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Autumn Strengthens

By: PugetSoundPost , 3:14 PM GMT on October 16, 2012

October 31, 7:20 AM
A Wet Halloween!

The rain keeps coming this week! We are just a bit under 2" total with this current system, since it rained pretty much all day yesterday and overnight as well, with more still coming today. It looks like a wet Halloween will be our lot this year - although by evening it may be tapering down to more showery spells.

It is still warm, since this system is a warm one, with its roots down in the vicinity of Hawaii. It is currently 55, which is our morning low as well! So it is pretty comfortable outside - no wind, warm, but wet. Flood watches are up for a few rivers. Seems like an early start to that season.

Not too much festivity at our house this year. We get few trick or treaters and I will need to spend a good portion of my day with my mom. She has moved back, this week, to her assisted living apartment, but she is very fragile and everything is day by day for her.

October 26, 9:15 AM

Our fall/winter pattern has pretty firmly implanted itself over us. The pretty sudden change that began two weeks ago has remained and will remain as far as the eye can see. It rains various amounts nearly each day, overcast skies, and high temps in the 50's, lows in the 40's. This schedule is booked in for at least the next week, with a bit of warming coming in a couple of days, but really not much change expected. It is dry right now, but the clouds are lowering and rain is coming again later today.

A few days ago I spent time outside cleaning up our deck, again, and getting it more shut down for winter. I got rid of more flowers (but a lot remain and are doing quite nicely, mainly geraniums and winter pansies) put away the last of the things still hanging around, covered up the furniture (which isn't too great anyway),re-filled the bird feeders and put away my little freestanding fountain. A lot of sweeping completed it and it looks crisper and pretty nice out there right now. It is always kind of fun to have everything done like that in time for the winter blows, just as it is so nice to bring it all back out in time for summer. Love the seasonal cycles!

October 20, 7:55 AM

Heavy gray clouds this morning are tracking from south to north across the sky. It is 44 degrees currently, with a little breeze. Rain showers are predicted all weekend, and they look to be a definite threat. A colder air mass has moved in, so it may be about all we can do to break 50 for a high today - depends how much sun may break through too. The forecast for the next week is not a lot different. We seem to have taken the expected stair-step down as the season is progressing toward overall cooler temperatures, as we inch closer toward winter. The last week has given us a definite shift in the season.

There is snow in the passes for the first time this morning, and looking fondly back to our Mt. Rainier trip, I see that there is a more significant snow at Paradise this morning - pretty solidly white now, and even much lower down at Longmire, where we stayed, there is a skiff of snow on the ground as well this morning for the first time.

So far in October we now have 1.93" rain, coming in just a week's time after such a very long dry spell, and this weekend, at least, looks rather raw and drippy ahead.

October 16, 8:00 AM

The season has changed. Gone are those balmy, sunny days of Indian Summer and in its place the rains and stronger winds of autumn have arrived. Late, but not forgotten.

The change developed rather rapidly late last week and seems here to stay. Each day since last Thursday has been cloudy, dropped some rain and the temperature, and the winds have gained strength as well. So far in October now we have 1.00" of rain, all coming since really Friday, but mainly Saturday onward. Yesterday we had our first Wind Advisory of the season, but not a lot of wind materialized here at home. Some breezier gusts now and then. Rain is in the forecast for the next many days now - with only short breaks between systems. That blocking high of the last many weeks is long gone. The storm doors have opened with an active jet driving systems right at us.

