145 PM PST FRI FEB 11 2011 ...A RETURN TO A MORE ACTIVE WEATHER PATTERN OVER SOUTHWEST WASHINGTON AND NORTHWEST OREGON STARTS THIS WEEKEND AND CONTINUES THROUGH MOST OF NEXT WEEK... AFTER A RELATIVELY BENIGN WEATHER PERIOD THAT HAS LULLED THE AREA IN TRANQUILITY...MOTHER NATURE WILL SHAKE THINGS UP AGAIN. THE FIRST IN A SERIES OF POTENT WEATHER SYSTEMS WILL PUSH INTO THE REGION THIS WEEKEND. THE MAIN COLD FRONT WILL BRING RAIN TO SOUTHWEST WASHINGTON AND NORTHWEST OREGON MAINLY LATE SATURDAY AND SATURDAY NIGHT. THE FRONT WILL STALL AND THEN LIFT BACK NORTH AS A WARM FRONT SUNDAY AND SUNDAY NIGHT FOR MORE RAIN. THIS WILL GIVE MORE PRECIPITATION TO THE AREA THAN HAS BEEN SEEN IN A COUPLE OF WEEKS...BUT NOT ENOUGH FOR ANY RIVER FLOODING. SNOW LEVELS WILL DIP A BIT SATURDAY NIGHT AND SUNDAY BUT STAY ABOVE THE PASS ELEVATIONS OF THE CASCADES...WITH SOME DECENT ACCUMULATION EXPECTED AT SKI RESORT LEVELS...BUT THEN RISE AGAIN BY SUNDAY NIGHT. ANOTHER POTENT FRONT WILL APPROACH MONDAY AND MOVE THROUGH SOUTHWEST WASHINGTON AND NORTHWEST OREGON MONDAY NIGHT. THIS WILL PRODUCE MORE VALLEY RAIN AND POSSIBLY SOME WIND ALONG THE COAST... WITH SNOW LEVELS LOWERING INTO THE COASTAL MOUNTAINS AND CASCADE FOOTHILLS TUESDAY. THE ASSOCIATED COOL UPPER LEVEL TROUGH WILL THEN BE OVER THE AREA THROUGH AT LEAST WEDNESDAY AND THURSDAY FOR MORE SHOWERS AND RATHER LOW SNOW LEVELS. THE SNOW LEVELS MAY POSSIBLY LOWER TO AROUND 1000 FEET OR SO. ACCUMULATIONS ARE NOT EXPECTED AT THE VALLEY FLOOR DUE TO THE LOW LEVEL WIND FLOW BEING ONSHORE. STAY TUNED FOR FURTHER UPDATES AND THE LATEST FORECASTS AS THE WEATHER TURNS MORE ACTIVE...AND AS THE TIMING AND INTENSITY OF THE EXPECTED SYSTEMS BECOMES MORE CERTAIN. THOSE WITH TRAVEL PLANS OVER THE CASCADES NEXT WEEK SHOULD BE PREPARED FOR WINTRY DRIVING CONDITIONS.
The benign weather and the lulling us into tranquility (it totally did) and Mother Nature shaking things and such--it was just good reading. The compost has been emptied, recycling taken out. Still have to put away the outside toys and I'd like to sweep. Batten the hatches, boys! There's a storm a-comin'! I keep looking for it to peek over the Peak and creep it's way into our backyard. Nothing so far. Rest assured I'm going to huck a shoe at a weatherman if the wind is whipping tomorrow.
It was a cool 60 degrees today (versus a warm 60) and I'm finding I feel irritated I don't know more about foul weather gardening. Can I plant something? Do I need a cold frame? When can I do something about the white flies I know are on the way? How early is to early for strawberries? Let me grow some peas. Spinach? Come on. Peppermint? Pleeeease.
Additional qualification for the Volunteer Personal Assistant position: Must be a walking encyclopedia of gardening knowledge and folklore (very important). Master Gardener certification preferable.
In the meantime, while the rest of the nation has been washed away and/or buried in snow, we've had a mild, barely needed my gloves type of season. The past week has been the same week we have every February--the one that tricks us into thinking spring is here before it dumps buckets for the next three months. It's different this year. It's earlier. And it's making me realize just how much gardening brings you back to the very simple things in life. Is it going to rain? Can we dig in the dirt? Just let me plant something! I want to see things grow!
For the first time in my adult life, I'm actually looking forward to summer.
I'd appreciate a good storm first, though.
I'm not done baking.
And I'm kind of in love with my sweatpants.