Surprise Thunderstorm & Evening Thoughts

Thunderstorm just east of Mt. St. Helens this evening

Thunderstorm just east of Mt. St. Helens this evening

Wow…quite an impressive thunderstorm going crazy at this hour.  Check out the cloud to ground strikes…I estimate about 30 in just 15 minutes over the “Dark Divide” area between Mt. St. Helens and Mt. Adams.  That is the divide between the Lewis and Cowlitz river drainages that runs roughly west-east between the two mountains.   You can click on the image to bring up a larger version.  Does anyone think this MIGHT cause a problem tomorrow when the thunderstorm is gone and temps in that area approach 90 degrees?  I don’t remember any significant fires in this area in the last 15 years.

Here are my thoughts at 11pm:

Amazing that we made it to 103 (all airports in the PDX area hit the same temp!) with essentially a flat gradient, or just slightly easterly.  I rode my bike past Crown Pt. around 9am there was just a light easterly breeze.  So with a slightly warmer atmosphere tomorrow, but just a flat/light easterly flow, I figure about 2 degrees warming.    That’s how I ended up with the 105.  As for tonight…whew!  This will probably be the only time I’ll hop into the kids swimming pool when I get home.  At 10pm it’s 90 degrees.  I think even during the bizarre cloudy night during the 2006 heat wave we had dropped to 88 at 10pm.    Looks like a low around 70 will probably be reasonable.

Wednesday and Thursday’s temp forecast is a bit problematic.  It’ll be scorching hot…that much is for sure.  But we get much stronger offshore flow, more like September easterly wind due to a surface high coming down into the northern Rockies.  I think it may actually turn breezy through at least the eastern half of the metro area.  With better mixing one would think it could turn even hotter than that 105.  But the upper-level heights and 850 mb temps drop a bit at the same time.  So do we turn cooler or warmer?  I’m not sure, so I just left it at 105.  I could see a situation where we don’t get much, or any,  atmospheric cooling and then the easterly breezes pick up in the afternoon.  Maybe we’ll get a surprise 107?  This could be fun (and brutal).  Even with an east wind blowing, Thursday’s atmosphere is slightly cooler again, so maybe right around 100 or just under.  Holy cow…we’re talking 4 days at/above 100 degrees if that’s the case.

Beyond Thursday:  I see the 00z GFS has backed off on the trough approaching the Coast, pretty much eliminating the thunderstorm threat and keeping us pretty warm (85 at least) through the weekend and early next week.  Now to give some of you hope, I’m headed into Eastern Oregon starting Friday for a week-long vacation.  So that’s probably when the low will make it’s move, giving us a severe thunderstorm outbreak west of the Cascades.  Stay cool!

Chief Meteorologist – Mark Nelsen

200 Responses to Surprise Thunderstorm & Evening Thoughts

  1. Wendy-Silverlake says:

    I just looked up the temps on the kptv website and Kelso is showing 88 and I am sitting at 98. Is the site not updating or is it just that much hotter higher up?

  2. Camas Mom says:

    What happened to the page? This is all old stuff.

    Anyway…97.7* up here so it’s a hot one!

  3. Timmy_Supercell (Hillsboro) says:

    Mark did another post folks…

    🙂

  4. PaulB/Eugene says:

    105.2 on my fan aspirated/heat shielded Davis VantagePro 2 here in Eugene at 3pm

  5. Punxsutawney (aka HIO Phil at work by Sunset High) says:

    There’s a convective cumulus forming over what looks to be downtown Portland, or maybe the West Hills next to downtown.

    Someone in the area should take a look. I have never seen this before, at least during “Heat Wave” type weather I mean.

  6. Jethro says:

    Oh, are my Canadian inlaws in for some fun when they step off the plane at 4:00 — 30C is hot for them, they’re going to melt in 40C weather!

    Currently 104.0 south of Canby (which equates to exactly 40C).

  7. Punxsutawney (aka HIO Phil at work by Sunset High) says:

    There are convective clouds forming over the Coast Range and parts of the West Hills at the moment.

    • Snow-Zone/Monmouth-Elv200' says:

      I see them to my west also….. is it possible to see some surprise t-storms?

    • Timmy_Supercell (Hillsboro) says:

      Storms are popping up around the Central Washington Cascades again. Mark said there wouldn’t be anymore 🙂

      Satellite image:

    • Snow-Zone/Monmouth-Elv200' says:

      Must be due to the humidity and the extreme heat.

