The official start of autumn may not come until Saturday morning, but Mother Nature is doing a good job of announcing its arrival this week.
A cold wave out of Canada is expected to bring near-record low temperatures to the region again tonight, putting the summer growing season in jeopardy in some places.
“There will definitely be some patchy frost,” said Ken Holmes, meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Spokane.
This is the coldest spell of September weather in Spokane in a decade. The region went through three straight years of September frosts beginning in 1983.
The average date for the first frost isn’t until Oct. 7, but the earliest frost on record occurred on Sept. 10, 1895.
“It’s a little bit early for this type of weather to be settling in on us,” Holmes said.
Forecasters aren’t surprised. Periods of cold, wet weather throughout the summer set a pattern for an early cold snap, Holmes said.
Warm weather in the Inland Northwest the past two weeks retreated behind Tuesday’s cold front and rain.
On Wednesday, a mass of cold air out of northern Canada plunged south. The worst of the cold is expected to go into Montana and the Dakotas.
But a warm air mass along the Pacific coast and in Western Washington and Oregon should move eastward toward Spokane, pushing daytime highs into the mid-70s this weekend and continuing through Monday or Tuesday, Holmes said.”We will be recovering as we get toward the weekend,” he said.
The official start of fall will be at 5:13 a.m. Saturday.