Weather Eye: Fall off to quick, chilly start; rain to return Friday

By Patrick Timm, Columbian weather columnist

Published:

 
photoPatrick Timm

Autumn is barely off and running and we are setting records — sort of — with early reports of snowfall. Crater Lake received 7.5 inches of snow Tuesday. That is the earliest 7-inch snowfall since 1986. Snow fell in the higher ski areas of the Cascades as well.

So much for our anticipated three-day dry spell. It was fairly dry Wednesday, with only a few scattered showers mainly over the higher terrain. Today will be dry but another fast-moving weather system rolls in later Friday for rain. We use that same four-letter word for the forecast on Saturday and Sunday. You get the picture.

The next incoming storm will have warmer air associated with it, so freezing levels go up. Whatever snow fell at Timberline and Paradise on Mount Rainier will melt away. Any snow that falls in the mountains in September is just a tease anyway.

One thing for sure is that it is definitely cooler. Even with the sun shining yesterday, walking out the door expecting a little warmth like usual, I was disappointed. A jacket kind of weather pattern. Enjoy the break today as we warm to between 65 and 70 degrees.

One note of interest is the outlook the National Weather Service in Seattle issued Wednesday afternoon. It expects heavy rain over the weekend in Western Washington. Four to eight inches of rain is possible over the north and central Cascades and the Olympics. Some rivers could reach flood stage. The Skokomish River in Mason County may be the first one to reach flood stage. This seems kind of early in the season for this.

Early snows, early rains, early floods, it just may set the stage for a stormy fall and winter. Mark your calendars for the 21st annual Winter Weather Forecast Conference at OMSI on Saturday, Oct. 26 as we find out more on the odds of a cold and stormy winter.

See you on Sunday!