Weather Eye: Conditions should be mild, dry for visit from Easter Bunny

By Patrick Timm, Columbian weather columnist

Published:

 
photoPatrick Timm

What a wonderful afternoon yesterday, wasn't it? Sunshine, warm temperatures in the low to mid-60s -- I had 66 degrees at my home in the Salmon Creek area at 4 p.m. Doesn't get much better than that in the merry month of March. Or does it? How about 70 degrees or better this weekend? That will do it!

We had plenty of towering cumulus scattered around the horizon Wednesday afternoon with some cells trying to get a little thunder and hail started, but not a big deal. Showers were occurring at 4 p.m. along the Washington Coast and in Puget Sound. Vancouver escaped any rainfall through the afternoon.

Did you notice outside the beautiful abundance of flowering trees and spring bulbs along with camellias and other varieties? Quite often we get some really blustery weather towards the end of March scattering those tree blossoms prematurely. Not so this year.

Easter weekend still is looking good, mild and dry, and even though more clouds are forecast for early next week the weather still remains on the dry side. April Fool's Day is on Monday but I don't think our weather will play any mean tricks on us at this point.

We usually see our first 70-degree day right around March 30. If so we would be right on, how about that?

I had an inquiry from last week's column about the arrival of spring and days of equal night and day. The vernal equinox occurred March 20 at 4:02 a.m. Equinox means "equal night." However, depending on the latitude and longitude of one's location the "equal" day may not occur exactly on the first day of spring.

The "equal" part took place a few days before Wednesday on the winter side of things, making the actual equinox about seven minutes longer with daylight. The atmosphere refracts light so the sun's rays curve over the horizon allowing the official sunrise and sunset times to be slightly off. It's a complicated equation. I get asked about it every year.

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