The Natives Are Getting Restless!

I think today we reached the “tipping point” with respect to our wetter and cooler than average weather…specifically the last 10 days.  Those thunderstorms dropped up to 1/2″ of rain on the west slopes of the West Hills this afternoon.  That along with highs just reaching within 3-5 degrees of average really set some folks off.

There has also been a lot of false or at least somewhat incorrect information flying around on TV and in emails.  For one, it’s not a record cold or wet May (as of now).   We are neither in the top 5 for rainfall (so far), or temperature (we won’t be).  So we’ve had colder Mays and wetter Mays for sure.  It will probably end up the wettest May in at least 5 years and the coldest in about 10 years.  And it’s not THAT unusual to have 9 out of 10 days wet in late May, but it only happens every 4-5 years.  Scan through May rainfall totals through the last 30-40 years at PDX and it seems like that’s the “return interval” for a wet May.  Basically we’re paying for those warm and sunny Mays of the past.  Remember last year we had almost two solid weeks of 70-90 degree highs!

For those of us that are weather-savvy, what’s probably most noticeable is the lack of “heat waves” or at least warm spells.  We have only hit 76 so far this May…back in 1991 we only hit 75…the only other time we haven’t made it to at least 76.  Considering the weather maps the next 7-10 days don’t look too warm, our 80 degree record COULD be in jeopardy.  The latest we’ve hit our first 80 degree temperature at PDX is June 9th.  I sure don’t see an 80 degree day through at least June 2nd or so.  Keep in mind that although the summer of 1991 (that chilly/wet May) took forever to get started, it lasted well into the Fall.  September through mid-October had day after day of 80+ weather.

I also just now noticed the two wettest Mays ever were followed by hot summers and severe fire seasons in the Pacific Northwest.

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

137 Responses to The Natives Are Getting Restless!

  1. Yevpolo1990 says:

    Instability looks so much more imressive

  2. pappoose in scappoose says:

    Had to go to a satellite to find a cloud this AM, unfortunately I found lots of them there.

  3. Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

    SPC hasn’t backed off with their 1:00 AM discussion.


    Also a 5% risk for Damaging Winds and Hail.

    We’ll have to see what the next discussion mentions.

  4. Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

    Looking at some info…

    Well the 00z SLE Sounding wasn’t bad.. Some instability, negative LI, decent lapse rates, and 35kts Shear.

    3z SREF scan: LI zero to negative 1. SBCAPE 500J/kg. MUCAPE 500J/kg. PWAT .50″ to .60″. 0-6KM Shear 35kts.

    The early morning NWS AFD was kind of wishy-washy sounding.

    WV Loop shows a nice SSE-SE flow aloft now in place.
    So I don’t think moisture or lift/forcing will be too much of an issue. I think it’s going to come down to surface heating and timing. We’ll need sun breaks and a shortwave to move north during the afternoon/evening. However starting out with temps in the low 40’s in my opinion isn’t helping matters.

    • Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

      Well I’m in the low 40’s.. Looks like most locations are upper 40’s to 50.

  5. Kyle says:

    The oracle says to pay attention to anything signifcant the next time it’s 5:55pm in your life. 🙂

  6. W7ENK says:

    62.1°F High
    48.2°F Low
    SW 14.5 mph at 3:24p

    I like when numbers do funny things, and I sometimes notice things like this.

    My minimum humidity reading today was 55% at 5:55pm

    Kinda kewl! 🙂

  7. Battle Ground Brian says:

    Wow, the 00z GFS is showing epic wetness.

    5.64″ of rain

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

    Can anyone tell me how you post a profile picture on here?

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

    It’s 55.6F degrees outside.

  10. From evening NWS discussion regarding tomorrow:

    The models indicate that there
    should be decent afternoon heating pushing US up into the middle 60s…
    so we should see more showers and some thunderstorms develop again
    Thursday afternoon and evening. There is a light easterly component
    to the middle and upper level flow that should be favorable for
    allowing activity on the Cascades to drift out over the valleys.

  11. chiefWright says:

    Can someone point me to a website with free historic daily min/max temp and precip data for PDX? I’d like to go back daily until at least 1940. I’ve found a couple of pay sites, but not willing to shell out the $$ for it. I’ve got an idea for showing graphically what Mark has pointed out– that though many are thinking this is a record May– it’s not really, and influenced more by the last few years being very different that the historic trend.

  12. Kyle says:

    Actually there is nothing wrong with being off topic once in a while…………………………………………………………….as long as it doesn’t go on a tangment about whatever it is that’s OT.

    Once something runs on a tangment then we got serious problems.

