is only 35 degrees -- nearly six degrees below average. Precipitation is 1 inch, 2.50 inches below average. Statistics like these could make one think we'd had a very cold snap, possibly with arctic air and a few bouts of snow. Actually, we did have a few days of snow or a snow tease, but no arctic air -- just plenty of clear, dry nights and of course the inversion which kept the daytime highs way below normal. This could end up being our coldest January in 20 years or so.

See you on Tuesday with maybe some rain on the horizon. Yay!

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