But, before all of this happened, Mr. PSP and I did manage to get our trip to Mt. Rainier accomplished last week and it was a wonderful trip. We stayed at the lodge at Longmire (the only open facility in the park now that summer is over) and we had a great time. Everything went perfectly. We split time between the lodge and the Great Outdoors in enjoyable proportions. Many of you have seen our photos posted on WU and I appreciate all of the kind words and support of them! We spent three days up at the Mountain, and in that time we NEVER saw a single cloud!! That is an incredible feat by itself, any time of the year, but especially this far into October, for anyone who doesn't know the area. So the sunshine was spectacular, and the temperatures, while a bit nippy in the morning and evening, was very comfortable for hiking during the day - as long as you didn't spend too long in shade. The elevation at Longmire is 2700' and at Paradise, the only other area really open at this time of year, is around 5400', so autumn temperatures do dip. Because of our long dry spell, the mountain was rather bare of snow - an unusual sight, but already that has changed now. Between two days we hiked about 10 miles through the meadows and onto higher ridges - I think our highest attained elevation was 6600 feet, and the views of the mountain and surrounding landscape was just stunning - no matter where you looked - and certainly vastly highlighted by the very wonderful fall colors all over the slopes and valleys. Brilliant reds, mostly, with some golds, accented by alpine greens and deep blue skies. Truly spectacular!! And, we were among only a few people up there to soak it all in. The crowds of summer are long, long gone and much of the time we felt like the only people up there. The trails were all bare (during summer they are still snowed in, often, till really late in that season) and they did not even have any mud to contend with! Perfect hiking conditions. Park staff were busy winterizing the park and it appeared to be mostly ready. Buildings at Paradise had their giant steel and wooden shutters slammed and locked in place over the very large windows and doors (closed for the season), all campgrounds and picnic areas closed, and the loop road closed. One interesting thing was one day we hiked up to Myrtle Falls. That is me standing on the bridge in that photo with that title. About 24 hours later we hiked past the same falls, but this time the railings all had been removed from the bridge! Kind of like magic, they were gone, but the floor of the bridge remained to cross. It kind of seemed like the sidewalks were being rolled up right under our feet in places, but they knew what they were doing. The weather changed drastically the very next day after we left and snow has already fallen in those areas just after our wonderful weather. We had the very last sunset of the year that was part of a different season and seemingly, time.

Quite a few more photos are over on my photo section of this blog, if you'd like to see the rest of them.

October 16

Sunrise: 7:29 AM --- Sunset: 6:17 pm (PDT)
(losing 3 min, 18 sec tomorrow)

The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

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10. WunderAlertBot (Admin)
4:06 PM GMT on November 04, 2012
PugetSoundPost has created a new entry.
9. WatchinTheSky
4:24 PM GMT on October 31, 2012
2 inches of rain over a couple days, sounds pretty nice! We are getting 'dense fog advisories', does that count? :)
Your temps sound mild for last day of October. We finsih the week with upper-mid 70s, then low 90s Sunday-Monday. Summer is having a hard time letting go.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
8. PugetSoundPost
2:59 PM GMT on October 29, 2012
Glad you stopped by, Polar! I'm glad you saw the Mt. Rainier photos - such a beautiful place and we hit it at a PERFECT time, and time of year. Fall is still rolling along here. Mt. Rainier is already a different place, with snow over all those photos multiple times since we were there. But here in the lowlands it is still fall as far as the trees are concerned, although surely turning to late fall. Just yesterday we drove around not far away, but in places we don't normally go, and delightedly saw that "urban fall" is still quite glorious in many areas. Maples in full fall colorful splendor, among other trees/bushes. But leaves are falling now at an increasing rate, with some trees nearly bare, while others have a ways to go.

You would love our rain we are currently experiencing. A system that orginated in the tropics is overhead, dropping pretty warm rain. It has rained for many hours now, mostly just a steady light rain, but it is warm. Currently 57 degrees! And the low was only 50! This is considerably warmer than it was for the last couple of weeks, so not even our standard fare. Another tropical system is due in Tuesday, with maybe more rain than this one, and warm again. Wish you could have a bit of this, with the temps, to take that definite "chill" off of you for a couple of days!

Our season usually turns the corner to very nearly "winter" about Halloween too - usually within a day or two of Halloween there is a definite "change", but this year that came earlier than usual. Even though it has warmed up currently, this same pattern can easily happen in November, December or January, so we aren't far off the seasonal mark.

