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News / Clark County News

Vancouver revels in 3 days of sun’s rays

Unusually warm, sunny March days to give way to cool, wet weather as start of spring draws near

By Dameon Pesanti, Columbian staff writer
Published: March 12, 2018, 7:42pm
2 Photos
Cousins Shanley Carlton of Michigan, left, and Shannon Carlton of Vancouver take in some sunshine on March 12, 2018, while enjoying lunch at Esther Short Park in downtown Vancouver.
Cousins Shanley Carlton of Michigan, left, and Shannon Carlton of Vancouver take in some sunshine on March 12, 2018, while enjoying lunch at Esther Short Park in downtown Vancouver. (Amanda Cowan/The Columbian files) Photo Gallery

Monday rounded out three days of unusually warm and sunny weather in Vancouver and much of the Pacific Northwest at large.

Temperatures in Vancouver reached 70 degrees at Pearson Airfield on Monday, five degrees shy of tying a record high for the day set in 1934. That’s unusually warm for this time of year. On average, the city has its first 70-degree day on March 30. While Vancouver’s high temperatures didn’t set a new record, the cities of Hoquiam, Quillayute, Bellingham and Seattle hit record highs March 12.

Hopefully everyone in Southwest Washington took advantage of three warm and sunny days, because late-winter conditions are going to stick around for a while.

Andy Bryant, a hydrologist with the National Weather Service Portland office, said a high-pressure system that settled over the Pacific Northwest bent a jet stream of moisture away from the region and brought three days of warm, dry air. That should change Tuesday as a low-pressure system moves back into the area, bringing precipitation and cooler temperatures for the rest of the week.

“There’s another subtropical jet bringing moisture to Southern California,” he said. “That trough of low pressure is pushing inland.”

The forecast for the next 10 days includes highs between 50 to 55 degrees with lows hovering in the high 30s to mid 40s through the middle of next week. Up to a quarter-inch of rain could fall today in Vancouver. The chance of rain on Wednesday and Thursday drops to 40 percent and 30 percent, respectively. There will be a chance of rain at least through Sunday.

Though temperatures were higher than normal over the last few days, swings between warm and cool days, sunshine and rain, are normal for this time of year, Bryant said. After all, the official start of spring is a week away.

“We normally would get some periods like this, some nicer weather as we’re getting close to the spring,” Bryant said. “You get a lot of variation this time of year. Anything we get is not likely to last for too long. We had our three nice days; we’ll take those and wait for the next stretch.”

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Columbian staff writer