Autumn Arrived Today

2:10 PM, Temp 62.6 °F, Dew Pt 60.5 °F, Barometer 29.90 in, Wind 6 mph SE G 15, Humidity 93%

Though the equinox is still a month off, autumn arrived today on South Fidalgo Island.  The evidence is gray skies, breezy winds, a light rain and a bit of chop on the bay.  After almost a month of sunshine and drought, a weather system moved in delivering the first measurable rainfall since July 25th.  While the Pacific Northwest seems to be known for its rainy weather, in July and August we are actually drier than most other parts of the US.  Seattle's annual rainfall of 38 inches/97 cm is only an inch more than the US national average.  By my reckoning, South Fidalgo is averaging about 21 inches/53 cm annually at the edge of the Olympic Rain Shadow.

The classic "Indian Summer," warm, sunny weather after a frost doesn't occur here.  We may not get frost until December, or even January in some years.  Unofficially, our Indian Summer comes after the first blustery, rainy day and that is happening today.

The term "leaden sky" may have originated in the Northwest.  If not here, it was probably the UK where the weather and climate are very similar.  I am told that artists actually appreciate the even, glare-free, shadowless light here, especially in the winter.  If the rest of August continues as it usually does, we will see a change in the light from now on.  Even sunny days will have a different, more fall-like quality.

There are more signs of fall in the neighborhood.  Driving home from town this morning, I noticed the Bigleaf Maples, Red Alders and Indian Plum leaves are starting to turn yellow.  The Madronas in my yard are dropping last year's leaves with a vengeance.  It is still comfortably warm, but fall is definitely in the air.