Weather Eye: Start of October rivals August for heat, lack of rain

By Patrick Timm, Columbian weather columnist

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photoPatrick Timm

The first day of October felt more like the first day of August, with sunshine and area high temperatures in the 80s. And did you notice those brisk northerly winds in the late afternoon? Wind gusts between 20 and 30 mph were reported throughout Clark County.

Some interesting weather changes have popped up in the forecast today, but hey, don't get too excited; no rain is in the works just yet. A cold front dropping through Canada today will push east but drop some very cold air to the northeast portion of the state. The cool, dry air will send overnight lows tonight in Clark County well into the 30s, with frost possible in many areas. The average first frost in much of the urban area is Oct. 17, but it might arrive early this year, so cover any sensitive plants just in case.

As cold air drops from Canada, snow will begin to fall over and east of the Rocky Mountains, mainly in the higher elevations, but the first taste of winterlike weather will be in the offing. It will remain dry over the Pacific Northwest, so expect no snow in our pretty barren-looking mountains.

Locally, expect dry, mild days, with high temperatures in the upper 60s to low 70s all week. The earliest chance of rain is might be midmonth, but whether that is the start of the rainy season, no one knows. I'm thinking it will be cool and dry for the next couple of months.

I don't have to tell you how dry it was in September; it was the driest in nearly 20 years. Other cities around Washington were drier than usual, as well. Bellingham had its driest September on record with no rain. Olympia tied its record with no rain. Seattle had its third driest month, and normally wet Quillayute reported its seventh driest with only .57 of an inch.

Enjoy your week and the frost on the old pumpkin!

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