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Randy Mann: Indian summer depends on how you define it

Thu., Oct. 10, 2013

Last weekend, our region was treated to near-perfect weather. Temperatures on Sunday topped out at 70 degrees in some areas. At the airport, the mercury hit 68.

The weather prompted questions about whether this is an Indian summer. The answer is: Perhaps, depending on how strictly you define Indian summer.

The National Weather Service defines an Indian summer as a period with clear skies and temperatures above 70 degrees following a sharp frost. Friday, temperatures dipped to the upper 20s in parts of Coeur d’Alene and surrounding areas, but the airport only fell to 35.

In our region, the term is sometimes used to describe warm and dry weather after the first fall rains. In Canada and the Northeast, a ground frost must be present before the onset of warmer weather for Indian summer to be declared.

Readers are also wondering how much snow we’ll get this winter.

Believe it or not, snowfall at the airport was a little below normal with above average totals in Coeur d’Alene for the 2012-13 season.

This year, a very weak La Niña should give us higher than normal snowfalls in early winter. Below average amounts are predicted for the second half of winter, as ocean temperatures in the eastern Pacific Ocean are showing signs of warming.

In terms of our fall weather, it still looks wetter and cooler than normal. Heavier showers are expected around the full moon on Oct. 19. It’s possible that we’ll see another round of milder weather shortly after Halloween.

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

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