Weather Eye: With a few days left, January's still chilly, damp, dark

By Patrick Timm, Columbian weather columnist

Published:

 
photoPatrick Timm

Monday was a typical January day — dark, gray and wet. What else would you expect?

In the mountains, several feet of snow will have fallen from late last week to later this week, though freezing levels will gradually rise a bit on Wednesday and Thursday.

Looking at Web cams in the Cascades on Monday afternoon, I couldn't even see the highways; it was a white-out. I am glad I don't have to travel over the mountains in the next couple of days. If you do, proceed with great caution. The heavy snow will more than make up for the warm and dry spell up there mid-month.

Down here in the lowlands, we're seeing some chilly rain; this month's precipitation will probably still end up a bit below normal, but we will see how much moisture the clouds can squeeze out. One reader wrote me and said, at least you don't have to shovel it! Yes, indeed.

Even though we have the entire month of February ahead, I am looking forward to that first 60-degree day. The last one we had was Nov. 30. Of course, it is rare to get a 60-degree day in the winter, especially in December or January, but it has happened here locally.

My friend and weather observer Roland Derksen of Vancouver, B.C., informs me that according to records at the airport there, they have never recorded a 60-degree reading in December. Makes me wonder how those palm trees grow in Victoria.

Last year on this date, it was a mild and rainy day with a high of 51 degrees and 0.39 of an inch of rain.

I know it hasn't rained that much this month, but the ground is sure soggy!

Keep warm and dry; we'll chat on the last day of the month. Groundhog's Day is almost here!

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