Weather Service plans winter tips in spite of October’s mild start



The weather pattern is fairly quiet and will continue that way for the first half of the week. If we get some east winds Monday and Tuesday we could see 70 degrees once again.

After midweek, computer forecast charts show an open door for weather systems, so it may be back to some clouds and rain. There are still no really big storms heading our way at this point.

The first half of October has been on the mellow side of things compared to what it can offer. Rainfall for Vancouver for the first two weeks was 1.65 inches, 0.41 of an inch above average. Despite the cool feel of things, the average mean temperature was 57.8 degrees, 1.5 degrees above average.

This week, the National Weather Service is sponsoring its Winter Weather Awareness Campaign publicizing the importance of winter weather hazards and the need to understand the various watches, advisories and warnings.

Sunday will be an introduction to winter weather and awareness; Monday, winter weather safety; Tuesday, outlooks, watches, warnings and advisories; Wednesday, snow storms, blizzards, ice storms and wind chill; Thursday, floods; Friday, wind storms; Saturday, summary of winter weather and awareness.

All this can be found online at:

And I am sure it won’t be long before some active weather heads our way and we get plastered with watches, warnings and advisories around the state. With signs of La Niña in place, it is guaranteed there will be some good storms off the coast.

More reports of woolly bear caterpillars are coming in and I had an opportunity see a few myself. It looks like the average number of orange segments on these furry critters is about four.

That would tell me that the winter will be just an average one, with maybe a few cold outbreaks. I didn’t see very many with only two or three — those would indicate much colder weather than average. But then again, the method isn’t scientific . At the end of the month, we will see what local experts have to say.

Enjoy your week, everyone!

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