Weather Eye: Spring on one side, winter on the other side of cold front

By Patrick Timm, Columbian weather columnist

Published:

 
photoPatrick Timm

There was quite a contrast of weather conditions Saturday afternoon across the Pacific Northwest. Forks, on the northern tip of the Washington coast, reported 50 degrees, gusty south winds and heavy rain. In just a few short hours it picked up 1.25 inches of rain. Ahead of the cold front Vancouver was 63 degrees and partly cloudy, and east of the mountains it was sunny with temperatures in the 65-to-70-degree range.

Rain will make its way down to our neck of the woods later today, and with that cold air following the front, lowers the snow level down to 2,000 feet or lower, so our eastern foothills will get a fresh coating. The bulk of the rain today will be with or just behind the cold front. We will see a dramatic drop in temperatures.

St. Patrick's Day will see showers and feel much different than last week. We will struggle to break 50 degrees. Possible frost early Tuesday morning if we get enough clearing. The entire week will run below average on the temperatures. Jackets and sweatshirts go back on.

We had a nice run of mild high temperatures with four days straight of 60 degrees or better. The warmest was 65 degrees on March 12. No worry about rain; we are still 1.5 inches above average.

Mountain peaks look nice and white, but there's barely any snow at the lower elevations. With today's cold front the lower elevations will get the heaviest one-time shot of snow this winter. Yes, it's still winter although the meteorological spring began March 1.

Happy St. Patrick's Day to you, and enjoy the green.