The wind generated by the machines is useful in mixing the warmer air aloft with the shallow layer cold air situated at and just above ground level so that sub-freezing temperatures are mitigated to the point where there is no more danger to the very delicate and susceptible growth.
The general outlook for the next five to six weeks is nail-biting days followed by sleep-interrupted nights, and vineyard managers everywhere will collectively breathe a deep sigh of relief around the second or third week of May.
A few days of significant rainfall (totaling 1.15 inches at the airport) — some of which fell in thundershowers — boosted the monthly rainfall total to 50 percent above normal (3.03 inches vs. 2.01 inches).
The Walla Walla Valley enjoyed a delightful first weekend of spring under the benign influence of high pressure that brought generally fair skies and mild afternoon temperatures to the area.
Cool high pressure behind Monday morning’s cold front will rule with fair weather until later Wednesday. Then a second reinforcing shot of cold air should zip through the area with a chance of showers followed by clearing on Thursday.
Throughout the Evergreen State, there is some measure of relief that mountain snow packs are in considerably better shape now than they were at the beginning of the year.
Several waves of moisture will sweep over the area this week, leading to a mostly soggy series of days featuring lots of puddle-dodging and muddy footwear.
Only now can we fully appreciate the arrival of the third month of the year and its promise of a gentler, more hopeful and benign weather regime.
Wet and windy weather will continue in the Walla Walla Valley for the next couple of days before a calmer regime becomes established here for the end of the week and the coming weekend.
Mother Nature rolled out her full winter arsenal and loosed a barrage of torrential rain and heavy snow on the (mostly) grateful residents of California, Oregon and Washington.
The 16-day Global Forecast outlook has been touting a rather wet period for the Valley, beginning around Feb. 11 and lasting through Feb. 19.
January 2014 will be remembered not for its scintillating weather but for the stultifying sameness of a seemingly interminable string of dreary days cloaked in a cold and clammy blanket of low clouds and fog.
"The Game” has been played, and the losers sent home to lick their wounds while the victors pack for the next — and final — round in New York City on Feb. 2.
It wasn’t quite as windy as all the dire warnings indicated it might be, but an energetic Pacific low pressure system did bring a host of varied weather with it as it passed north of Washington this weekend. Copious amounts of rain, heavy mountain snow and winds gusting in excess of 100 miles per hour in some places made for a very interesting weather weekend across the state. But all that did nothing to derail the Seahawks juggernaut, which faces its severest test of the season this coming Sunday, when a tough-as-nails San Francisco squad visits the Emerald City for an epic battle to determine this year’s NFC champion and a spot in the Super Bowl.
The long-awaited holidays have now come and gone and left your weatherperson with a mixed bag of items that leaves him somewhat less than 100 percent enthusiastic about the New Year: the nastiest cold he has had in decades; enough bills to paper the wall of his office at Walla Walla Community College; and the gift of a self-improvement book that would have been of considerably more value to this old dog had it been received 20 or 30 years ago.
Your peripatetic prognosticator finds himself during these last few days of 2013 in San Diego — the eighth largest city in the United States and home to over 1.33 million people for whom the word “winter” is an abstraction. Fair skies and high temperatures in the low 70s here have reminded your weatherperson that there are places in this country that even in the darkest days of late December remain untouched by freezing fog and an accompanying dearth of sunshine that practically guarantees a near-terminal case of Seasonal Affective Disorder, a couple of items that Walla Walla has recently offered in spades.
Your weatherperson is spending Christmas week visiting his beloved children in California’s Disneyland North — the Napa Valley, land of generally overpriced and underwhelming wine.
Your weatherperson, in the company of his best bi- and quadrupedal friends, is treating himself to a little pre-Christmas break in the breathtakingly beautiful Methow Valley of northern Washington. Tucked into the woods just outside the mountain hamlet of Mazama sits a lovely inn where he and his charges appear to be the only guests. Six inches of pristine snow have placed a soft and silent mantle of white over the landscape, and the only sound outside is the wind occasionally rustling the pine boughs that are laden with their frosty burden.
The past week of absolutely frigid weather here in the Walla Walla Valley has neatly disproved the liberal myth of global warming — hopefully for once and for all. If only some of the other annoying myths that regularly plague our existence — like a heliocentric universe, the theory of evolution, “size doesn’t matter” and the legitimacy of the Obama presidency — could be dispelled as easily.
