Sunday, October 1, 2017

The Autumn Wind is Coming...

Sounds like an old NFL Films intro for the Oakland Raiders. However this is a a weather blog, not a sports column so that title is more fact than fiction. It is autumn and the cool winds are coming.

September is in the books and it was a tad warmer than my local 16 year average. We saw the average daily high at 75.29° about a degree warmer than normal and the average low came in at 53.22° nearly two above. The warmest day was the 2nd with 94.8° which was one of three days above ninety all in a row to lead off the month. The chilliest temp came on the night of the 24th with a chilly but not cold 43.3°

We had a very toasty overnight low of 67.3° on the morning of the 5th which was one of 5 nights in a row that failed to dip under 60 degrees. September 20th managed on 57.7 degrees for the high one of two days that could get to 60 degrees.

The water story was pretty much an average affair with the bucket picking up 2.23 inches against a typical September normal of 2.47 inches. 16 days saw mostly sunny skies and just 6 days had precipitation that exceeded 0.03 inches. We had a solid soaker on the 19th when 1.4 inches fell one of only two days with more than a 1/4 inch of rain.

Looking ahead to October it seems like cooler than average is on the horizon for the first part of the month. Autumn is here and with it rapid changes in temperature is assured. By the end of the month we will struggle to get to the mid-50s. Cool and crisp weather with gusty breezes await us as the trees turn bright and the holidays approach.

Soak it up my friends, soak it up.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Hot August Days.

That title sums up last month. I observed an average daily high more than 4° above my 16 year average. But we didn't have Hot August Nights as my overnight average was about 1° below my established "normal."

The month of August here in America's Vancouver can be summed up with the phrase, Hot and Dry. After a zero precipitation month in July we followed up with a near zero effort last month. I got some showery weather that came in late on August 12th and continued into the morning of the 13th leaving behind 0.13 inches in the bucket. That was all she had to give.

The month produced a pair of 100° plus days back to back on the 2nd and 3rd, that brought my total of triple digit temps for 2017 to three. That is well above my established average of 0.6 days per year over 100°. As for days over 90°, I stand at 11 with more expected this weekend. My long standing average for ninety plus degree days is 11 so we will be above average in that category this year as well.

The temperatures were for the most part typical for August. We had 27 sunny days and just two days with any precipitation and it was very light. Seven days crested the 90° mark including the aforementioned duo of triple digits. All 31 days of August yielded temps above 70° which is not at all unusual. 19 days busted out over 80°. The high mark was the 3rd when the mercury pushed up to 101.1° the second hottest day of the year. The warmest overnight low came on the morning of the 4th when it was a balmy 64° Their were 10 days with the mercury failing to drop under 60°. Our coolest afternoon high came on the 13th and 14th when both days measured an equal 71.2°. Only two other days failed to reach 75°. The chilliest overnight low was a crisp 48.2° on the 14th and that was one of two nights when the mercury dipped into the 40s. Overnight lows in the upper 40's in the summertime is not rare but it is a bit unusual. July also produced a pair of sub 50s.

The rainfall totals are minimal. A showery system rolled through on the evening of the 12th and dropped some light precipitation that continued overnight to produce two "days" with precipitation but really it was only a few hours and the total for the month was a well under average 0.13 inches of which 0.11 fell the morning of the 13th. My 'normal' rainfall in August is 1.24 inches.

The 21st was the day the sun went dark as a nearly total solar eclipse event happened here. We had 99.2% totality here in Vancouver. The photo to the left shows it when it was at around 90%. I wonder how much the eclipse effected the high temp that day? It did cool off significantly as the event peaked, and it briefly got dark enough to trigger street lights. That was one of our sub 75° days.

September will start out toasty warm to blazing hot if the NWS has their figures right. Originally there was a call for more triple digit heat but they have curtailed that back to a week of 90s including some upper 90s starting on Labor Day. So it seems we will keep padding that 90 plus count. Our 100° run may end if we fail to hit it this week. September is a strong transition month whereby we rapidly see the autumn cool arrive. Evenings will get crisp and cool and temperatures will start trending quickly into the lower 70s. Such is the case north of 45° of latitude. Seasons change rather abruptly.

Meanwhile the Western US is under a major fire crisis. Although late summer fire season is nearly always a problem in locales further south, here in the Northwest it is seemingly extra bad this year. It certainly didn't help that over the last FOUR months dating back to May 1st, I have recorded a total of just 2.83 inches of rain. That is ridiculously dry my friends. The 'normal' rainfall over that period is 8.01 inches! Going all the way back to June 16th I have recorded just 0.25 inches. WOW! that is California desert dry in the notoriously damp, Western Washington. It is not uncommon to have July go all dry, but to go 11 weeks with just a quarter inch is quite extraordinary. The smoky haze we all see is caused by raging fires all over the West and it may be the reason the NWS downgraded forecast temps from 100° plus to upper nineties this coming week.

Let's hope September is all wet shall we? I love me a nice sunny day, but we've used our allotment for 2017, bring on some showers and lets put these fires out!

Soak it up my friends; soak it up.