Deer hunters will have a much different experience the second weekend of the season than they did the first.
As will anyone else who plans to spend time outdoors in the mountains.
The summer-like weather that has dominated the first 3 weeks of autumn, including the opening weekend of the Oct. 3-14 rifle deer season, will take a dramatic turn this upcoming weekend.
The National Weather Service predicts that the strongest storm since last spring will barrel into Baker County on Saturday, bringing widespread rain to lower elevations, possibly a few inches of snow on the peaks of the Elkhorn and Wallowa mountains, along with blustery winds and temperatures more typical of November than of August.
The temperature likely won’t reach 60 degrees on either Sunday or Monday. That hasn’t happened since May 21 and 22.
The storm, which will drop the snow level to between 5,500 feet and 6,500 feet, according to the Weather Service, will end the abnormally warm beginning of autumn.
The high temperature at the Baker City Airport was above average on 12 of the 16 days since the equinox.
The warm spell has been even more notable, which is to say unprecedented, during October.
The temperature topped 80 degrees on each of the first 7 days of the month at the Baker City Airport. That’s the first time that has happened since at least 1943, the first year for which temperature records are available from the airport.
A weather station that operated in Baker City from 1928 to 1981 also didn’t document any October that started with 7 straight 80-degree days.
This October’s torrid start — daily highs of 85, 87, 85, 81, 81, 86 and 81 (as of 4 p.m. Wednesday) — didn’t set any daily records, however. The closest was Tuesday, Oct. 6, when the high of 86 fell just 1 degree short of the record set in 1980.
The balmy trend started in September. The month’s average high temperature of 81.5 degrees at the Airport was 6 degrees above average, and the fifth-warmest on record for September. The hottest September at the Airport was 1967, when the average high temperature was 83.3. The runner-up is 1990, with an average high of 82.7.