A Few Questions Answered

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

32 Responses to A Few Questions Answered

  1. Dmitri K says:

    Its funny Randy Querin was mentioned here…I was just thinking the other day how Randy and Mark Nelsen were my two favorite weather forecasters back in the mid 90’s, and their forecasts on KOIN were the only ones I cared about. I literally viewed all the other forecasters with an air of detachment, since I didn’t consider them as good as Mark and Randy (except Jack Cappel, but he wasn’t one the air nearly as often by that time). I got to liking Matt Zaffino a little bit later, so now its Mark and Matt for me…with Mark still being the king.

  2. Andrew says:

    I see that the temps have gone down into the 70’s for next week, i hope that does’nt mean rain for the coast. Any ideas on coastal weather for the 4th? (going to be in seaside, or )

  3. cliff says:

    Another good friend, Bob Lynott, started the TV weather business in PDX at KOIN…..Mr “weatherman Bob” looked like a weatherperson was supposed too in those days..glasses and proffessional-like. He did good things..especially his and Owen Cramer’s paper on the Columbus Day storm.

  4. cliff says:

    Yes, Randy Querin did a good wx job too.

  5. cliff says:

    I think Brian is Bruce Sussman’s uncle…but I’m not sure…..The guy I get a kick out of in LA is Dallas Rains, he’s cool in his hollywood double-breasted suits….knows S-Cal wx too.

  6. Paul says:

    Yes, Pete Parsons is pretty good. The all time worst was KGW’s Don Clark who did the weekend stuff. His favorite thing to say on every forecast was the temperature “in our Nation’s capital”.
    Two other guys who are pretty good is Bruce Sussman and Randy Querin (he of the “Handy Randy” Show). Do you know if Bruce is the brother of Brian Sussman in San Francisco? Brian is one of the best down there. Just a lot of boring weather!

  7. Randy says:

    Thanks Justin. I thought about it being a graphic for the 4th of July but it didn’t look like a a 4th of July symbol.

  8. Justin says:

    Yes, but there’s
    -No instability
    -An upsloping marine air flow, with the high stratus clouds
    -No moisture support
    -And biggest of all, there’s a FRONT which has long passed us. Its a stationary front and to the south is where the moisture/instability is. Here we have nothing but our typical early summer weather.
    And as I said, look at the SPC compmap. It displays all of the paramteters and none of them are located here. Trust me, there’s about a 1% chance IMO that we see storms at any point this week. With the front so far south and no sign of the pattern really changing, there’s no way any of that will do anything up here. They’re moving north because they’re riding a boundary along the front.

  9. Droppin says:

    Well sometimes Justin Lol. But really on the water vapor loop as of right now the flow aloft is SW over us, except for southern oregon where they are in a south and slight SE flow aloft. This entire area is moving north and the NWS forecast discussion is noting this. So we’ll see 🙂

  10. Justin says:

    Blatant wishcaster, lol.
    And Randy, the graphic for next Tuesday is a firework display.

  11. Randy says:

    Does anyone know what the graphic means on the last day of the 7-day forecast? The graphic in question is the one directly underneath the sun. It does not appear to be TSTORMS, otherwise it usually shows a lightning bolt….it looks very odd to me, probably something simple.

  12. Droppin says:

    After reading the latest forecast discussion I’m still going to stick with my previous posting thoughts of convection spreading north invading the entire northwest by Friday. I want storms so I’m going to “will” them to happen Lol.

  13. cliff says:

    To Paul: Pete Parsons is also good…knows what he is talking about…
    glad he is back…

  14. Sean says:

    Ive got a severe thunderstorm moving through my location. Going to be a interesting drive home..

  15. Dmitri K says:

    Oops thought the 4th was Monday. That makes sense.

  16. Justin says:

    Oops, that’s
    *on and not no*
    Had to type pretty quickly there, back to work.

  17. Justin says:

    There’s a SW-NE jet tracectory Droppin, so no storms. There’s a stationary front in Southern Oregon and a tiny surface low I believe off the California Coast, digging up some moisture from Baja California. This stuff is riding along a boundary and firing along the front. North of the front, where we are there’s clear upsloping winds, feeding in some marine layer. But seeing that we’re well north of the front and moisture, and we are no the backside of this ridge, we’re just going to continue seeing stable Pacific air mixed with some clouds.
    Look at the compmap, its pretty easy to use. The water vapor loop only shows cloudtops, I’d recommend using surface compostie maps instead.

  18. Justin says:

    Its a firework, its the 4th…

  19. Dmitri K says:

    Anybody know what that weird graphic is on next Tuesday’s forecast? Looks like a bird’s eye view of a volcano or something. Never seen that before.

  20. Droppin says:

    After reviewing the latest water loop imagery I am going to stick to my previous forecast of increasing convection southern oregon, southern cascades, then spreading over the entire northwest.
    You can clearly see that even just off of the south coast they are in a predominately southerly flow. The entire circulation area is moving north. I do not see westerly flow aloft preventing this either.

