WENATCHEE — Long-standing records were shattered as temperatures plummeted around North Central Washington on Sunday and into today.
The Wenatchee Valley set two record lows for Oct. 11: 23 at Pangborn Memorial Airport, breaking the previous low of 33 set in 1990; and 25 in Wenatchee, dipping below the low of 28 set in 1931.
“It’s pretty extraordinary to break records by 10 degrees or more,” said Greg Koch, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Spokane.
New low records were also set in Plain, Ephrata, Moses Lake, Winthrop, Mazama and Omak on Sunday, and more record-low temperatures were expected to be set this morning, Koch said.
One apple orchard near the intersection of S.E. 4th Street and Nile Avenue in East Wenatchee suffered broken limbs.
Tim Smith, WSU tree fruit extension agent for North Central Washington, said it’s too early to determine how much damage the freeze did to apples still hanging from trees.
Fieldmen for local packing warehouses will be out today assessing damage.
“I’m concerned, but I’m eager to find out what happened exactly,” Smith said. “We’ll sort the bad from the good and move on.”
The weather will remain cold through today, but then start to warm up.
Wenatchee could see a trace of snow by Tuesday morning, and some mountain areas could get 5 to 10 inches of snow overnight, he said.
Today, the low temperature recorded at Pangborn was 29 degrees, beating out the previous record of 30 set in 1997.
Koch said the temperature may have dipped even lower, but all the data had not yet been analyzed.
Elsewhere in North Central Washington, record lows set Sunday included:
• Omak recorded a low of 10, obliterating the previous record of 24 set in 1946.
• Winthrop dropped to 12, besting the old record of 21 set in 1990.
• Plain hit a low of 14, breaking the record of 23 set last year.
• Moses Lake bottomed out at 17, shattering the previous low of 26 set in 2008.
• Ephrata dipped to 22; the old record of 26 was set in 1990.
Koch said temperatures are breaking record lows all over Central Washington, Northern Idaho, much of Montana and portions of Oregon.
He said an “unusually strong” weather system from Canada pushed cool, dry air across the Pacific Northwest for the past two days.
“It’s going to be chilly again tonight, but we’re not expecting record lows again,” he said.
He said Wenatchee will drop into the lower 30s tonight, and some outlying area may get into the upper 20s.
Clouds were expected to settle over the valley tonight, which could bring snow by Tuesday.
Koch said the weather system could drop sleet or freezing rain by mid-day Tuesday, and then change to rain later in the day.
Michelle McNiel: 664-7152