Springlike warmth on Sunday quickly gave way to more seasonally appropriate weather as a sharp Canadian cold front swept across the state, bringing the year’s most frigid temperatures so far.
Winter arrived early this year for the Walla Walla Valley as a strong Canadian cold front brought a frigid air mass to the Lower 48, plunging our local temperatures to some 10 to 15 degrees below normal for the date.
A robust Pacific low pressure system brought a decent shot of rain to the Walla Walla Valley and several inches of snow to the nearby Blue Mountains this past Friday. Precipitation totals ranged from one-third to nearly half an inch of rainfall on the Valley floor and up to a foot of snow in the highest elevations of the Blues.
A weak ridge of high pressure brought a mostly dry Veterans Day weekend to the Walla Walla Valley after a brief deluge last Thursday afternoon that deposited a very welcome four-tenths of an inch of rain in local gauges. That downpour was the result of a well-defined cold front that cut across Washington state, bringing a variety of weather, including wind, snow and an occasional rumble of thunder.
Our fine “Native American” summer weather has regrettably come to an end. Despite our fervent wishes to the contrary, the calendar has advanced to the very end of the month, and with its final days slipping away from us, so too has any illusion that we might stave off the imminent rigors of the coming season indefinitely simply by dint of our collective will alone. The song says “the wheel is turning, you can’t slow down,” and another click forward on its gnarled-tooth rim has brought us to the conclusion of yet another grape vintage. Those who choose to leave grapes on the vine until Halloween or beyond will almost certainly have the devil to pay for their bad judgment.
Thanks to a sprawling area of high pressure whose center resides just off the coast of Washington and Oregon, the Walla Walla Valley has enjoyed some of the finest fall weather to be found anywhere in the United States over the last couple of weeks.
A mixed bag of weather this past weekend paved the way for the first frost of the season in many Valley locations early Monday morning as fall reared its hoary head and emphatically proclaimed its 2013 regnum.
The 2013 Walla Walla Valley grape crush got back on track last week after a multiday hiatus due to occasional rain and cold temperatures. What once had appeared to be a vintage that might end historically early due to a very warm summer now looks to be extended well into this month, as growers and vintners wait for Mother Nature to bestow that last little bit of sunshine to help their grapes attain a perfect level of maturity before harvest.
What had been a near-textbook vintage so far this year, with the sort of weather and growing conditions Washington vintners usually can only dream about, has suddenly taken a rather nightmarish turn. A cool, wet and windy system lashed a broad area of the Pacific Northwest this weekend, dashing hopes of an early end to the 2013 season.
Summer segued damply into fall this weekend as a couple of relatively weak fronts passed through the Walla Walla Valley, bringing some light rain and cooler temperatures to the area. Precipitation overnight Saturday and again Sunday evening amounted to a rather paltry 0.011 inches, but it was the fall-like temperatures that got most peoples’ attention, as the mercury dipped from a high of 82 degrees on Friday afternoon to the upper 50s in the rain on Sunday evening.
Walla Walla’s summer of 2013 chose to leave the stage with some real theatrical flair this past weekend with a blustery exit that was uncannily reminiscent of an event just 10 days earlier. After two days of absolutely crushing, record-breaking heat, dark and ominous-looking clouds once again gathered on the southwestern horizon on Sunday evening, presaging the wild weather that was soon to follow.
Your tanned, rested and ready weatherperson is recently returned from a rejuvenating week seaside in Ocean Park, where he did some serious work on his avoirdupois with a steady diet of clam chowder and fried oysters. While he was stuffing his face, the weather world went on without him: One of the strongest thunderstorms in recent memory ripped through Walla Walla last Thursday evening, doing some real damage around town and scaring the living daylights out of just about everyone here.
It was an active weekend of weather for the Walla Walla Valley. A Pacific low pressure system just west of the California/Oregon border spun spokes of moisture from the southwest to the northeast through Oregon and Washington, touching off rounds of showers and thundershowers on both Saturday and Sunday.
Summer 2013 rolls on with little change this week.
