Today is going to be another hot and sunny day around the Inland Northwest. Yesterday the high temperature in Spokane reached 91 degrees, and today we will end up in the same neighborhood. But, could this be the last 90 degree day of the summer of 2009? It very will might be! A cold front from off of the North Pacific will push through early tomorrow morning, and that should drop temperatures by 10 to 12 degrees for Thursday. Highs will be in the upper 70s with a nice fresh breeze from the southwest. As the front passes tomorrow morning there may be a few sprinkles right along it, but those will come and go quickly with the sun shining for most of the day. From there through the weekend the weather will be comfortable. Highs will be in the 70s Friday, Saturday and Sunday. There will be a few showers around the area, just a few Saturday afternoon and evening, otherwise the weather looks dry as the main upper level low pressure system that will push the cooler air across the area stays well out over the Pacific through Sunday. As the weather pattern remains very slow to move the weather around the St. Paul area will change very little. That is good news for Beth, as the sunny days will continue through the weekend. Highs near 75 today will rise to near 80 by Saturday and Sunday. Beth is going to my brother Dave's lake place in north-central Wisconsin this weekend, and the weather there should be just about perfect.
As promised, I am going to offer a word or two (actually several hundred) about what is going to be up with the weather for the upcoming winter. I saw yesterday that the Farmer's Almanac came out with their prediction calling for a "frigid" winter from the Rockies across the Great Lakes, and "somewhat" milder conditions for the coastal areas of the country. That would include us here in the Pacific Northwest. That somewhat milder prediction was not for milder than normal weather, but rather milder weather than the "frigid" midwest. I say that this is all a load of manure, a very rank load of manure, which is usually the case for the Farmer's Almanac. The biggest contributing factor for the winter weather this year is the presence of an El Nino pattern. I will go into more detail on just what that is at a later date. Right now we are seeing the effects of an El Nino in the very quiet hurricane season over the Atlantic and Caribbean. During an El Nino the upper atmospheric winds are stronger than normal in this area, which tends to tear apart tropical systems before they can get going. Model predictions call for the El Nino phenomena over the Pacific to strengthen into the winter. This typically leads to stronger west to east winds aloft, which will keep the coldest air locked up over central and northern Canada, with milder Pacific air predominating from the Pacific Northwest across the Great Plains to the Great Lakes. The bottom line is that the average snow level, or the elevation of the snow to rain transition zone will be much higher this winter here in the Inland Northwest. That will lead to much more rain, and much less snow for Spokane than the past two winters. We will probably see a total significantly below the average of 48 inches for the season, perhaps as much as 10 to 15 inches below that, and maybe more. farther east, over the Upper Mississippi Valley, where Beth now resides along with the rest of the Albrecht Clan, the winter should not be nearly as extreme as the Farmer's Almanac is claiming, but it won't be as mild as back here in the good ol' Northwest.
This morning I will be taking advantage of the dry and sunny weather to mow the hay field that has taken over what used to be our backyard. It hasn't gotten much attention since we got back from our midwestern adventure. Then it will be off to the church to get going on this Sunday's sermon. It will based on the Epistle reading for the week, James chapter 2, and I am titling it "Actions Speak Louder Than Words". That is as far as I have gotten so far. This Sunday we will be doing a very traditional liturgical communion service (those of you who are not familiar with Lutheran or Catholic services probably have no idea what that means...very "high church"), while next week we will be going a more informal route as we will be holding the service on the 13th in the new, uncompleted, church building.
Time to head outdoors and sharpen up the machete!