Those recent warm days in November with afternoon highs in the 60s are long gone. Autumn has left the stage and winter is in full performance from now on. Saturday was a chilly, drippy, gray day with afternoon temperatures hovering in the low to mid 40s. Our average high has now slipped to 48 degrees, so you better get used to it.
We do dry out beginning Monday and for the next week at least, with clear sunny skies and no rain or snow. Now, if you live in a lowland valley away from the east winds from the Gorge, you may see more fog than sun. However, I think most of Clark County will see lots of sunshine this week.
High pressure will take hold for some time, and the air mass aloft will be quite warm. The most pleasant places to be this week are along the ocean beaches and in the mountains. Highs will be in the 50s along the coast and 45 to 60 degrees in higher elevations. With this pattern, higher pressure will build east of the Cascades and cause strong winds down the Columbia River Gorge. They may reach 50 to 70 mph. They’ll be much less west of Interstate 205.
Low clouds will form east of the mountains in the Columbia Basin and a low-level, cold-air mass will develop, getting stronger each day. A typical winter-time inversion — warm in higher elevations and cool in the lowlands. The east wind will add to the chill, even though highs here should be between 45 and 50 degrees. The wind chill, however, will make it feel like 40.
The areas away from the river will chill at night, with lows getting well into the 20s for a good, hard freeze. So, until further notice this week, expect it to be sunny, cool and windy, with highs in the 40s and lows in the 20s and 30s. Vancouver officially had its first freezing temperature — 31 degrees — on Halloween. We’ll beat that.
Enjoy the dryness, watch out for static electricity indoors, and get out your sunglasses and lip balm.