    • Aleta-West Gresham says:

      I can see the ones over the cascades and to me they seem closer to us today then they were yesterday. Further south i believe.

  8. Timmy_Supercell (Hillsboro) says:

    Here we go again with Ridgefield…

    http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/mesowest/getobext.php?sid=AP059&table=1&banner=off

  9. Snow-Zone/Monmouth-Elv200' says:

    Looks like the models were right when they were spiting out numbers of 107-111F a couple of days ago. We are on track for that.

  10. Tetra says:

    97.9F outside and a dp 57F.

    Where is that easterly wind? Cmon you can do it.

  11. J-Kelso says:

    98.9 Here. KKLS just reported 97, next report will likely be 98-99.

  12. Snow-Zone/Monmouth-Elv200' says:

    Now 101.5F…

  13. Sandi (Wilsonville) says:

    KUAO reporting 100°F at 12:53 pm report!

    I was out watering and weeding in my garden from 7-8 am this morning and it felt like it was the middle of the afternoon! 82°F at 8 am.

  14. Jethro says:

    And we have 100.0 now — south of Canby.

  15. Tetra says:

    96.4F here so looks like 100s isnn’t too far away from me.

    Low did not go below 72F here so it was a hot one last night and probably hotter tonight.

  16. Snow-Zone/Monmouth-Elv200' says:

    Amazing its just after 1:00pm and I am currently sitting at 100.2F…. probably peak out around 108-110F today never seen that before.

  17. Timmy_Supercell (Hillsboro) says:

    Well, K5 is already “done” with this heat, he’s hiding in the pool now.

    Who’s next? LOL

    Funny to see this in Portland, Oregon

  18. muxpux says:

    so Kelso NWS at 95 at 12:55. still +5 from yesterdays pace.

    im at 99.4 at the house. thats tied with my high from yesterday. and its only 1pm!

  19. Timmy_Supercell (Hillsboro) says:

    Its already 102F in Portland! This as of 12:46 pm!

    http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/mesowest/getobext.php?sid=D2682&table=1&banner=off

    Have anything to say about this guys?

    Or is it incorrect?

  20. K5mitch NE PDX says:

    100F now…

  21. shimmering heat waves
    wonderful warm summer dark
    daytime barefoot burn

  22. Snow-Zone/Monmouth-Elv200' says:

    Timmy, do you think there is even a remote chance that we could have a tornado watch over the Willamette Valley ever…. I would be kinda afraid if we did get one though.

    • Timmy_Supercell (Hillsboro) says:

      Now, given the fact that a tornado watch was never issued in the state of Oregon before, It would be a lot less likely to see. But I’m not saying its not possible for one to include the Valley, but we’ll probably just see another severe thunderstorm watch a second time if anything.

    • Timmy_Supercell (Hillsboro) says:

      and that would be wierd to see another watch include us again this year. The watch that included us on June 4th was the first EVER, so two in one year will sure make some news.

      I had some second thoughts about there being another one this summer, let’s see if I’m right.

  23. Timmy_Supercell (Hillsboro) says:

    Like what Chris was saying earlier, heat waves always end the same, with boring marine flow, but this time it just looks different.

  24. K5mitch NE PDX says:

    98.6 were does the maddness end…

  25. Timmy_Supercell (Hillsboro) says:

    384z GFS indicates another upper level low approaching the Northern California coast. Scans don’t go any further then this, but this one will probably contain our storms.

    Could August be a storm pattern altogether?

  26. Andrew Johnson (Silverton) says:

    This is my thinking for highs today

    Corvallis 110
    Salem 107
    PDX 105

  27. Snow-Zone/Monmouth-Elv200' says:

    95.2F outside 76.2F inside.

  28. Matthew says:

    92f at PDX as of noon. We are down to only 5 degrees warmer then yesterday.

  29. Jethro says:

    Now at 93.3 degrees — was at 88.1 at exact same time yesterday (+5.2).

