Summer, which officially ends Sunday, will no doubt be remembered as a hot one.
The temperature in Spokane soared to 90 degrees or higher 21 times, with the last sizzling day coming just a week ago.
That compares with an annual average of 16 days at 90 degrees or more.
Despite the excess heat, the summer was as close to “normal” as it gets, said John Livingston, chief meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Spokane.
From June through September this year, the average daily temperature at Spokane International Airport was 64.4 degrees.
That compares to the historical average of 64.5 degrees. It is based on an average of the daily highs and lows.
This summer, the temperature never topped 100 degrees.
The hottest days of the year were Aug. 10 and its high of 99; and July 27 and July 28, which hit 98 both days.
Autumn starts at 10:58 a.m. on Sunday, when the nights in the Northern Hemisphere turn longer than the days.
Climate trends in the past several months point to the likelihood of a cool, wet fall and early winter, according to geography professor Bob Quinn at Eastern Washington University.
Warming of Pacific Ocean waters in recent years gave the Inland Northwest a series of mild winters and wet summers. That condition, known as El Nino, has ended.
If anything, Quinn said, the sea temperatures and climate over the Pacific are colder than usual, which could lead to more rain and snow this winter, he said.
The weather service’s long-range forecast calls for normal temperatures, and normal rain and snowfall through December.
On the average, Spokane gets a little more than an inch of rain in October, and about 2 inches of precipitation in both November and December.
The outlook through February calls for lighter amounts of precipitation in the latter parts of winter.
Forecasts for the next several days call for a continued threat of rain or showers with highs near 60 and lows near 40.
“It doesn’t look like we’ll get a dry Indian summer here real soon,” Livingston said.
, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Graphic: Hot Summer days
MEMO: This sidebar appeared with the story: FALL ALMOST HERE Autumn starts at 10:58 a.m. on Sunday, when the nights in the Northern Hemisphere turn longer than the days.