Weather Eye: Milder Pacific air moving in, with highs in the 50s

By Patrick Timm, Columbian weather columnist

Published:

 
photoPatrick Timm

Local weather observer Murphy Dennis shared this weather tidbit from California: "A friend in Lompoc near Vandenberg AFB said he received over 4 inches rain Friday and nearly as much since midnight last night on Saturday afternoon. Says his grass has grown 3 inches since Wednesday. They need it." Yes, they do need it. Too bad it just came all at once, as there were many landslides and mud flows, and much of it just ran off into the ocean. They need much more to erase a three-year drought.

No drought here to speak of. Well, I guess we are still behind on our rain and snow but getting closer to normal. March tried to roar in like a lion Saturday, but we only felt its cold breath. A glancing blow of arctic air trickling down the Gorge is the most he could muster.

There were some reports along the Columbia of mixed rain and snow, but precipitation was light, only a few hundredths of an inch by late Saturday afternoon. Our high temperature occurred early in the morning and fell steadily all day except in areas to our north. At 4 p.m. it was in the low to mid-30s in Vancouver and low to mid-40s in Battle Ground. Chehalis was at 50 degrees and Kelso in the mid-40s.

As we saw last weekend, areas around Puget Sound were getting snow ‚ at 4 p.m. Saturday, Everett was at 33 degrees with light snow. Snow was falling at Bellingham. Old saying: If it snows in Seattle we get no snow, and vice versa.

The plan was for temperatures to drop a few more degrees close to freezing overnight, but any icy weather would remain east of Troutdale and Washougal. Although it wouldn't take much to cool Vancouver down enough for sleet or snow, odds were against that.

Today, milder Pacific air moves in with several inches of rain between now and the end of the week. Highs back in the 50s, windy at the coast and snow in the higher mountains.

I'm gathering precipitation reports for last month from your friends and neighbors. We will review those in an upcoming column. Chat with you on Tuesday.

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