Warm End to May

May 25, 2009

One thing still sticks out on the weather maps tonight…the unusually warm and dry weather is going to continue.  It’s not that it’s been VERY warm or hot by any means, but consistently “perfect”.  The last 5 days have been: 74, 75, 74, 75, 74 at PDX.  That’s very consistent don’t you think?  Sure, overnight temps have been a bit chilly, but with clear skies plus relatively low dewpoints you can expect that.  It does appear that dewpoints should rise a bit the next few days (at least acccording to models), so I raised the overnight temps a bit. 

In the short term there is a weak front moving towards us.  It is the leading edge of a large upper-level low pressure area that is sitting over the Gulf of Alaska.  The dead/dying front drags by to our north tomorrow, so we should see a minor marine push plus some mid-high level clouds too.  I notice freezing levels only rise over the next 72 hours though even as the disturbance moves by, so not much cooling either tomorrow or Wednesday. 

By Thursday an upper-level high to our south expands northward as a new upper-level low develops farther to the west and southwest of us.  This heats things up a bit, but that’s without the low level flow actually going offshore.  So I figure about 10 degrees warmer from what we had today by Thursday and Friday.  The upper level flow over us and especially eastern Oregon turns southerly around the upper-level high, which MAY bring monsoonal-type moisture north for thunderstorms.  I’ll be over in Maupin this weekend for a bicycle ride…so MAYBE there will be some lightning over there.  By the way it’s a fundraiser for the Juniper Flat Rural Fire Department, so if anyone else wants to ride 40 miles through the desert (fresh sagebrush aroma!) feel free to join me.

In general there doesn’t appear to be a significant shift of any sort towards cooler/wetter weather in the long range maps.  So for the first time in several years, I’m planting my entire garden within the last week of May.  I live in a cooler area and the chilly showers often rot the warm weather veggies.  But this appears to be the year to get going early!

On another note, looks like some shifting around in the Portland TV weather scene.  I alluded to this a week or so ago.  Possibly one morning weather person is moving to an evening slot and booting the evening guy out.  This doesn’t affect KPTV/KPDX or anyone here for that matter.  You are sure welcome to discuss it, but I won’t add any new thoughts until I confirm details in the next few days.