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Why you shouldn’t expect a ‘Polar Coaster’ in the Pacific Northwest

Fall has just begun, but storms around the region have some already thinking about winter.

“You know, we are in that time of year where we get a pattern like we saw last week and we’re seeing now,” National Weather Service meteorologist John Keyes explained.

As we get deeper and deeper into the fall, we begin to see streakier weather.

“We have two or three days where it’s cold, windy, we’re getting rain and snow, even down at the lower elevations, and then we get a day or two, maybe even three, of really nice warm temperatures,” Keyes said.

Below normal temperatures are something he said we could continue to see deep into October, but even with the recent temperature dips, Keyes says people need to remember they are looking at trends.

“It’s not necessarily going to say the entire month of October, the entire season of winter is going to be a certain way. You have to look at how things go storm to storm.”

Looking ahead to this winter, a “Polar Coaster” has been predicted by the Farmers’ Almanac. Specifically, predicting chilly temperatures with normal precipitation in the Pacific Northwest. But Keyes says the trends show otherwise.

“Yes, we are looking, according to the Climate Prediction Center, above normal temperatures and near to potentially below normal precipitation.”

While you may see a storm or two pass through the area, like the one making its way across the southeastern part of the state Friday, Keyes says you can’t judge the trends on one system.

“You have to kind of make sure you don’t get into a pattern where one or two storms is going to dictate how the rest of the season is going to go.”

And with the unpredictable nature of the season, Keyes said we can expect another cold and windy day, like Friday, next week.

“We might even see a few places hit 70 by Tuesday, and then we’re dropping right back to like we were Today, the middle of next week.”

Keyes says people shouldn’t get bogged down by terminology like the “Polar coaster,” especially while we are still in the fall season.

KIFI

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