Weather Eye: Later sunsets coming as spring approaches

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Patrick Timm

Some filtered sunshine brought a refreshing sigh to many as we enjoyed a rainless Saturday with calm winds. Along the coast, it was similar — a walk on the beach with hardly a breath of wind. Unusual but nice, especially after the strong gales of Friday evening.

Today we see a similar day, with maybe more sunshine later in the day. East winds begin to blow through the Gorge in earnest today, reaching most of the county by Monday, which may be the warmest day of the week. Earlier, it appeared we would enjoy a whole week of dry weather, but nature pulls a twist.

Monday and Tuesday will have great weather with gusty east winds along the Columbia and highs locally 60 or better. Later in the week, clouds increase and the chances of rain do as well.

Twenty years ago, we had severe flooding, remembered as the Flood of 1996. Several days of ice and snow in late January and early February were followed by a strong Pineapple Express Feb. 4-8 with melting snow and ice causing the rivers to overflow in Washington and Oregon. The Cowlitz River had its highest floodwater height on record that first week of February 1996. I remember walking along the Salmon Creek Trail and water was over the pathway.

This week, the sun will begin setting after 5:30 p.m. by midweek; can spring be far away? Garden shops are stocking shelves in anticipation of a rush of early gardeners. Although wet and cool weather returns next weekend in time for Valentine’s Day and Presidents Day, I could say you could put a fork in winter. At this time, I don’t see any snow and cold here in the lowlands, just in the mountains.

Daylight saving time begins Sunday, March 16. It seems far way, but it will be here before you know it. The change of seasons occurs March 1 for us weather and climate folks, so winter is waning quickly. Still time to get more snow in the mountains, so we hope for low snow levels for a while. Monday and Tuesday, however, could see temperatures on the lower slopes of the Cascades well into the 60s, with maybe a 70 somewhere.

Enjoy your day and we will chat on Tuesday.

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