October 08, 2018

A Cool Month, But Lots of Sun in Our Future

November is usually a wet month in the Northwest, but the first 2-3 weeks of October are often quite decent.  And some exceptionally nice weather is ahead of us this week.

The last 30 days have been cooler than normal over the Northwest (see image), with Montana being absolutely frigid for this time of the year.  The southwest interior was warmer than normal.

Precipitation was near normal for most of the West, except moister than normal in western Washington and in hurricane-ravaged Arizona (Hurricane Rosa).

Today was a drippy day, but wait until things change tomorrow, with major ridging (high pressure) over the region.  Buy some suntan lotion, you will need it.

Let me illustrate with some upper-level (500-hPa) charts.  Today at 8 PM, a major ridge is offshore, but a weak trough is moving over us, bringing clouds and light showers.

By 2 AM Wednesday, the ridge is moving towards us, resulting in a drying transition.

 Thursday at 5 AM, the ridge pushes over us, bringing warming and no precipitation.

 And by Saturday at 2 PM, a huge ridge over the coast.

 And even more so at 11 PM Sunday.

Looking at the National Weather Service GEFS ensembles (running many forecasts), the rain will be over by tomorrow AM:
And temperatures will steadily climb--to near 70F by this weekend!

This weekend will be perfect for a fall hike, a bike ride, or like me, the Dawg Dash on Sunday at the UW.  My little dog LOVES the dog dash, a fun run that helps support scholarships at the UW.    Perfect fall weather and the leaves are starting to turn.  This is why we live here rather than in arid, weather boring places like San Diego.


  1. Dr.Mass
    Where you involved w/ any of the "Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change"
    Yea,or Nay, What is your thoughts ?

  2. It won't hit 70 and of course, depending on where you are in the region, the temps will vary slightly. With days just barely above 11 daylight hours, it'll hit 64 or so and that will fall off quickly once 4pm passes. Cooler than average temps will prevail. This fall/winter/spring in the northern hemisphere will hopefully get people off of the warm meme for a while.

  3. Perfect! Running the Dawg Dash this weekend follwed up with a nighttime corn maze. Last year it rained super hard and became pure mud. I'll enjoy probably our last few weeks of sunshine and warm temps. Then onto snow hiking season!

  4. I'm looking forward to you writing a blog post about the newest UN climate report.

  5. Cliff, any thoughts about Michael Lewis' new audiobook The Coming Storm about NOAA leadership and weather forecasting?

  6. Cliff,
    What is going in Southeast Alaska? The weather frequently is calling for mid 50's to mid 60's and sunshine. I used to live there. This is supposed to be the rainiest, windiest, stormiest time of the year. They get in October about what we get in a year. Friends say the salmon are calling Uber to get upstream. The steams are too dry and low. Please let people know what is happening to future salmon harvests.

  7. Randy,

    During the last major sun minimum (Dalton Minimum) temperatures in Alaska we're warming than what we see today. Across the mid section of our county and the east coast, much colder. We're moving into a major minimum as we speak. I think that might provide some insight into your query.

  8. Why are so many weather reporters and climatologists biased toward sunshine? Many of us prefer clouds and rain and suffer through increasingly brutal summers to get to it. THAT’S why we live here. I want a factual weather report, not a subjectified op-ed.

  9. You do realize this is a blog not a weather report right?


Please make sure your comments are civil. Name calling and personal attacks are not appropriate.

The Snow has Arrived and Much More is on the Way

This afternoon I biked home in light snow and it was magical.   And the Northwest will enjoy a lot of snowflake magic during the next week. ...