Heat Wave Update

July 28, 2009

2:30pm:

Now THIS is a heat wave!  I’ve been wondering for 18 years when we might break the all-time PDX record of 107 degrees.  We’re getting close…I see it’s 100 at 2pm, running 6 above yesterday.  Someone please tell me it’s not going to be 109 at PDX later?

A bit busy right now tracking our historic heat wave, and more important, where we are headed the next couple of days.  I’ll have some thoughts later.  But I’m guessing it may be almost time to bust out the champagne for Portland’s all-time record?  We’ll see…

8:30pm: 

Looks like we topped out at 106 degrees at PDX, the hottest temp since 1981!  Vancouver also hit 106 which makes it their all-time high temperature.  Combined with the 74 this morning tying the all-time warm low temperature, it’s truly a historic weather day in the area.  Of course the other quirky part of today’s temp is that it’s the first time we’ve had a high temperature of 106.  We’ve hit 105 a few times, and 107 three times, but that’s it…never a 106.  Weather geekery galore today.

Keep in mind that we did this with no obvious easterly flow through the Gorge or over the Cascades.  In fact the pressure gradient was very light westerly this afternoon!  That’s a very hot atmosphere.  More later…

10:30pm:

Hmm, that was an uncomfortable TV moment around 10:25…good times.  If you didn’t see it don’t worry, not that big of a deal.  I don’t have any big thoughts about tomorrow that are much different than what I mentioned last night.  Looks like just a notch or two warmer due to the arrival of east wind across the eastern part of the Metro Area.  Maybe it’ll only reach Troutdale and Gresham, but either way the drying of the airmass plus some downslope warming should help.  I’m a bit worried that we’ll get a sudden 2-4 degrees warming…above today!  I hope not.  Seems safe to go with a all-time record-tying 107 degrees for tomorrow.

Beyond that we cool only slightly Thursday…above 100 still a good bet.  There is an obvious weak marine push Thursday night on most models.  So just above 90 the forecast for Friday.  After that models diverge a bit; the ECMWF keeps strong ridging along the West Coast, while the GFS allows an upper-level low to get close to us later in the weekend.  Both keep warm to hot weather around.  If we make it through Saturday with highs above 90, it’ll be the longest stretch of 90 degree weather in Portland’s history.

Time to go home…I may post early tomorrow morning (8am?) since I’m doing some live hits on KXL radio…Chief Meteorologist – Mark Nelsen