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Friday, March 1, 2024
March 1, 2024

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Weather Eye: More rain on tap; mountains expected to see snowfall

By , Columbian freelance columnist

We had a bit of a break in the weather action Monday, which was quite welcome after the rainy weekend. As of 4 p.m. Monday Vancouver had 2.17 inches in the rain bucket, well ahead of seasonal averages for the first few days of December. Rain was close by, however, with a heavy band of moisture only miles to our west and northwest.

It was stormy along the Washington Coast on Monday with heavy rain and winds over 50 mph. The atmospheric river plume was centered to our northwest on Monday but will be with us all day today and into Wednesday. More rain is on tap later in the week, but this time the air mass will be colder and turn the rain in the mountains to snow.

Expect high avalanche danger after heavy snow and then heavy rains atop that and now back to snow by Thursday. Actually, this week will not be great for any outdoor activities unless wading through mud puddles brings one joy. Might see some ducks.

That warm southerly wind Monday pushed our afternoon temperatures well into the 60s. At the 4 p.m. observation in Vancouver, the high was 64 degrees, which broke the record for Dec. 4, which was 63 degrees in 2007. It was the warmest temperature in December since another 64-degree high in 2014.

I went back through the record books since 1895 and we didn’t quite break or tie the record temperature, which was 65 degrees in 1955. Other maximum temperatures in Vancouver were 64 degrees in 1938 and 1980. Rare occurrences indeed.

Looking well ahead, it appears unsettled weather will prevail through mid-December. Freezing levels will go up and down as the jet stream continues to oscillate. I wouldn’t rule out another atmospheric event soon. November hit us hard with rain the first half of the month and then dried out. Will December play the same game? Predictions beyond midmonth are all over the place so I’ll wait to crawl out on that limb.

December average rainfall is 6.22 inches with the record month being in 2015 with 16.03 inches. Meanwhile take good care and be safe during this week’s onslaught of rain.

Columbian freelance columnist