Dry, warm weather ruled month

Only five days had precipitation and the month wound up nearly three-quarters of an inch of rain short of normal.

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WALLA WALLA -- Goodbye summer, hello autumn.

Dig out the jackets and umbrellas. Gray skies and cool weather will be in the forecast this week as the weather patterns shift and begin bringing frequent Pacific weather systems across the region. The change will be an about-face from the past month when warm and dry ruled as summer ended and fall began.

Looking back, despite some cool days, September was hotter than normal with the overall temperature 5 degrees above average, according to the National Weather Service. The hottest days were Sept. 11-12 with highs of 95 degrees and the coolest night was Thursday when the temperature dropped to 43 degrees.

In regards to rainfall, September nearly pitched a shutout in terms of precipitation. There were only two days, Sept. 17-18, with measurable rainfall and zero or trace amounts during the remaining 28 days. As a result, the month ended up with .03 inches total precipitation, a mark .72 inches below normal.

Despite the scanty precipitation, total rain and snowfall for the year remained above normal at 13.79 inches, which is .39 inches above average. The water year precipitation, which runs from October through September, finished at 21.09 inches, a mark .56 inches above normal.

Apart from this week's showers, what's in store for the rest of the October?

According to the National Climate Prediction Center, the outlook for this month calls for below-normal temperatures and above-normal precipitation. Normal daytime highs for Walla Walla fall from 67.7 degrees at the start of October to 59.8 degrees at the end of the month. Normal lows fall from 45.4 degrees to 41 degrees. The 30-year normal precipitation is 1.68 inches.

Andy Porter can be reached at andyporter@wwub.com or 526-8318.

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