Say goodbye to summer as fall weather blows in

This weekend will roll out a1-2 punch, a double dose of rain, wind

By Eric Florip, Columbian transportation & environment reporter

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A double dose of blustery weather will bring significant rain and wind to Clark County this weekend, just in time for the autumnal equinox on Sunday.

Fall, it seems, is punctual this year.

The first surge arrives late today and could douse the Vancouver area with about a quarter-inch of rain, said Gerald Macke, a meteorological technician with the National Weather Service in Portland. After a more showery day Saturday, a stronger push of moisture will blow through Sunday into Monday. That front could bring a half-inch of precipitation to inland areas including Vancouver, Macke said, and an inch or more on the coast.

The forecast appears to be a seasonal shift, Macke said. In other words, days like Thursday -- sunny and warm -- are soon to become the exception, not the rule.

"We're in the wet trend here," Macke said.

Vancouver has already reached its typical rainfall for the entire month of September. That's in large part due to a slow-moving soaker of a storm that rolled through the area two weeks ago. The turn in the weather will add

to that and drop high temperatures by 15 degrees or more in the next few days, according to the weather service.

The dramatic shift means high temperatures could struggle to crack 60 degrees in places this weekend and early next week, said Steve Pierce, president of the Oregon chapter of the American Meteorological Society.

"It will certainly feel like fall this weekend when compared to the warm weather we have experienced as of late," Pierce said in an email.

The trend will continue well into next week, according to the weather service. It should be showers for at least the next several days, with mostly cloudy conditions. That should raise overnight low temperatures a bit but keep daytime highs below average, Macke said.

Eric Florip: 360-735-4541; http://twitter.com/col_enviroeric.florip@columbian.com