Thursday, June 17, 2021
June 17, 2021

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Weather Eye: Weather pattern creating tall, puffy white clouds

The Columbian

Our weather pattern resembles a roulette wheel. Round and round it goes, where it stops no one knows. A large circulation of cold air is swirling around in the Gulf of Alaska and rotates impulses to the Northwest coast. The cold unstable air combined with the warm daytime heating develop those towering puffy white clouds you see around us.

One of these could develop into a thunderstorm. And if one passes overhead it can cause a brief intense rain shower. So far, the official rain gauge in Vancouver has only measured .04 of an inch of rain this month. Others, especially in our foothills have received a half inch of rain or better.

This pattern will remain through the weekend and into early next week. A more organized band of clouds can be seen developing off our coast and a steady rain event is forecast for later tonight and early Friday. If we are lucky, we get at least a quarter inch of rain here in the city with higher amounts in the foothills.

I don’t know how long this pattern will persist, but when it does change, I have a feeling we’ll get somewhat of a heat wave again. We managed to reach 70 degrees here in Vancouver on Wednesday, which is still a bit below average.

Vancouver’s high of 70 degrees Wednesday was the warmest I could find west of the Cascades here in Washington. It was certainly cool for this time of the year east of the Cascades with highs in the 60s and 70s. No 80s or 90s could be found.

And so it goes, with the weather cool one day and warm the next. We gather all the daily extremes and create the normal highs and lows averaged over 25- or 30-years that become the climate summary.

Perhaps skies will be clear and we will be in a fair weather pattern on the evening of June 24 when the full strawberry moon rises. We will officially be in summer according to the calendar. School will be over and summer activities really begin.