Summer Doldrums

July 7, 2008

Snapshot Back at work for a couple weeks now as the “real” Northwest Summer weather kicks in.

A strong ridge of high pressure is centered around 130W or so off to our southwest.  This positioning does not bring us excessive heat or east wind here in the metro area.  Instead, high 500mb heights (close to 590 dm) suppress the marine layer quite a bit the next 2 days.  That means temps up around 90 degrees.  I notice the UW WRF-GFS cross-section shows a switch to easterly flow from 800-950 mb the next two mornings between about 5am and noon.  The northeast or east wind doesn’t make it to the surface, but it’s an awfully warm pattern in July.

The ridge weakens somewhat Thursday-Saturday, bringing back a more typical morning clouds/afternoon sun routine as a thin marine layer develops.  With heights staying around 580-585 dm, it’s going to be tough to get significant marine cloudiness inland.

Beyond Saturday, models have more troughing and lower heights in general, but they all vary significantly in the details.  So more morning cloud cover is more likely.

With a westerly flow of some sort the entire 7 day forecast period, it’s doubtful we’ll be able to get t’storms even in Eastern Oregon.  It’s going to be real quiet the next week or so weatherwise.  Time to get my deck stained!

By the way, we announced last week that we’ll be starting a 5pm newscast (5-6pm) right after Labor Day.  The same day, we’ll start a 8-9pm newscast over on our other station, KPDX-49.  Hmmm, sound familiar?  Seems like some things go full circle.  I first came to work in this building in 2000 as the meteorologist on FOX-49 News At 10.  I;m getting old.

Mark Nelsen