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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Weathercatch: Outdoor play is a safe bet on most Labor Day weekends. But here’s a roundup of some of the less-pleasant ones

Todd Bloom, 19, stretches out for some sun rays prior to the Spokane Symphony Orchestra performance in Comstock Park on Monday, Sept. 2, 2019, in Spokane, Wash. Labor Day weekends in the Spokane area usually feature pleasant weather, but some years have been unusually hot, cool or wet.  (Libby Kamrowski/THE SPOKESMAN-REVIEW)
Todd Bloom, 19, stretches out for some sun rays prior to the Spokane Symphony Orchestra performance in Comstock Park on Monday, Sept. 2, 2019, in Spokane, Wash. Labor Day weekends in the Spokane area usually feature pleasant weather, but some years have been unusually hot, cool or wet. (Libby Kamrowski/THE SPOKESMAN-REVIEW)
By Nic Loyd and Linda Weiford For The Spokesman-Review

Ah, September. Even though it’s the start of meteorological autumn, the month still contains a lot of summer. During its first two weeks, high temperatures typically run in the upper 70s to low 80s in the Spokane area. The overnight lows run in the low to mid-50s.

Because many people view Labor Day as the unofficial start to fall, it’s ironic that the holiday weekend and the days immediately afterward are far more in line with summer weather than fall. This holiday weekend is no exception, with indications that our region will be dry, mostly sunny and in the upper 80s.

Conditions were similar during last year’s three-day weekend, except for a smoky haze caused by multiple wildfires that cleared out just in time for Labor Day. All in all, the weather on Labor Day 2021 was sunny, calm and ideal.

This certainly wasn’t the case on Labor Day 2020 when rare winds whipped up dozens of fires and dust across Eastern Washington.

A blaze fueled by strong winds decimated most of the farming town of Malden in Whitman County. A wind-driven fire also erupted in Colfax, forcing evacuations and drawing on already strained firefighting resources and destroying two homes. In the Inland Northwest about 60,000 customers lost power due to winds and fire.

Here’s a look at some other notable Labor Day weekends in our region:

• Sept 2, 2000: Yes, unseasonably cool Labor Day weekends occasionally occur. The high temperature in Spokane was 52 degrees, which we don’t expect to see until late October.

• Sept. 5, 1988: The hottest Labor Day recorded with a high temperature of 96 degrees.

• Sept. 6, 1976: The holiday weekend’s chilliest overnight low temperature was 41 degrees. Not a good time to be camping.

• Aug 31, 1912: Again, not a good time to be camping. While the average rainfall amount for all of August is about 0.5 inches, 1.16 inches of rain pelted the Spokane area on that day. (Labor Day fell on Sept. 2 that year.)

Nic Loyd is a meteorologist in Washington state. Linda Weiford is a writer in Moscow, Idaho, who’s also a weather geek. Contact: ldweiford@gmail.com.

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