Pullman cools down for the week

Weather seems colder because of summer heat; temperatures will return to 80s next week, which is normal for Palouse area



Recent average temperatures have been within 5 or 6 degrees of normal average temperatures in Pullman during late August.

KASSANDRA VOGEL, Evergreen reporter

Recent cool weather may seem unusual, but only when compared to Pullman’s extremely hot summer.  

There has been a significant weather pattern shift over the last week, which has brought cooler than average temperatures to the Pullman area for the first time in a couple months, said Greg Koch, lead forecaster with the National Weather Service Spokane. 

“The cooldown we’ve experienced over the last couple of days is below average, but it’s not terribly below average. Our average high temperatures this time of year are in the low 80s,” Koch said. 

Recent average temperatures have been within 5 or 6 degrees of normal average temperatures in Pullman during late August. But temperatures just a few degrees below average seem unusually cool because it has been so hot for so long. 

“As far as June and July went, we were unusually hot,” he said. “With July being one of the hottest on record for a good portion of central and eastern Washington.” 

Not only was there a record-breaking heat wave at the end of June, there were also several days where temperatures hit above 90 degrees. 

The cooldown is overdue and has provided the Pullman area with some much-needed rainfall, Koch said. 

Eastern Washington and North Idaho have been experiencing significant precipitation deficits, he said. The deficit began in February and continued until the middle of August. 

The ongoing drought could also be a contributing factor for hotter summers, Koch said. The West has experienced several years of drought, and a dry landmass heats up a lot more efficiently than a wet landmass. 

Fortunately, winter is expected to be wet. 

This winter, the Pacific Northwest will be at or below-average temperatures. There will also be a good chance for above-average precipitation levels, he said. 

The winter forecast is largely based on the return of La Niña ocean conditions, Koch said. Fluctuations in ocean temperature can influence weather, especially during winter and early spring. 

Although the winter and spring may provide some respite from the heat, the trend for hotter summers is becoming more common, Koch said. Higher temperatures have been increasing during the summer months — June, July and August. 

Normal temperatures in the 80s will return to Pullman going into next week. 

Pullman will be right about where it should be, or even a couple degrees above average, Koch said.