Weathercatch: Sometimes Mother Nature plays tricks on Halloween

<p><p>After the rainfall and winds that whisked across the region this week, the weekend should be blissfully tame. With Halloween falling on Sunday, many of us will be participating in outdoor seasonal celebrations. Trick-or-treating, the Great Pumpkin Race, the Monster Fun Run, you name it – calmer weather conditions should help get us in the spirit all weekend long.</p></p><p><p>But often, Halloween weather doesn’t cooperate. After all, it’s October, a transitional period when atmospheric conditions push and tug more than any other month of the year. On Oct. 1, the average high temperature in Spokane runs in the mid-to-upper 60s. By Halloween, it hovers around 50. The average low temperature falls from 42 degrees to 34.</p></p><p><p>And that’s if we’re lucky. We’ve seen some bone-chilling cold on Oct. 31. We’ve also experienced snow. With the exception of a tornado and an ice storm, the Spokane area has practically seen it all.</p></p><p><p>Here’s a look at some unusual weather conditions we’ve encountered on Halloween:</p></p><p><p><strong>2020:</strong> While not weather-related, it’s still worth mentioning that last year we had a once-in-a-blue-moon event. For the first time since 2001, a blue moon was visible on Halloween, when two full moons rise during a single calendar month. What made this treat in the sky even more unusual is that it was visible (weather permitting) nearly worldwide for the first time since 1944. As for the actual weather in Spokane? It didn’t rain or snow, the high temperature topped out at 52 and the overnight low was 31, so conditions ran normal for that date.</p></p><p><p><strong>2019:</strong> Topping Spokane’s coldest October on record, it’s no surprise that Halloween ran on the cool side as well. Temperatures were 7 degrees below normal, with a high of 43 degrees and a low of 25. It could have been far chillier, as temperatures ran 18 degrees below normal only two days earlier.</p></p><p><p><strong>2016:</strong> Topping Spokane’s rainiest October , 0.38 of an inch of rain fell on Halloween.</p></p><p><p><strong>2015:</strong> A storm barreled across the Pacific Northwest, bringing a witch’s brew of wind and rain. 0.48 of an inch of rain fell in Spokane, accompanied by wind gusts of nearly 40 mph. Even the werewolves were miserable.</p></p><p><p><strong>2002:</strong> A bitter-cold low temperature of 7 degrees.</p></p><p><p><strong>1988:</strong> Spokane’s warmest Halloween on record, topping 67 degrees. Even the ghosts and goblins were enchanted.</p></p><p><p><strong>1971:</strong> The city’s snowiest Halloween on record, with 1.6 inches of snowfall.</p></p><p><p><strong>1933:</strong> The wettest Halloween on record, with 0.83 of an inch of rain. Considering that the normal amount for the entire month is 1.3 inches, more than half of October’s precipitation fell on that single date.</p></p><p><p>The weather this weekend should be a treat. Seasonable and dry conditions are on tap across the Inland Northwest on Saturday and Sunday.</p></p><p><p>———</p></p><p><p><em>Nic Loyd is a meteorologist in Washington state. Linda Weiford is a writer in Moscow, Idaho, who’s also a weather geek. Contact: ldweiford@gmail.com</em></p></p>