Weather Eye: Rain will remain scarce, with mid-80s temps in the forecast

By Patrick Timm, Columbian weather columnist

Published:

 
photoPatrick Timm

Thanks to the morning clouds, we enjoyed a pleasant Wednesday with highs mostly in the 70s, a relief from the 92-degree day Tuesday. Now, it's back to more warm and dry weather, with highs the rest of the week in the mid 80s and still no rain in sight.

Many areas of the county had a few sprinkles Tuesday. I had about a 30 second downpour of quarter-size drops Tuesday evening but nothing measurable. I would have welcomed about a 30 minute downpour but no luck.

Although we escaped thunderstorms Tuesday, there were some to our south and a nice one off the coast of Newport. In Western Washington, there were nearly 130 cloud-to-ground lightning strikes Tuesday night into early Wednesday morning.

These nocturnal thunderstorms had high bases and most precipitation evaporated before reaching the ground. No measurable rainfall was recorded at Sea-Tac, so their dry streak continues intact.

The morning clouds Wednesday burned off by noon, keeping our highs below 80 degrees. In the Puget Sound region, however, it was still overcast at 5 p.m. Wednesday. Temperatures were struggling to get out of the 60s. The cooler air was much stronger than forecast, to say the least.

Looking back, July 2007 was very cloudy and wet the last two weeks of the month. Many rainfall records were set around Western Washington. There were even some flood watches and warnings.

Here is a clip from one of my columns: "The National Weather Service in Seattle issued a flood watch for Mason and Skagit counties. Can you imagine that in July? Forecasters' were expecting between two and four inches of rain in the North Cascades and the Olympics. Two rivers of concern were the Skokomish in Mason County and the Skagit River in Skagit County. I can't remember the last time I saw a general flood watch like this in summertime, other than local flood warnings for flash floods due to thundershowers east of the mountains."

Seems like the weather is always full of surprises. Enjoy our dry weather the rest of the month.

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