Weather Eye: Hot weather returning, maybe with tricky low clouds, fog




Summer is back in full swing with clear skies and sunshine. It will continue all week, with hot weather sliding into the comfortable range as some marine air filters in.

Even the ocean beaches get a peek at the sun and blue skies as the deep marine layer is far offshore. That doesn’t rule out brief low clouds or fog in the mornings. The heat will rise east of the mountains, quickly drying things out where showers fell last week.

To add more fire risks, increased moisture from the southwest will creep up along the Cascades with scattered thunderstorms drifting east of the slopes. Potential dry lightning in many locations.

Speaking of those marine low clouds that cool us off, the weather has a fickle way of frustrating weather forecasters despite all of the high-tech tools available. At sunset we see the last visible satellite photo foretelling where those low clouds are along the coastline. That is the last look until daylight the next day.

Satellite photos available after dark are infrared and mainly show higher clouds, which have colder tops, and the low clouds and fog are not visible. That is when things get interesting. Forecasters rely on pressure patterns, computer models and surface observations to determine if the morning low clouds will make their appearance and how long they will linger.

Normally we don’t have to worry much about these clouds this time of the year except perhaps a day or two after an excessive heat wave. So don’t be too hard on your favorite weather forecaster if we miss a forecast now and then.

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