Weather Eye: Brief snowfall a hint of what's to come after approaching deep freeze

By Patrick Timm, Columbian weather columnist

Published:

 
photoPatrick Timm

Scattered snow flurries blew through Clark County skies Monday, dusting the ground in some areas, such as Battle Ground and the foothills to our east.

That was just a teaser of what is heading our way. Colder and drier air was just to our north around Kelso on Monday afternoon, with dew points in the teens and 20s. It will have arrived by the time you read this.

The next shot of really cold air comes Wednesday with strong east winds. After that we won't see above-freezing temperatures until Sunday, and that is up in the air right now.

The east wind always hangs on longer than forecast models indicate, so if the cold air is deep enough, we could still have snow and ice on the ground Monday morning. Stay tuned. At least the Columbia River Gorge — and some of Clark County — will be dicey probably into Monday.

With the bitter cold in place all week and a mild Pacific system moving inland Saturday, it sets up far more than just snow flurries for us. Depending on how much moisture moves in, we could see 6 inches or more of snow, then a transition to sleet and freezing rain Sunday, so be prepared for a nasty weekend. Sunday we had the Super Bowl, but this weekend, we will have the snow bowl.

Looking ahead at the remainder of the month, it appears that after some rain and mountain snow next week, we could dry out the second half of the month, with maybe a warm, sunny break like we sometimes get in February. Did I hear 60 or 70 degrees?

I don't think we will break too many low-temperature records this week, but some daytime highs may fall around the region.

I remember the cold snap in February 1989 that was a doozy.

Despite the arctic air intrusion this week things can change so quickly here that in a couple of weeks maybe the rose bushes will be trimmed and some peas planted in the ground. I always used Washington's birthday (Feb. 22) for that accomplished feat when I did gardening.

Bundle up, stay warm, and we will polish that weekend forecast Thursday.

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