Weather Eye: Rainy days will herald summer-to-fall transition

By Patrick Timm, Columbian weather columnist

Published:

 
photoPatrick Timm

I was looking at the seven-day forecast from the National Weather Service on Wednesday afternoon. Beginning Friday it goes like this: Rain, showers (maybe thunderstorms), showers likely, rain likely, showers likely and a chance of showers, repeated four times.

Kind of sounds like a change in the seasons perhaps? Yes it is. The calendar signals the arrival of autumn Sunday. The weather will cooperate as well with clouds, cooler temperatures and rain. Snow will fall above the timberline in the Cascades on Saturday and beyond.

Speaking of snow, Fairbanks, Alaska had its first dusting of the season yesterday. It won't be long before folks look at the start of the snow season. With Thanksgiving arriving late this year on Nov. 28, there probably is a good chance the ski season will begin by Thanksgiving.

While we are on the subject of snow and cold weather, I read an interesting article in an online scientific journal about the Arctic ice pack. It says that about a million more square miles of ocean were covered in ice this year than just last year. In August of this year the Arctic sea ice averaged 2.35 million square miles. In September 2012 it had reached a low point of 1.32 million square miles, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center.

Looking at satellite pictures one can clearly see an increase. One brave scientist mentioned that perhaps "global cooling" was here. Oh boy, another topic of discussion!

Moving right along, the National Climate Center has forecast that the rest of the month will be cooler and wetter than average. Beyond that October and November may have equal chances of being above or below average in both precipitation and temperatures. As always we stay tuned.

Skies should be clear enough to see the full harvest moon tonight. It rises at 7:11 p.m. Get any crops in before the rains fall!