A Few Questions Answered

June 27, 2006

A few questions or comments thrown around in the last 24 hours so let me respond:

1. Someone in the comments in the previous post mentioned an "official" temp of 106/108 in Tigard/Milwaukie Monday reported on another TV station in Portland.   So where are the "official" weather stations in Portland?  The National Weather Service & FAA have ASOS (Automated Surface Observing Sensors) units located at McMinnville, Aurora, Hillsboro, Troutdale, Portland Airport, Vancouver, & Scappoose.  Those are the only "official" hourly reporting sites in the metro area.  Then there are "cooperative observers" who report to the NWS once a day (sometimes more).  I would consider those "official" too, but we often don’t get that information for several weeks or months afterwards.

So where do all these other numbers come from on our metro temperature maps?  At KPTV we often use the Mesowest Network from University of Utah, which collects ODOT sensors, mountain data, & RAWS data.  BUT, it also includes people who sign up to send their home weather information onto the internet (I do that from my home too).  Those can easily be unreliable and are often too warm on sunny days because the sensor is in a warm area.  So those are NOT official numbers, but I use them with discretion.  One showed a 107 at Eagle Creek yesterday, so I dumped it.  It’s pretty obvious that when all the "official stations" are 99-103, anything well outside of that range should be viewed with suspicion.

2.  Did it really hit 118 in Mulino or Mollala Monday?  No, for the reasons above.

3.  Did we tie a June record warm low temp today?  Close, but no.  It dropped to 67 at 6:50am this morning.  The June record is 68, twice during June 1948.  Hmm, when I saw that I thought…"June of 1948, that sounds familiar".  Of course! It was immediately following the Vanport flood in late May of 1948! So there was water everywhere around the lowlands of Portland because the Columbia had just flooded large chunks of north & northeast Portland and parts of Vancouver too.  What do you bet it was a very humid month?  That may have led to warmer nights than normal.  Just a theory, but interesting eh?

As for weather the next 5 days…looks like good thunderstorm moisture stays south of a Mt. Jefferson-Wallowas line the next 3 days and probably through the weekend too.  Better marine push tonight gives us our coolest day tomorrow, then warmer through the early part of next week.  No rain in sight!…Mark