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Weather Eye: Watch out for freezing fog, frost, icy spots

Happy Groundhog Day! Punxsutawney Phil made his annual appearance earlier today at Gobbler’s Knob, in Punxsutawney, Pa. And, as I wrote my column late Saturday afternoon, clouds and snow were in the forecast there today. That may mean another prediction of an early spring much like last year.

Regardless, we all know we have at least six more weeks of winter according to the calendar. Actually, a bit longer. For us weather folks, of course spring begins March 1. I can hardly wait, especially observing the daffodils already blooming here and there and the rhododendrons, too. Let’s not forget the heather, daphne and camellias. Thank our mild autumn and winter weather for the early color.

As I mention clouds and snow back east, we will have clouds and snow around us today and tonight. Snow levels drop to 500 feet at times, but sticking snow should remain above 1,000 feet. A brief taste of winter. By Tuesday we are back with highs of 50 degrees or better and of course more rain. I know, I know, enough is enough. It is possible if a heavy shower drifts over your house, you could observe wet snow, hail or graupel. Nothing lasting.

Vancouver’s rainfall for January was 7.35 inches, not bad at all — after all, it’s been a while. That rain was 1.85 inches above average. There were two dry days, Jan. 20 and 31. I thought we’d end up with only one day, but the rain stayed to our north until after midnight Friday as we moved into February.

January’s local rainfall reports are coming in, and we have some impressive numbers. For instance, Rob Star in Cougar measured more than five times what was recorded in Vancouver. How’s 38.64 inches sound to you? Glad it was there, right? Even his long-term average of 21.25 inches for January is impressive.

When skies clear either today or Monday night, we could see some freezing fog or frost and icy spots, so keep an eye on that. Also take a gander out the window once in the while and let’s see if we see any of that frozen stuff falling from the sky.


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