Autumn is here, and the gray skies will be settling in

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The last day of September managed to be quite pleasant, but as we enter the first week of October, things will be changing just a bit. Well, maybe more than that. We will see more clouds, rain and winds beginning later Sunday evening and lasting through midweek at least as a series of weather systems rolls in off the Pacific.

Looking at weather charts Saturday afternoon, it appears the storms will initially bring more rainfall to northern California than Clark County. But we will have a good share ourselves. And with each storm, the freezing levels will be lowering — snow should fall down to the Timberline area of Mt. Hood.

Maybe we’ll see a break later in the week, but longer-range forecasts hint of more rain and wind next week. So, yeah, autumn is here, folks.

September was the second-warmest at the Portland airport since 1994. And as I look at the rainfall reports coming in from your friends and neighbors around the county, I’d say it was on the dry side compared to most years. Yes, we enjoyed a very pleasant September, but after all we endured a wet and cool June and July.

Veteran weather observer Jim Knoll of Orchards, with 30 years of records, commented that September was his fourth-warmest. He began taking weather observations on Oct. 1, 1981, and recorded a high of 61 degrees and a low of 43 degrees on that date. Saturday’s temperatures in Vancouver were a little warmer than that, with a high of 64 and lows in the upper 50s due to cloud cover.

Knoll just had to comment on the woolly bear caterpillars: “As for this coming winter, I checked with the woolly bears and they all told me they were packing for Arizona. So I guess that means another cold, wet winter ahead.”

I stepped outside early Saturday morning and there was a flock of geese flying southward. Don’t know if they were locals from the Ridgefield wildlife refuge or passing through from farther north. Anyway, nature is preparing for a time of slumber and renewal.

Have a great week, everyone!

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