Weather Eye: Bundle up; it's about to get pretty chilly around here

By Patrick Timm, Columbian weather columnist

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photoPatrick Timm

I hope you enjoyed Monday, because later tonight everything changes. A much cooler air mass is dropping south from the Gulf of Alaska to lower snow levels and chill the air even at lower elevations. I mentioned this last week, and everything is on track.

Forecast models are in good agreement with this, so perhaps we can start building up a lasting snowpack. We had an early start a week or two ago before the heavy rains melted all the snow. Snow levels should drop to the foothills by Friday, down to 2,000 feet. In heavier showers, even the coastal mountains will get a dusting on the high peaks.

Another major storm is forecast for the Northeast, adding to the problems back there. It will not be a hurricane by any means, but will be an extra-tropical storm that will bring winds between 40 and 60 mph, high seas and lots of rain. This new storm will not move through as fast as Hurricane Sandy did, so damage could be serious, with more flooding and power outages.

Back home, I thought this year’s fall foliage was extra-colorful, more than last year. Did you? A good share of the leaves fell to the ground over the weekend with the brisk winds. Several folks passed on to me that their maple trees had an abundance of seeds this year. Some old folklore indicates this is a sign of an early and harsh winter. Maybe?

It was very warm over the weekend, with highs in the 60- to 70-degree range. Certainly no complaints. There were more clouds and moisture than I thought, however. If the skies had cleared Sunday, we would have been well into the 70s. Even so, Salem, Ore., had a record high of 73 degrees, with more clearing.

Bundle up and prepare for cooler weather. If we get any clearing overnight this weekend, although not likely, it will freeze.


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