Hope the x-c ski season is a big success for your boys!
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
7. WatchinTheSky
5:34 PM GMT on October 28, 2012
Earthquakes and Tsunamis and Rain, Oh My!
I am guessing you are too far from the quake to feel it, was there any 'water rise' near your end of the Sound? An inch or so? I think that is all San Diego got from the Big Japan quake. How do you even measure that?
Upper 50s, lower 80s here, could use some rain :)
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
6. polarbytes
12:58 PM GMT on October 28, 2012
First, great pics!! Love the color and envy your fall change; we don't get too much up here, dang! Our transition happens pretty quick and this year seemed quicker than usual, oh well. And if our weather guys can be believed, than a pattern change is ahead for both you and us by mid week, which is aok for the boys as they start xcross ski practice tomorrow. They want more snow, only about an inch on the ground now.
But boy has it been cold! hi's only in the lower 30's and low's near zero. Halloween traditionally marks our beginning of serious winter; we have never had a halloween without at least 3" of snow on the ground so things look about normal in that regard if the forecast holds true. And I agree with your analysis of the changing season routine; I too like to get things ready, seems to put a period on the transition.
This year I built a shelter for the boat so I'm ready--let it snow! Enjoy the week ahead.
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5. WatchinTheSky
10:59 PM GMT on October 26, 2012
Sounds like you are in for a stretch of gray. We had a bit of that last week and almost got a quarter inch of drizzle by the time it was all done! But now, back to sunny. The local weather TV weather folk were quite excited about High wind warnings and fire weather watches for Thursday through Saturday, but looks like all for naught. The fierce wind gusts peaked around 10 mph, it's dry (rh around 15-20 for now) and was mid 80s for a few minutes today, but hardly fire weather watch territory. We actually had a 49 for overnight one time, so short days are bringing cooler temps.
We just need some of your rain :)
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
4. calpoppy
12:31 AM GMT on October 19, 2012
I love all your pics but especially the one at Myrtle falls, it looks like a painting, well done!! You got us talking about taking a trip up there. I will have to look more closely at the red foliage, I am thinking sumac but will check it out on my lap top.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
3. JanesVacation
11:37 PM GMT on October 18, 2012
I saw your photos on FB and decided to stop by over here. I'm glad you and the mister had a great time and the pictures are stunning. I thought fall was beautiful here in the midwest (and it is) but your pictures with the mountains were quite amazing to us that rarely see a mountain. Thank you so much for sharing all of these. Welcome back and hopefully your winter will be mild. I think I heard that prediction on the evening news tonight!
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
2. PugetSoundPost
3:43 AM GMT on October 18, 2012
Hi WTS! The red color on the mountain slopes is leaves on the low bushes, and I have to say I don't know what they are. But surely beautiful as they turn in the fall! We sure did perfectly time the trip. Snow has fallen now at these elevations and even lower around the trailheads. I don't think too much, but enough to turn the ground, and even roads, white, even if temporarily until the day melts it off some. But winter is coming soon up there.

As far as our rain, I haven't looked into the long term outlook lately, but the early thought of an El Nino winter seems to be fading a bit recently. Instead they say it may be a weak one, or possibly a neutral year, which for us sometimes brings us our most intense winter weather; or not. Anything can happen in those years. Your 101 temperature in mid October is TOO HOT!!
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
1. WatchinTheSky
10:25 PM GMT on October 17, 2012
First! Nicely narrated and excellent series of photos! Several seem like fantastic watercolors. Especially the last one in the blog. Is the scarlet color in the ground cover leaves or blooms? Very striking. Sounds as if you timing was perfect.
Some models show PNW at below average rain through the end of the year. Think that will happen?
Whew, 101 today here. But maybe mid upper 70s by weekend. One can hope :)
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Weather has been a lifelong passion for me; while my husband and 4 kids, all grown, and one of them now married, have patiently gone along with me!

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