  30. PaulB/Eugene says:

    Bake…Sizzle…and Fry….aptly put

  31. PaulB/Eugene says:

    EXTENDED FORECAST DISCUSSION
    NWS HYDROMETEOROLOGICAL PREDICTION CENTER CAMP SPRINGS MD
    224 PM EDT TUE JUL 28 2009

    VALID 12Z FRI JUL 31 2009 – 12Z TUE AUG 04 2009

    PRELIMINARY UPDATE…

    THE PRELIMINARY FRONTS AND PRESSURES FOR DAYS 3 THROUGH 7 WERE
    UPDATED USING THE 00Z/28 ECMWF THROUGH DAY 5…WITH A SMALL
    INCORPORATION OF THE 00Z/28 EC ENSEMBLE MEAN THEREAFTER TO
    MITIGATE UNCERTAINTIES IN SYNOPTIC DETAIL INHERENT TO THAT TIME
    RANGE. THE 00Z/28 GFS WAS UNUSUALLY IN SYNC WITH THE
    DETERMINISTIC ECMWF WITH THE MAJOR SHORTWAVE CROSSING THE GREAT
    LAKES DAY 6…ADDING A GREAT DEAL OF CONFIDENCE TO THE FORECAST
    THERE. THE ENTIRE PATTERN IS QUITE UNUSUAL FOR THE DOG DAYS OF
    SUMMER…WITH AN ENORMOUS…AUTUMNAL STRENGTH HIGH NOSING INTO THE
    NORTH CENTRAL STATES BY THE END OF THE PERIOD. THE BIG VORTEX OFF
    THE WEST COAST LOOKS LIKE IT WILL STAY WELL OFFSHORE…ALLOWING
    MUCH OF THE INTERIOR WEST TO CONTINUE TO BAKE…SIZZLE AND FRY.

    FINAL UPDATE…

    THE 12Z/28 GFS IS BUCKING CLIMATOLOGICAL RECORDS GOING BACK AT
    LEAST 50 YEARS BRINGING THE VORTEX OFF THE WEST COAST INTO
    CALIFORNIA THIS PARTICULAR PERIOD…ESSENTIALLY THE ANNUAL THERMAL
    MAXIMUM FOR THE UNITED STATES…SO DISCOUNTED IT SUMMARILY THERE.
    DOWNSTREAM…THE GFS MADE PROFOUND CHANGES FROM ITS 00Z/28 RUN
    WITH THE PACING OF THE WAVES COMING THROUGH THE MAIN BAND OF
    WESTERLIES DIPPING DOWN FROM CANADA…A POOR MARK FOR CONTINUITY.
    THERE IS STILL SOME WIGGLE ROOM FOR THE EXACT EVOLUTION OF THE
    SYSTEMS AFFECTING THE GREAT LAKES REGION DAYS 5 AND 6…BASED ON
    THE LATEST GEM GLOBAL AND UKMET…BUT THE BLEND USED FOR THE
    UPDATE PACKAGE IS AS SOLID AS ANY…SO SAW NO COMPELLING REASON TO
    MAKE CHANGES ACROSS THE NATION FOR THE FINAL ISSUANCE.

    CISCO

    • Snow-Zone/Monmouth-Elv200' says:

      Looks like 90s/100s are going to be here through sept! lol

    • chris s says:

      If you look at their site and look at the model data they have, it shows us in the mid 80’s for that time frame they are talking about, not exactly bake, sizzle and fry, just slightly above normal. In fact, looking at the temp chart they show for day 7, we barely crack 80, something like 82-83.

  32. Matthew says:

    93f at 11:45am at my house.

  33. Snow-Zone/Monmouth-Elv200' says:

    I wonder what the max amount of power outages is possible during the most extreme heat…… 50,000-75,000+ or is that just to high for only heat related weather…. or would it have to be a wind storm/ice storm to do that much?

    • Punxsutawney (aka HIO Phil at work by Sunset High) says:

      If a major transmission line goes out and the power companies can’t correct, it can be regional, meaning all of us here.

      I don’t have a really good memory of the facts, but some time in the late 90’s or early 2000’s one of the BPA lines in the gorge sagged into trees due to heat and failed. Only extremely quick action by the BPA to open up generators on the Dalles Dam and send power out over different lines prevented a large West Coast Failure.

  34. Punxsutawney (aka HIO Phil at work by Sunset High) says:

    Hillsboro airport was at 91 at 10:53am.

    That’s +8 over yesterday. If that holds we have a high of 111 there today. I don’t think it will get that hot, but above 105 looks likely at this point.

  35. Snow-Zone/Monmouth-Elv200' says:

    92.8F light breeze from the east.

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