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Sunday, February 25, 2024
Feb. 25, 2024

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Weather Eye: Vancouver notches its warmest December day ever

By , Columbian freelance columnist

You’ll remember from Tuesday’s column I mentioned that as of 4 p.m. Monday we reached a record high of 64 degrees and 1 degree short of the all-time December record high of 65 degrees set in December 1955. Believe it or not, only a short time before midnight Monday Vancouver reached 66 degrees. The warmest ever in December going back to reliable records beginning in 1896.

And speaking of records, many locations in Washington set new record high temperatures thanks to the pineapple express. The focus in the record department besides the mild weather is the incredible rainfall amounts. As of noon Wednesday, here in Vancouver we have received over 5 inches of rain, and it was still raining. That is more rain than we had in the entire month of November this year!

The average rainfall for December in Vancouver is 6.01 inches. We will easily surpass that by the weekend if forecast models are correct. The heavier rain will be over as the air mass cools and the supply of pineapples is exhausted. Snow will return to the mountains and all the passes will have snow falling in the next few days. That is good news.

Want a contrast in rainfall for December? In 2011, Vancouver only received 2.68 inches of rain. The first two weeks of that month we only had about a tenth of an inch of rain falling. Unusually dry. That 2.68 inches for the entire month was less than what we recently received in a 24-hour period from Tuesday into Wednesday alone.

The good news is that colder air aloft arrives today turning rain into snow in the mountains. You’ll feel the “chill” in the air today as well. Mid-40s compared to mid-60s. We dry out somewhat on Friday then another batch of rain falls again. The heaviest is forecast south of the Columbia River but it’ll be close.

The next dry spell, so to speak, is Monday and Tuesday, and I believe we will get some easterly winds by Tuesday adding to the chilly mid-40-degree weather. As another storm moves closer midweek snow levels could be dangerously low, especially in the Gorge once again.

Columbian freelance columnist