Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Shine On

The full moon closest to the autumnal equinox is called the Harvest moon. There are several reasons why. The reason that is almost too obvious to mention (but I will), is that this is a peak harvest time of the year. Throughout history, farmers could continue harvesting well into the night.

Also, just as the sun rises directly east and sets directly west on the first day of Fall, so does the moonrise and moonset around this time of the year. This puts the moon pretty much directly overhead in the night sky, rather than lower in the sky, which makes the lighting a little bit brighter than usual.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Summer Stats

I just finished crunching the numbers for this past summer (June through August). Surprisingly, it was warmer than average at 68.9 degrees. This is 3.7 degrees warmer than the long term (1926 thru 2006) average of 65.2 degrees. Looking at the shorter term average (2000 through 2006), it was only 0.3 degrees warmer. So, it was a warm summer historically speaking, but not much warmer than recent summers. The warmest summer since 2000 has been 70.1 degrees in 2004.

Summer rainfall was 1.28", pretty close to the long term average of 1.39".

Wind speed averaged 4.9 mph, with the long term average being 4.8.

This weeks web poll asks your opinion/wild guess as to what this Fall's weather will be. I'm guessing warmer and drier than average. We shall see. Oregon's official climate experts (Oregon Climate Service), are predicting slightly warmer temps with average rainfall through December.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Autumnal Equinox

Today is the autumnal equinox, otherwise known as the first day of Autumn (the first day of Spring in the southern hemisphere). Discounting twilight, and the refraction of light through the atmosphere, and a couple of other minor discrepancies, the length of the day equals the length of the night.

The changing seasons are due to the 23 degree tilt of the earth relative to its orbital plane around the sun. Today, the sun's path is directly over the equator.

Also, today the sun rises exactly in the east and sets exactly in the west. Mark the spots with gigantic stone blocks and you'll always know exactly where east and west are.

Or you could use a compass. Or a GPS. We sure do have things a lot easier than our ancient ancestors did...

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Two More Records

Two more record warm nights, which makes 11 such records for the year. The September 14 low of 60 degrees beat the previous record of 58 (1965), and the September 15 low of 60 broke the previous record of 59 (1942).

That's 11 "warmest night" records so far this year. This is getting interesting. So this week's web poll asks whether these records are likely due to global warming.

Yes, I know, it's a simplistic question with simplistic choices for answers. On such a complex global issue as climate change, local trends don't necessary mean much. Still, taken along with all the other worldwide evidence...

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Everyone Knows ... It's Windy

The next time I make a statement like "this time of the year, the west wind dies down", you can safely ignore it.

The west wind this afternoon kicked in with a vengence. The high gust at our house today was 35 mph. I checked back through this year's data and the highest gust so far was 37 mph on January 7, when a minor "Columbus Day" type storm moved through.
As usual, with all the Hood River Weather site wind speeds, add 10 to 20 mph for on-river conditions.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


Well, close enough to perfect. Since Saturday, the highs have been 80 to 90 with light winds. The west wind picked up a bit yesterday and today, and the forecast is for slightly cooler days through the weekend. There is a lot to be said for September and October weather here. West wind dies down, warm days, cool nights....

Speaking of cooler nights, September 13 is the earliest day in the late summer that the temperature has dropped below freezing. On Sept 13, 1970, the low temp hit 30 degrees. There is no danger of this record being broken this year. The average first frost day in the town of Hood River is October 20, but is earlier the higher one goes up in elevation in the valley.

And speaking of temperature records, the low of 62 degrees this morning was 2 degrees warmer than the previous record high low of 60 in 1970. Chalk up another one for warmer nights...

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

August Revisited

August was an above average month for both temperature and rainfall. The average temperature was 2.5 degrees above normal, mostly due to warmer nights. Wind speeds were average for the month, with west winds predominate.

There was one record set during August, the "high low" temperature of 64 on August 31.

High Low Average Historical Average Variance
Temperature (F) 101.7 45.2 69.2 66.7 2.5
Wind (mph) 31
4.4 4.4 0.0
Rainfall (in) 0.36
0.49 0.39 0.10
Barometric (in Hg) 30.11 29.71 29.91

Another Warm Morning

Yesterday's low of 63 degrees set another "high low" record for the date. The previous highest low temperature for September 4th was 59 degrees in 1992.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

August Weather Summary

I'm thinking it might be useful to do a monthly post summarizing the previous month's weather data. The easiest, quickest way for me to do that is to copy and paste from the Weather Underground site where our weather station data is archived. Let me know what you think of this idea; it might work better if I create a separate "history" link off of the Hood River weather site. Or maybe I will do both.

Putting it in this blog gives me the option of making interesting and insightful comments on what the weather was like. Or, more likely, boring, inane, and embarrassing comments. So here goes:

High: Low: Average:
Temperature: 101.7 °F 45.2 °F 69.2 °F
Dew Point: 62.4 °F 34.7 °F 52.1 °F
Humidity: 96.0% 12.0% 58.2%
Wind Speed: 28.0mph from the WSW - 4.4mph
Wind Gust: 31.0mph from the WSW - -
Wind: - - West
Pressure: 30.11in 29.71in
Precipitation: 0.49in

KORHOODR1 Weather Graph