A sneak peek into the weather of Fall 2012

Colorado ski lift photo posted by Flickr user dkwonsh.

I know, we haven’t even had a true summer yet and we’re already talking about fall! But for what it’s worth, this may settle some fears that a looming El Niño will destroy all hope for skiing, snowboarding or school closures this year.

About a week ago I produced a weather post on why we may be in for an Indian summer. While I still feel we have a good chance at seeing a warm start to fall, some weather sources are saying it won’t last long. In fact, early predictions say the western United States may be in for a cold, wet and snowy (in higher elevations, of course ;)) autumn season. One of those weather sources is long range forecasting website Accuweather.com:

It will start out wet during the early and middle of the fall in the Northwest.

“I think it will start out wetter, but get drier in the late fall season, which could set up for a fairly dry or at least below-normal winter season across areas like Seattle and Spokane,” AccuWeather Lead Long-Range Forecaster Paul Pastelok said.

Wet weather will shift farther south across much of California during the middle to latter part of the season. A wet late-fall is in store for San Francisco. Increased snowfall expected in the Sierra is good news for California water supply, following a significant snow drought last winter. Read the full article here

The shift to drier weather in the late fall season would reflect the growing El Niño as well. This past Friday I sat down with Scott Sistek, weather producer at KOMO 4 News, as well as Steve Pool, KOMO 4 evening weather forecaster. Among many topics of discussion, one of them was the developing El Niño. I asked Scott if it’s looking healthy enough to play a big impact in our winter weather this year. He responded that it not only looks healthy, but also big. El Niño and La Niña weather patterns are divided into three groups: weak, moderate and strong. Scott believes we could be in for a moderate El Niño this winter, which typically means mild, dry and relatively calm.

Obviously nothing is set in stone yet, but already it sounds like an interesting couple of months ahead…weather-wise, anyway!

In the short term, however, the weather will be anything but interesting. In fact, it will be pretty typical of early August. The sun will gradually reappear through the end of the week into the weekend and high temperatures will rise to the upper 70s and lower 80s. After a brief marine push Monday of next week, a strengthening ridge should serve warm and sunny weather for the rest of the week.

Gotta love summer in the Pacific Northwest!

Matthew Leach

Forecasting Kitsap


customizable counter