Thursday, October 15, 2009

Global Warming... Yeah, Right

I keep hoping that climate change will extend the growing season in Hood River. My hopes keep getting dashed. The first frost of the season (at city elevation) arrived Oct 11, and it came with a record-setting vengeance. The previous Oct 11th record low of 28° (1980) was easily brushed aside by the 25° low measured at MCAREC's HOXO station.

But, as fun as THAT was, it was just the prelude... and, the setup. Two days later, on Oct 13, a Pineapple Express began to move in over the top of the cold air. This produced what may have been the earliest recorded measurable snowfall in Hood River! The previous earliest snow date for Hood River was Oct 29, 1935.

We'll have to wait for MCAREC's official data on this, but I'm estimating up to 0.5 inches of snow built up in areas around town. It melted fast, which may affect whether it was "measurable" or not, but in any event, it was awesomely cool to see snowfall this early in the season.

But wait! There's more! The high temperature that day only reached 40°! That totally demolished the previous "low high" record of 49° (1966).

Thus, October 13, 2009, might well have been a rare "three-fer" in the world of Hood River weather records. Earliest measureable snowfall, most snowfall on any Oct 13, and the record "low high" for the date.

So I think I'll wait at least one more year to plant citrus trees here. But... if we had some global warming...

Thanks to Dave from the weather chat room for the link to this catchy little tune.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

September 2009 Revisited

Compared to historical averages, September in Hood River was warmer, drier, and less windy.

The temperature was 3.5 degrees warmer than long term averages, and 1.1 degrees warmer than more recent averages (2000-2008). This was the warmest September since 2003. There was 0.70" of rain, compared to an average September precipitation of 0.92". The wind speed was considerably lower than average. This was the least windy September since 2002.

September continued the warm, dry trend of June, July, and August. Otherwise, the month was pretty nondescript. There were welcome light rains around the 5th and 29th; nothing spectacular, just enough to settle the dust.

We wrapped up the water year (which runs Oct 1 thru the following Sep 30) with a surplus. The average yearly rain in Hood River is 29.92", give or take 0.50" depending on the database referenced. My station received 32.67", while the more official HOXO station received 33.33".

There was 1 local weather record set in September. On the 14th, the low temperature of 61° broke the previous "high low" record of 60° set in 2007.

The data below is from my home weather station.
To view its monthly summary and graphs at Weather Underground, click here.

The "historical average" numbers for temperature and rainfall are from the Hood River MCAREC data. Historical wind average is from my station's 2000 to 2008 data. Note that average wind speeds include all 24 hours of the day and night, which is why they are way lower than daytime peak winds. In addition, the wind speed at this station is considerably lower than on the Columbia River.

High Low Average Historical Average
Temperature (F) 94

Wind (mph) 33


Rainfall (in) 0.20

0.70 (total)

Full Harvest Moon... time to celebrate!