An abundance of celestial pyrotechnics and a serious paucity of precipitation marked the Walla Walla Valley’s latest dalliance with a Pacific low pressure system this past week, as thunderstorms skirted the local area while dropping copious amounts of rain on neighboring portions of the Evergreen State.
The Walla Walla Valley received some sweet relief from the heat last week. An unusually potent area of low pressure pumped substantial amounts of moisture into many parts of Washington state, leading to a three-day reprieve from the unrelenting sun of summer 2013.
Your peripatetic prognosticator returned to Walla Walla on Friday after a 24-hour whirlwind tour of Las Vegas, where the heat was definitely on.
The heat was on for the last several days in the Walla Walla Valley as a strong high pressure system from the southwestern U.S. maintained a flow of hot and dry air into our area. Weekend highs topped out in the upper 90s to 100 degrees — or about 10-12 degrees above normal for this time of year.
It was a near-perfect summer week in the Walla Walla Valley as a weak trough off the coast furnished just enough of a moderate westerly flow to keep daytime highs in the very tolerable 80s.
Someone upstairs was obviously listening to your weatherperson’s plaintive cry last week for some relief from the crushing heat. Thankfully, the spell was broken at midweek and Thursday and Friday ended up being very tolerable for early July. In fact, Friday’s high of 83 was two degrees shy of normal for the date — and most welcome by those who had come close to expiring in the furnace that raged at the beginning of the week.
It was a tale of two pities weatherwise in the Walla Walla Valley this past week, as another rainy and cool episode rapidly gave way to a sizzling early-summer heat wave that has had residents begging for mercy over the last few days.
The month of June has once again proven that it cannot be trusted to provide an unending string of sunny and warm days. Just as one year ago, substantial rains fell in the Walla Walla Valley last week, accompanied by high temperatures that were nearly 30 degrees below normal for the date. The weather gods have seen fit to do a reprise this week, as yet another area of low pressure is forecast to spin areas of disturbed weather into southeastern Washington through Wednesday — though precipitation totals will likely not come close to matching last week’s 0.92” recorded at the Walla Walla Airport.
As if your weatherperson didn’t have enough on his hands with the IRS, it seems as if the NSA has been monitoring his phone conversations for some time now in order to determine how he could be so uncannily accurate week after week with his weather forecasts.
Glorious weather continued to grace the Walla Walla Valley this past week, with sunny skies and warm temperatures tempered by afternoon breezes the rule as high pressure over southeastern Washington remained well in command.
Our Walla Walla Valley weather has finally taken a turn toward something more seasonally appropriate, as the last in a series of Pacific disturbances moved through the area on Sunday with a few impressive-looking buildups of towering cumulus accompanied by a stray drop or two of rain.
Seems as if the ol’ crystal ball has been performing at a very high level recently for your weatherperson, who is riding a serious hot streak with his last couple of columns. As predicted, more than a half-inch of rain in the last week or so has sent the wheat and pea people into a state of semi-delirium, and orders for new pickup trucks have doubled at our local dealerships during that time.
Think spring sunshine has finally taken hold in the Northwest? Think again. A deep, cold and unseasonably potent low-pressure system is forecast to drop south and east from northern British Columbia and position itself off the coast of northwestern Washington this week.
Now that your weatherperson has single-handedly derailed the ill-advised Rose Street reconfiguration plan with his hard-hitting commentary in last week’s column, he has been urged by many to tackle other thorny and long-unresolved issues that continue to pester the world: Concerns such as the whereabouts of Jimmy Hoffa, long-standing animosities in the Middle East and the stunning inability of home plate umpires to call balls and strikes in any consistent manner — the last of which is possibly the most annoying of all.
It was a perfect weekend in the Walla Walla Valley for just about any activity — and there were certainly many of them from which to choose: Spring Release, the season opener of two farmers markets, golf or tennis. Or a quiet stroll down Rose Street in the dappled shade provided by the stately sycamores that line that thoroughfare, several of which are scheduled to be reduced to sawdust if the current nonsensical ‘realignment’ plan for the street comes to fruition.
The Walla Walla Valley was treated to a foretaste of summer this past week as afternoon high temperatures on Friday touched the 80-degree mark. A general rejoicing could be heard throughout the land, and winter-weary citizens — both young and old — welcomed the warmth like a long-lost friend, which indeed it was.
Don’t let the door hit you, April bluster.