Weather Eye: As we usher in October, that first frost can’t be too far behind




Patrick Timm

Ah, we say goodbye to September — what a great month it was weather-wise. A little bit of everything. Nice warmth for outdoor activities, some rain for the garden and rivers. Fresh snowfall on the mountain peaks to start the autumn season off with a snow blast of sorts. Variety is good.

We had several showers Saturday, and at 5 p.m. they totaled about two-tenths of an inch. For the month, we had 2.69 inches here in Vancouver, about one inch above average. We enjoyed six 90-degree days and had an average mean temperature of 66.5 degrees, 2.7 degrees above normal.

Wow, does that translate to a warm, wet month? Haven’t had that combination for a while. There was a good variation between the high and low temperature. It was 98 degrees Sept. 2, 46 degrees Sept. 24.

We will see more sunshine but still a risk of showers today into early Monday before we dry out for a few days. Models did the ol’ flip-flop and took rain out of the picture this week, placing sunny icons back in there. Whatever, we take it in stride this time of the year.

A cooler air mass will reside over us, and nighttime lows will be in the 40s in Vancouver and dipping into the 30s in outlying areas if skies stay clear and winds are light. I wouldn’t be surprised to have someone report frost on the pumpkin this week. Too early for that? Nope, not in the colder outlying regions of Clark County.

The average first frost, say from Hazel Dell north to Ridgefield and eastward, is Oct. 20 or so. In such places as Battle Ground, Amboy and Yacolt, it’s the first two weeks of October.

Will our upcoming winter be cold and wet or mild and dry? Prognostications go both ways.

We will discuss this here further as we venture down the leaf-covered road into autumn.

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