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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Community Comment

The summer-like autumn may be leaving…


Good morning, Netizens...


I am sick to death of what has been a long session of perfect fall weather with moderate temperatures in the 60's and 70's. What is rather frightening is that we have had no rain for over a month, leaving our grasslands and forests tinder-dry, and huge wildfires still raging in various areas throughout the state. You would have to be blind to have missed all the smoke that has filtered its way into the Inland Northwest.


It appears that all this wonderful weather is about to change. If you have listened to the Weather Heads talking this morning, you already know rain is on the way, and theoretically should arrive sometime this weekend. This should be a good thing, right?


You might think so, but you could be wrong.


We start out with Avista Corporation's deplorable lack of electric line maintenance. It is a proven fact that, when it has been a long time since the last rainfall, the first time it rains, you see a phenomenon called “arcing over” where the dust that has accumulated on the power lines over a prolonged dry spell becomes a conductor as the first rainfall on the line allows the power to arc over from the power line to insulators, power poles and various other places. You end up losing power. Some outages may only last a few seconds; others may take hours to fix. Your luck may vary.


The next place where this rainfall may bite us in our nether parts will be on our roads. All the accumulated oils and lubricants that have built up on the roadway, when coated with preliminary rainfall, becomes quite slippery, catching unaware drivers. Having experienced this phenomenon a time or two, myself, and it feels quite like you are driving on ice. You might as well be.


Of course, one of the more positive aspects to the incoming rain is that, for a time, we will once again be able to breathe our air. Of course, your results may differ.



Spokesman-Review readers blog about news and issues in Spokane written by Dave Laird.