Weather Eye: Enjoy another sunny, windy day before rain returns

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photoPatrick Timm

The first "rainstorm" of the new year did little to add much-needed rain in the ol' bucket. Only a few hundredths of an inch were noted around the area. Is that the best we can do? So far, I guess. We'll get another chance this week, but more on that later.

Skies cleared rapidly early Friday morning, causing black ice on many roadways. Saturday morning had black ice and frost. The weekend promised to be clear and sunny -- no pesky, dreary fog in our neck of the woods, thanks to easterly winds from the gorge. Great weather everywhere, even at the coast, although daytime highs would be in the 40s.

OK, what about that other chance for more precipitation? It appears this week will see a few more weak systems make it through the high pressure, but in a split flow, which will shear them apart. We should get some rainfall, and maybe with a little luck, 8 to 10 inches of snow in the higher Cascades above 4,000 or 5,000 feet. Not much, but better than nothing.

Long-range charts for mid-January all agree high pressure rebuilds and we go back into a dry period for a while. Maybe inversions and, yes, foggy conditions. Yuck. Enjoy the break while you can. We can only hope February and March bring copious amounts of rain and mountain snows.

Who would have thought our winter would be so dry? None of the winter predictions went that way -- cooler than average, yes, but not dry as a pretzel.

Last month's rainfall reports are rolling in, and I will share these with you later this week. Bob Starr, who reports the weather from Cougar, reported the calendar year 2013 had 101.38 inches of rainfall, the driest year in his 13 years of observations. His previous low was in 2009 at 102.21 inches. In an average year he expects to measure 126.78 inches. That is more than three times what would be expected in downtown Vancouver in a year.

Bottom line: Enjoy another sunny and windy day before clouds return and raindrops tease the rooftops.

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