Weather Eye: Major change in weather on way, so get out warm coat

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A few widely scattered showers sneaked into my Halloween Eve dry forecast but for the most part Monday was dry and cool. About 3 p.m. a nice squall rolled through the west side of Vancouver with gusty winds and rain producing puddles. Jackie Beyea in the Felida area remarked, “Twas just a tempest in a teapot.”

The weather of course seems to always play a few tricks with us. The treat is that Tuesday and most of Wednesday should be pleasant but still on the cool side before we see a major pattern change as discussed here last week.

Several storms are forecast to move out of the Gulf of Alaska and each one will be powering freezing levels to the point our foothills to the east could see some wet snow down to very low elevations by the weekend.

In the Cascades snow will fall at and below mountain passes with at least a couple of feet of new snow at Timberline. It will be just a chilly rain here in the lowlands and afternoon highs late in the week could only be in the mid-40s. Bundle up!

So that is the main weather headline: an early shot of winter is arriving in the Pacific Northwest.

La Niña is back

At the winter weather forecast conference Saturday at OMSI, the five presenters all agreed that La Niña is back and will be with us for the winter season. This event usually brings us cooler and wetter weather, which all forecasters agreed.

“A slow start but making up for lost time.” This was the quote from George Taylor, former Oregon state climatologist. He believes the winter will begin rather benign but make up for lost time in the December and beyond time frame. He also adds that we will enjoy above-average mountain snow as last year, maybe some flooding and a good chance of valley snowfall this winter, especially in January. He predicts cooler than average temperatures and slightly below average precipitation.

I will share more of the winter forecasts in Thursday’s column so stay tuned. Meanwhile, prepare for cold and damp weather heading our way.

Patrick Timm is a local weather specialist. His column appears Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. Reach him at http://weathersystems.com.