Weather Eye: Signs of fall mix with sun, warmth

By Patrick Timm, Columbian weather columnist

Published:

 
photoPatrick Timm

Rain showers were scattered around the great Northwest on Labor Day, mainly at the coast and northward. Thunderstorms were moving up and over the Cascades late in the day. A risk of one in the western valleys was present.

The pesky upper-level low was still spinning off the coast late Monday and will impact our weather the rest of our week. A chance of showers or thunderstorm is in the works so expect a chance of something any day this week.

The upcoming weekend does look warm and dry extending into next week. So summer weather is in the forecast for a while. Still no complaints submitted to the weather office.

How was your holiday weekend? Weatherwise it was perfect for just about any outdoor activity; even the ocean beaches had a few sun breaks.

A fact from August as it lingers in our minds: The Portland International Airport recorded 22 days with overnight lows of 60 degrees or above, setting a record. The average is 11. Vancouver had 14 days, making it the third-warmest August in its history. The record: 16 days, in 2009. The average nights of 60 degrees or above are eight. Hot August nights!

It seems all of a sudden I am seeing more signs of autumn. It is still dark at 5:30 in the morning. No more early-morning walks in the daylight. What about the onset of darkness in the evening? Eight o'clock and the streetlights are on and the crickets chirping.

Many of the trees are showing yellow foliage — mainly maples, which in reality have branches that turn yellow when stressed or dried out. A long, dry summer will do that. Vine maples are displaying brilliant red. Leaves on squash and pumpkins are coated with the usual late-season white, powdery residue. Yes, the landscape and gardens are changing.

Take any opportunity you can the next six weeks or so to soak up sunshine and enjoy being outdoors. I ate lunch along the Columbia yesterday, and although it was a bit breezy, it was satisfying.

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