Another change in the weather pattern is coming to the Columbia Basin. An upper level low pressure area will move southeast from the Gulf of Alaska into Washington this week. The southwest flow ahead of the upper level low will transport moist and unstable air into the area with showers and thunderstorms each day through Friday. Look for rainfall amounts to be mainly a quarter inch or less, but heavier thunderstorms could produce one half to one inch on farms near the Blue Mountains and near the Cascades. Hay cutting may need to be delayed until the chance for rain damage decreases this weekend. Since most of the rain will occur in the afternoons, chemical applications may have a small window of about 6 hours for spraying in the morning. The rain will help moisten soils that have become rather dry. Due to the clouds, higher humidity, and below normal temperatures, crop water use this week will be less than normal with alfalfa, spring wheat, onions, potatoes, early corn, mint and apples using between an inch and a third and an inch and 2/3. Lawns, melons, and peaches will need about one inch. Since much of the winter wheat in the Columbia Basin is beginning to turn color toward ripening, the water needs for winter wheat are decreasing rapidly. Plan on temperatures to return to mainly the 80s by early next week and this will be within a few degrees of normal.