I took a full week off right when the heat wave began last week. 6 days of camping in the Cascades included Diamond & Paulina lakes (excellent!). One night at Still Creek campground too (not as excellent). Of course we ended up right around 100 degrees the first day of that heat wave, then cloud cover from the south kept us in the 90s the 2nd day. Then a third day in the 90s this past Monday before cooler marine air made an appearance. That first day all official observing stations in the metro area hit 100 except Portland & Vancouver. Troutdale was offline; inconvenient timing. Aurora and Eugene both hit 101.

The result is that we’ve just about hit our yearly “allotment” of 90 degree days. One more than last year…so far.

Porltand DOES get more 90 degree weather than in the past. Check out the average for each decade. The 1950s and 60s saw far fewer hot days than the last 20 years.

DECADE# of 90 Degree DaysAvg per year


Today I came into work and realized it was going to be the most boring forecast of the entire summer! This is GREAT news for all of us though; we are in a very stable late summer weather pattern through the foreseeable future. Many of us will consider these last 8 days of the month just about perfect:

  1. ABUNDANT SUNSHINE Models aren’t showing much marine layer west of the Cascades = very little morning cloud cover, if at all
  2. NO HOT WEATHER Just enough onshore flow to keep us in the 78-88 degree range
  3. COOLER NIGHTS Longer late August nights + dry airmass = overnight lows well down into the 50s, hardly a need for air conditioning.
  4. NO FIRE SMOKE All that smoke from California and central/eastern Oregon wildfires remains south of Medford and east of the Cascades

We are seeing a pleasant weather pattern because upper level heights are a bit above normal. Here’s the ECMWF ensemble forecast of 500mb heights for later this week (Friday), note the above average heights (warm colors). Click for a larger view

Next weekend a cool upper-level disturbance drops down just to our east, bringing early Fall temps to the Rockies, but leaving us dry. This is Sunday the 30th.

Notice that new ridge developing just to our west; models show that ridge becoming the dominant feature overhead in the week leading up to Labor Day. Here’s Wednesday the 2nd

Looking WAY out there, to Labor Day Weekend, models show that ridging sticking around; we may yet see additional 90 degree weather in the next 2-3 weeks. Here’s the ECMWF & GEM models for Labor Day, the 7th of September. Depending on your browser, this may or may not show with a “slider” to move between the two.


The main point?

There’s no sign of an early rainy spell as we head into the first few days of September. Warm and dry late summer weather continues until further notice.

We are now regularly producing a weather podcast here at KPTV. The 3rd episode this month was just posted online. This week while I was on vacation, Brian/Anne/Jeff got together. Hear about the “firenado”, record heat, and Anne’s chicken fears… Make sure you subscribe and rate/review if you get a chance.

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

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