Wet St. Patrick's Day could be a rainbow-chasing kind of day

By Patrick Timm, Columbian weather columnist

Published:

 

Oh, I'd be so lucky to write my column for St. Patrick's Day, and a good one for you comes with my wishes!

Today won't be one of those leprechauns-dancing-in-the-clover-fields-under-clear-sunny-skies days, but if there are any showers around after Saturday's cold front, there could be a rainbow. Maybe if you run fast enough to catch the end of the rainbow -- well, you know the rest of the story.

March is such a fickle month. Last year on St. Paddy's Day we had rain showers, hail, thunder and, yes, even some snow in the foothills around the county. Weather observer Phil Delany reported almost an inch of snow above Dole Valley.

This year, 5 to 10 inches of snow was expected last night over the Cascades, as snow levels dropped way below the mountain passes. One moment the cold wind blows and it is winter, another the warm wind blows and it is spring.

Regardless, the calendar tells us spring (vernal equinox) arrives at 4:02 a.m. Wednesday.

Our weather will behave like March, with on-again and off-again showers and clearing periods, with still some snow forecast for the mountains this week. We may be entering a rollercoaster of sorts, with swings from damp to dry over the remainder of the month.

I am still thinking we will end up drier than average for this month. As of 5 p.m. Saturday, Vancouver had recorded only 0.54 of an inch of rain, about 1.34 inches below average. Temperature-wise, we are pretty close to where we should be.

The cold front that rolled through Saturday afternoon with just a short burst of rain dropped temperatures down into the low 40s. A taste of winter? Well, it still is winter!

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