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Cool temperatures, storms cover Northwest

Fall came in like a lion with strong winds and moderate rainfall reported around the Pacific Northwest.

September turned out to be wetter than expected as our fall weather patterns moved in about a month early. Spokane International Airport picked up 1.56 inches of rain, 0.67 inches above normal. We’re still below normal for the year. As of early Tuesday, the airport has received 9.03 inches, compared to a normal of about 10.80 inches of rain and melted snow.

After one of the driest summers in history across the Northwest, September will go into the record books as the wettest for some stations in Oregon. The remnants of typhoon Pabuk dumped soaking rains in Oregon last weekend. At Portland International Airport, 5.62 inches of moisture fell in September, breaking the record of 4.30 inches set in 1986. Last year, 0.04 inches of rain fell in September.

Astoria, Ore., picked up 10.70 inches of rain for September – including more than 5 inches from Friday to Monday. Last weekend’s storm produced near hurricane-force winds causing numerous power outages.

At Spokane International Airport, wind gusts on Monday topped out at 47 mph. The winds were not quite as strong in Coeur d’Alene, where gusts were near 40 mph.

I’ve been watching the sea-surface temperatures near the South American coastline very closely. Within the last few weeks, La Niña has been moderating as ocean waters have been warming. In fact, it’s starting to look like we’re in-between the cooler La Niña and warmer El Niño sea-surface temperatures. There are pockets of ocean waters that have climbed to above normal levels along the equator. We may see an El Niño in early to mid-2014.

Until then, we’ll have more showers and cool temperatures through the middle of October. Then, it appears that high pressure will rebuild back into our region giving us drier and warmer weather.

From late October through December, I expect to see above normal moisture and cooler than normal temperatures. Our first measurable snowfall may be as early as the first week of November. Snowfall totals may start out above average levels, but taper off during the second half of winter.

If you have any questions or comments, you can contact Randy Mann at wxmann, or go to www.longrange for additional information.