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Unruly Halloween weather, present and past

By Nic Loyd, WSU meteorologist, and Linda Weiford, WSU News

weathercatch(2) (2)SPOKANE, Wash. – Last Halloween, whether you ventured outside to attend a party or your little ones trick-or-treated house to house, you may remember superhero capes flapping in the wind and Harry Potter robes pelted by rain.

The holiday fell on a Saturday. By midnight, the National Weather Service station at Spokane International Airport had recorded a half-inch of rain and wind gusts reaching 39 mph. Fortunately temperatures were mild, with highs reaching nearly 60 degrees and the low dipping just below 50.

haunted-house-rainWith Halloween falling on a Monday this year, parties, haunted houses and carnivals will take place on Friday and Saturday as well. Considering how much rain has fallen this October – only five of its first 23 days had no rainfall – will Mother Nature dish out a trick or a treat?

Though the weather system that’s expected to lurk Friday to Monday looks similar to what barreled into the Pacific Northwest last Halloween, it shouldn’t be as spooky this time around.

That’s because a southward dip in the jet stream is expected to bring mischievous spells of rain starting Friday night – not the angry surge we had in 2015. Also, ghosts and goblins hit by howling winds last year will probably have to contend with breezes instead.

As for temperatures, they should run mild. Even so, when it comes to the period’s overall weather pattern, more trick than treat is predicted.

When compared to the year before, however, this forecast isn’t so grim. Also, consider that on Halloween 2002 the temperature dropped to 7 degrees in the Spokane area. In 1971 it snowed 1.6 inches and in 1933 it rained 0.89 inches.

In true Halloween spirit, the festivities manage to go on. Just ask the witches and Ninja Turtles sloshing through puddles or leaving footprints in snow.

 

Weathercatch is a bimonthly column that appears in The Spokesman Review. Nic Loyd is a meteorologist with Washington State University’s AgWeatherNet. Linda Weiford is a WSU news writer and weather geek. Contact: linda.weiford@wsu.edu

 

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