Saturday, December 4, 2021
Dec. 4, 2021

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Weather Eye: Welcome to the Pacific Northwest rainy season


The fall weather is off to a wet start, with 2.5 inches in the bucket here in Vancouver as of early Saturday afternoon. Plenty more will fall today and every day this week. It will feel stormy today, with gusty south winds 30 to 40 mph and scattered thunderstorms possible.

While it was raining in Clark County on Saturday, I enjoyed a pleasant walk under mostly sunny skies on the Long Beach Peninsula. Nearly an inch of rain fell there during the nighttime hours, which yielded a nice afternoon.

I certainly wouldn’t be walking on the beach today, as a strong storm pushes onshore with winds of 50 to 70 mph on the headlands and beaches. Severe thunderstorms, water spouts and even tornadoes are possible.

Tornadoes in coastal communities are not uncommon; we sometimes hear reports of weak funnel clouds touching down, much like the outbreak that occurred on the Oregon Coast in October 2016.

Rainfall locally will total about 2 or 3 inches from today through Friday and 3 to 6 inches in our foothills. The creeks will be rising, and Salmon Creek may get a little muddy. We’ll have some sun at times, but it will be short-lived for the most part. Welcome to the Pacific Northwest rainy season.

Despite the recent rainfall, including that heavy rain last Thursday, we were still running below average so far in October. Saturday’s rain brought that up to normal quickly and pushed us above average for the month. With good rains heading our way, we should remain above average as October winds down.

What about snow in the mountains? Heavy snow will fall above the timberline in both Washington and Oregon and at times drop to 5,000 feet, building a little snowpack for the higher ski areas. Winter is lurking around the corner.

Halloween afternoon and evening, if I had to make a guess, will be mild, cloudy and damp if this unsettled weather pattern stays alive. On the flip side, if it doesn’t rain, skies are usually clear, and it gets quite chilly after dark.

Enjoy your blustery Sunday.