I think it's fair to say it's been a long, hot, brutal summer and early fall has only seen a few cool days.

Cooler weather is on the way and it should finally start to feel like fall.

When you look back at Summer 2017, for many spots in Northern California, it was the hottest on record. Multiple consecutive days of 100-degree weather bookended the summer.

While last week we saw fall was getting off to a cool start, with temperatures in the 70s, with Sierra snow, the first full week of fall was a warm one.

That is all about to change next week, as we say goodbye to those 90-degree days and say hello to temperatures in the 70s in most places for the entire week.

The Sierra is also in for some substantial changes with lows in the 20s and highs only in the upper 50s. With the leaves changing up high first, it will be a full week of fall colors and chilly weather to go with it.

With the cooler temperatures, it’s also that time of year when we start wondering what an early winter might look like.

There are few places to look for overall pattern hints for seasons. We can look to last season’s El Nino, and La Nina patterns to help guide the forecast, though.

When El Nino emerged a few years ago, the thought was patterns that tended to send storms south would make Southern California wetter and the Pacific Northwest drier. That did not exactly happen. While many storms helped ease the drought in Northern California, Southern California was left hanging on to another year of drought.

Last season we saw neutral conditions in the Pacific Ocean, and by sheer luck, the storms stacked up and we busted the drought.

As we look toward another La Nina pattern, despite recent memory influencing our hope, weather right now may not reflect the classic pattern.

With that said, we should see the Pacific Northwest brew up some more storms, and Southern California with less. Our local area is often in the middle with wet and dry periods during the winter.

One thing we can feel more confident about is the temperatures.

Expect most of California to be warmer than average. That forecast comes from warmer ocean temps near California, as well as the long-term warming trend with climate change.

Enjoy the fall weather on the way, and let's look ahead to winter soon.