  21. Andrew says:

    Why can’t we get thunderstorms like this in oregon 😦

  22. Paul says:

    Jack Cappel was my HERO! He always kept the KGW weather broadcast viewers apprised of what was going on in Alaska and the Yukon in the winter. If it was cold up there, it probably had to eventually come down here. He was ahead of his time. Most of the other “weathermen” were puppets of the Weather Bureau (except Bob Lynotte who was great but went too far off at times – he could draw those dotted lines though, couldn’t he?). We have some great forecasters now with Hill, Zaffino, and especially Mark and Drew! I’m a little disappointed in the new person, Stephanie. OK KPTV, was she added for the visual aspect? She is not a weatherperson, is she? She is still better than David Wison was – PHEWWWW!!!

  23. cliff says:

    Reply to Justin: I started with the PDX Weather Bureau in 1947 as a map plotter for the 4am surface weather map….Shades of Thomas Jefferson, we used straight pens and bottles of India ink and blotters….At least the pens did not have feathers on the end like in Jefferson’s time….Jack Cappel arrived in 1948( or 1949?) at PDX Weather Bureau and was always one of the most respected persons. He quit in the early 50’s to work for the Bonneville Power Admin for a few years before going to KGW.

  24. Dmitri K says:

    Oops, don’t know where the “if” came from in that one.

  25. Dmitri K says:

    Hey Justin, if you can find the NWS office daily temp data at the Oregon Climate Service:
    Its under Climate Data, Zone 2, Historical Data: Temperature: Daily, Portland Nwsfo.

  26. Andrew says:

    Heh, gets slow right after a big weather event moves through.

  27. Justin says:

    Were you working there back then cliff? And Jack Cappel is a forcasting god up here, that’s awesome if you knew him. BTW, are you with the WB right now?

  28. cliff says:

    To justin: I do not remember whether the PDX airport flooded or not in June 1948. I do know, however, we Weather Bureau people were moved from there to the Customs House in downtown PDX…After a few months, 9 of us moved back to PDX with offices in the United Airlines hanger…later a new building at PDX was built for us and the FAA office… A crew stayed at the Customs House and my, friend, Jack Cappel, was one of them.

  29. Justin says:

    Andrew, its an interesting question you ask. Technically there are not one, but three recording stations in Portland.
    One and two are both in NE Portland
    – The sensor station at PDX where the ‘official’ records are kept
    – The NWS office, which is currently located a few miles to the east of the airport. The PDX site used to also be the official NWS site, but in 1996 I believe the WSO moved a little bit east, closer to Gresham. Climatogically, these two sites are pretty much the same, though at least the current NWS office isn’t automated as the offical PDX site is, so they have the ability to record snow {I believe 1.5 inches last winter}. Unfortunately I do not know where their ‘official’ records can be viewed, perhaps Mark can shed some light on this because currently they are not available on any climate data sites and Portland’s NWS site does not officially recognize the seperate NWS site’s data.
    Third is the Portland Weather Bureau office, which I believe is located in part with KGW. They are located in SW Portland, a couple of miles from downtown and at a slightly higher elevation. Their temperature/precipitation data would probably be more consistent with yours Andrew. Their records and averages/totals can be viewed here.
    And to answer your question, I do also think that Portland, as well as the entire metro area, could use a few more climate recording stations, simply because it vastly differs from north to south and east to west. I still propose a recording site at the Zoo or maybe in the middle of the city somewhere that’s not at the valley floor, again like Providence or even around Lloyd Center, perhaps the NWS office could relocate around there to make the official climate data a little more objectively even. Seattle I know has several offices, and it comes in handy seeing that their climate changes rapidly as well. I remember in December of 1996 places near the Puget Sound and the offical station had about 6 inches of snow, while places about 5 miles to the east at the same elvation had about 25 inches. In Seattle the NWS office is miles seperate from the SeaTac station, and there’s a Boeing Field station and there have been several other observation sites throughout the years. If a gorgeless Seattle can have this fortune, so should Portland.

  30. Andrew says:

    *note* ignore spelling mistakes in previous post, tired as well tonight lol.

  31. Andrew says:

    Thanks for answering our questions. However i do have to say that out in the beaverton tigard area there were some temps between 103 and 105 degrees. Nothing really above that temperature, but from comparing several realiable thermos and being out in the area myself i do have to say that area exposed to the sun (no shade around) were just below the 105 range.
    Also i have a question that maybe you could answer in your next post, or anyone else. Why is it, that in such a good sized city we only really have one official spot where the temperature can be taken? I mean if you look at portland, it is very different temp wise all across the city. NE, out by the airport tends to sometimes be cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. Deep SE tends to be colder in the winter due to the gorge icy winds. And then SW/west hills tends to be on a completly different weather scale altogether.
    I often times during the winter, the weather channel reporting that it is raining and 36 degrees in portland when i have 2-3 inches of snow around my house up in the hills. They report that becuase of the official station being at the airport. It just seems like for a city so diverse temperature wise, we should have several reporting stations around the city.
    Just my thoughts (Kinda bored, so had to think of something to talk about lol)

  32. Justin says:

    Thanks Mark, pretty much what i had thought about the weathe rstations. I know where every still recording station is around the area, and I’m pretty sure there wasn’t one in Mulino, lol {never been to Mulino btw}.
    Interesting theory you have about the June 1948 temps, even the the Columbia didn’t flood at PDX or the NWS office if I recall, you still may be right. Of course the entire reason for that massive flood was due to the constant SSWerly air plume that spring that soaked upon a heavy mountain snowpack. We had had many warm/wet days if I recall {I wasn’t alive back then, but I’ve overlooked the data from that year many times}

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