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Weather Eye: What a wake-up from nature’s alarm, thunderstorms

If you were one of those who had planned on sleeping in Saturday morning, you may have been woken up a bit early around 6 or 7 a.m. by nature’s great alarm, thunderstorms. A complex series of thunderstorms moved from California northward through Oregon and then Clark County and eventually up through Puget Sound.

There were brief intense downpours, a brilliant display of lightning and even some hail thrown in for good measure. Vancouver officially recorded 0.16 inch from the storms. More rain began around 3 in the afternoon and was expected in the evening hours as more moisture moved northward.

East of the mountains, severe thunderstorm warnings were up for both Oregon and Washington. Sunriver had golf-ball-size hail and the “darkest, meanest-looking clouds one had ever seen,” said one observer over there.

A former local weather observer from Camas, Dan Hein, reported 72 mph winds and blowing dust at his farm near Ritzville in Eastern Washington. As of 4 p.m. Saturday, Vancouver had 2.44 inches in the rain gauge for the month, just about average for May.

With those couple of warm days late last week, we managed to climb to 91 degrees at 5:47 p.m. on Thursday, which was the first 90-degree high this year and the first since Aug. 28, when it was a toasty hot 97 degrees. Thursday’s 91 degrees was not a record, however; the record is 99 degrees in 1983. Our average high is 70 degrees.

Any lingering showers left over will be gone by this morning locally, and skies will clear somewhat for a nice afternoon. Partly sunny skies are in the forecast through Thursday with highs in the comfortable 70s. The next chance of showers is toward the end of the week and the weekend. Not too bad, I’d say.

The first day of meteorological summer begins Monday. We’ll see what the month has to present to us. Earlier, June was expected to be warmer than average, but newer models suggest cooler weather on the way. Regardless, we’ll venture down the road into June with good spirits.

Take good care.

Patrick Timm is a local weather specialist. His column appears Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays.


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