A taste of fall came to the Walla Walla Valley last week as a cold front brought a couple of very chilly nights to the area — even threatening frost in a few notably colder spots. The unusual cold caused some brief concerns on the part of local grape growers who feared an untimely frost would kill the leaves on their vines. This would bring an abrupt end to the pre-harvest ripening process, which relies on carbohydrates the leaves produce through photosynthesis to bring the fruit to acceptable sugar levels.
Many who viewed the absence of last week’s column with the hope it marked something of a permanent nature will be sorely disappointed to see your faithful weatherperson is still on the job. An all-too-short vacation in North Carolina’s spectacular Outer Banks has recharged his once-flagging batteries. He returns to you with renewed spirit and a few extra pounds courtesy of multiple helpings of crabcakes, fried shrimp, grouper, tilefish and flounder from the bountiful waters of the Atlantic and its numerous estuaries.
Your wayfaring weatherperson writes this from Rodanthe, N.C., at the very eastern edge of our U.S. of A. A few days of R&R here prior to returning to Walla Walla for the annual madness known as the grape crush will help considerably with his frame of mind as the next two months of harvest reveal the much-anticipated story of vintage 2014.
First off, your slightly peeved prognosticator would like to dispel the ugly rumor that has lately been circulating, claiming his weekly weather column is actually penned by four former Notre Dame footballers with a strong penchant for writing that has not been satisfied in the course of their college careers.
Weather-weary Walla Wallans are wondering many things as of late: Will the Wilbur Avenue work be completed before most of us cast off this worldly shell? Will WSU’s gridiron warriors wilt in their much-awaited (by a few) “war of the weak” season opener against Rutgers? And, most importantly, when will this wretched and withering heat give way to something more welcome weatherwise?
Your roaming reporter has fled to the shores of beautiful Lake Tahoe in order to find some slight surcease from the Walla Walla Valley’s unrelenting heat that threatens to boil the brains of its now thoroughly sun-baked citizens.
It was a week marked by blustery storms, damaging stones and crackling electricity in the Walla Walla Valley — and then there was the weather.
Our weather so far this month would appear to have much in common with the current race for Walla Walla County sheriff: a prodigious amount of annoyingly hot air that seems as if it will never go away.
The heat is most definitely on here in the Walla Walla Valley and has been for several days now.
This past weekend featured a rather un-summerlike array of weather. A lingering trough of low pressure that had brought nearly one-quarter of an inch of rain to the Walla Walla Valley on Thursday and Friday continued to provide partly to mostly cloudy skies, occasionally gusty winds and afternoon temperatures that fell about 6 degrees short of the date’s normal high of 84.