The sunrise Tuesday morning was nothing less than spectacular. With east winds producing a clear horizon with no haze or fog the red illumination on the higher clouds was awesome. You could also see the fresh snow on the higher Cascade foothills and Mount Hood and Mount St. Helens.I would give it a five-star weather day but I know those east winds were chilly, so maybe deduct one star. Clouds increased Wednesday and the rains returned. Today we see showers and maybe a thunderstorm here and there and more heavy snow in the Cascades above 5,000 feet.As mentioned here Tuesday we may see a break in the rain on Saturday, but latest guidance keeps rain, showers or chance of rain for every of the next 10 days. Gray and gloomy I’m afraid. The good news is the mountains will get moderate to heavy snow, especially next week. At that rate ski season begins Thanksgiving if not the weekend before.It is little ways out but looking at long-range computer forecast models, travel over the mountains Thanksgiving week could be dicey with snow over the mountain passes. Things could change but it appears winter driving conditions may begin early this year. Avoid the rush and get your snow tires mounted and chains in the trunk now.If you like to get your holiday lighting up during mild and dry weather instead of getting soaked in a cold rain I have no good window for that chore. Several readers told me they did it last week when it was dry and will turn lights on later. Between now and Thanksgiving we probably will have only brief spells of dryness. Be ready to dash out when skies briefly clear. We will explore that opportunity as the days wear on.Patrick Timm is a local weather specialist. His column appears Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. Reach him at patricktimm.com. Patrick Timm is a local weather specialist. His column appears Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. Reach him at http://patricktimm.com.