Weather Eye: As autumn cools off, it's time to look ahead, plan for winter

By Patrick Timm, Columbian weather columnist

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In two weeks, weather geeks from around the Northwest will gather at OMSI for the annual winter weather forecasting conference hosted by the Oregon Chapter of the American Meteorological Society. The meeting, open to the public, will be at 10 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 17. Details are at http://ametsoc.org/chapters/oregon.

Forecasters who will deliver prognostications for the upcoming months include Clinton Rockey of the Portland office of the National Weather Service, Kyle Dittmer, George Taylor and Jim Little. Jesse Nicola from the Mount Hood Ski Resort will explain using weather data to design ski resort forecasts.

Good news for anxious skiers and snowboarders: Our mild wet weather will migrate to a cool showery pattern late in the week, with some good mountain snows down to low elevations including the foothills to our east. Perhaps the snow-sports season will get a Thanksgiving start this year.

The cooler air mass forecast to settle in later in the week will be coming from the interior of Canada and pushing mainly to our far east bringing widespread cold and snow to Idaho and the Rocky Mountain region. Cold air will circle out over the ocean and arrive as a maritime air mass with chilly damp conditions -- showers and highs in the 40s -- to make it feel like winter.

Rainfall reports are coming in for October and I will share them soon. One observer had over 20 inches!

The leaves are falling quickly in what I would call some of the most brilliant colors I have seen for a few years.

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