Weather Eye: Don't rule out some sprinkles, light showers the next few days

By Patrick Timm, Columbian weather columnist

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photoPatrick Timm

The weather downturn mentioned here the other day began late Saturday as clouds approached Southwest Washington. Rain had been falling much of the day along the Washington Coast from Grays Harbor northward.

Most of the measurable rainfall will be north of Clark County, although we can't rule out some sprinkles or light showers today through Wednesday. A couple areas of low pressure sliding down the B.C. coast will bring much cooler weather and clouds.

Good news for the areas hit by wildfires? Higher humidity helps, but strong northwest then southwest winds upward of 40 mph will be on tap the next few days to fan the flames.

If we get enough of a cold pool of air Tuesday and Wednesday we could see an outbreak of thunderstorms and lightning. Not good at all. The main effect here locally is highs in the 70s through Thursday and back into the 80s Friday and into next weekend.

The farther south you go into Oregon, skies will remain summer-like and temperatures much warmer. Our average high this time of the year is 82 degrees, which won't return until late in the week if forecast models are right. Not that we couldn't use some rain — since the start of the water year on Oct. 1 we are running about 10 inches below average.

Winds along the east slopes of the Cascades on Saturday afternoon were gusting between 25 and 40 mph, with temperatures well into the 90s.

This is turning out to be a devastating summer of wildfires in Washington and Oregon, and we have a long way to go before things turn around. August and September can be really hot and dry.

A nice summer locally, with 16 of July's first 19 days at 80 degrees or higher.

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