    Just LOOK at that beautiful sunset bloggers! 😮 No T-storms but sure one hell of a sunset!

    • chiefWright says:

      Yup, it’s gorgeous. Been watching the sun dip under Trask mt. It’s the best sunset viewing angle for us of the year.

  13. Tom (NE Portland) says:

    Absolutely stunning double rainbow over N Portland right now…high-arching and bright!

  14. W7ENK says:

    OMG, what the hell is that thing?!?

    Are we going to die???

  15. Kyle says:

    In response to W73nk: YT kind of sites don’t work on FireFox at all since I first tired it last summer:

    Flash Plug fails right after you click to install it:

    I assume FireFox makes it install incorrectly.

    • W7ENK says:

      I’d had no problems with Firefox at all until Sunday night. Nothing changed; no updates, no new plugins, no crashes, nothing, but for some reason anything that relied on the Flash plugin just flat died. I tried reinstalling the plugin, to no avail. I tried reinstalling Firefox twice, again to no avail. I went with Chrome because I installed it on my “son’s” computer back in March, and I’d been needing an excuse to make the switch myself.

      Sorry about getting off-topic, so I digress.

  16. Ryan (Walnut Grove) says:

    Pretty awesome black mass of clouds to the south over PDX slowly oozing north to the Couve!

  17. Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

    Bye bye instability.

  18. W7ENK says:

    Off and on rain all day. Some nice dark cloud bases around, but nothing too threatening. All around, a boring day. I’m hoping for a little excitement later this evening/overnight?

    I just had to upgrade my Browser. I’d been using Firefox since last summer, but something happened and now it won’t handle Facebook or Youtube, and FB Chat has been dead for me since Sunday evening. I just installed Google Chome… Holy Crap!!! So fast, it’s incredible!

    • ^5! i just installed google chrome as well and am really impressed with the speed.

      i’m in a pocket of clearing at the moment. haven’t seen/heard anything exciting around 60th and powell. zzzz…

    • Kyle says:

      It was last summer when I first tried FireFox and it doesn’t handle YT at all.

      Flash plugin fails at install.

  19. Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

    Convective Outlook

    As of 6:00 PM

    Upper Air Analysis
    850mb: +3c to +4c
    500mb: -24c to -25c

    Thermodynamic Fields
    SBCAP: -50CINH (Weak CAP developing)
    MLCAPE: 250J/kg
    MUCAPE: 500J/kg
    CONVECTIVE TEMP: 55F(Based on 12z SLE Sounding)
    LOW-LEVEL LAPSE RATES: 6.5 to 7C/km
    LCL HEIGHT: 800-1000
    LFC HEIGHT: 800-1000
    SHEAR: 30-40kts
    PWAT: .73″

  20. Sarah (E. Gresham) says:

    Will this sun break in Gresham be good enough for storms? I just went out for a half hour jog. When I left it was cold and sprinkling, so I dressed accordingly. About 10 minutes into my jog it got sunny….REALLY sunny. I had to start shedding layers, (and thankfully I had layers to shed). I could also see clouds building to the SW. (accidentally posted this as a reply to a post down below as well)

  21. Battle Ground Brian says:

    Roseburg got 0.62″ in 40 minutes just now with a thunderstorm.

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

    Looks as if some showers are trying to gain strength to my ESE. Clouds look a lot darker and seem to have a crude anvil shape taking form, with dark cumulus clouds forming closer to the ground just ahead of the main cells. Lets hope the radar gets more active….

  23. Tyler says:

    Oh so close! The ground was just starting to dry out but it started to rain again! Some decent cells going to the south.

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

    Anyone else see the hail storm in Commerce city Colorado today? 6-12″ of hail fell and shattered out windows on cars… WOW!!!!!!

  25. Justin (Brush Prairie) says:

    Mark, FWIW there is a mistake I noticed in your post. You said 1991 was the only other May when PDX failed to hit 76, but 1962 is actually pretty legendary for having a monthly max of only 70 in May. Horrible summer that was. Just thought I’d let you know.

    • Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

      Only one person on the blog would know this. Mr #’s 🙂

    • pgiorgio says:

      He was probably fed those numbers and just counted on them being right

    • Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

      Oh no I dunno about that. Justin is usually real sound with his research and statistics. He has been for several years and on other Forums as well. I would rely on Steve Pierce, Justin, and Jesse probably the most for that type of information. No offense to anyone else.

    • Justin (Brush Prairie) says:

      Thanks, Rob.

    • Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

      No problem.

    • pgiorgio says:

      I meant Mark was given those numbers for his post

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