A very weak cold front passed through the region early today, dropping all of .05″ rain at PDX.  That’s been the story so far this spring, weak systems and warmer than normal weather.  I think it’s fascinating that the last three Aprils in Salem have been warmer than ANY April from the early 1950s to late 1980s!  That’s what we call “cherry-picked” data because it’s such a specific statement.  There WERE lots of warm Aprils in the 1920s through 1940s.  We not only have a gradually warming climate, but there are cyclical patterns occurring too.

Just a quick post this evening to let you know we still have quite a warm/hot spell (for early-mid May) on the way.  As mentioned in the previous post, a strong upper-level ridge will be over us now through Sunday.  The atmosphere overhead warms quickly tomorrow and stays very warm through Sunday.

Mark Jet Stream

By the way, record cold will be descending on the northeast USA.  Some rare May snow is on the way for parts of New England the next few days.

Wind flow over our are switches to “offshore” or easterly tonight.  From tomorrow through at least Saturday evening we’ll be in that offshore flow.  Check out the cross-section of the atmosphere over Portland.  Time goes from this morning (right side), to Saturday 5pm on the far left side.  700 refers to about 10,000′ overhead (top of Mt. Hood), and 850 level is around the Cascade Pass elevation.  You see easterly flow begins around sunrise tomorrow and goes strong all the way through Saturday afternoon.  It extends up to around 4,000′ or so.  Expect a gusty easterly wind for much of the metro area Friday and Saturday.


How warm/hot will we get?  Over the past two days we’ve bumped up our high temp forecast a few degrees.  That’s due to models in excellent agreement showing temps at pass elevation around +16 to +18 C.  Past situations (including exactly one year ago) have seen 85-90 degrees in this setup.  So this is what we expect for the next three days; and there’s no reason we can’t hit 90 on Saturday.  All of the record highs on this graphic occurred in May 1987.

Mark Hot Heatwave So Far

I remember that hot spell since it was my senior year in high school.  Most likely spent a night or two cruising the strip in Centralia (WA)…old memories.

Make sure you are watering all potted plants and also pay close attention to any flower/veggie beds that look dry.  Easterly wind always dries out the ground quickly in our climate, especially so this year since spring has been drier than normal.

I’ll be off Thursday-Saturday; three day weekends this summer like many of you are seeing due to current economic issues.  No complaints here considering the weather this weekend.  Time to get the pool cleaned up, and stain a deck!

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

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