Hot History

August 8, 2010

Anybody remember that heat wave?  I was 12 at the time and remember having dinner downstairs in the basement because it was so hot upstairs.  Not many people (maybe 25% at best?) had air conditioning in this area back then.  Heat Pumps were pretty new too.  We hit 107, 105, 107 in a 3 day stretch…almost exceeded by last year’s heat wave.

Quite a different story this summer.  It’s been average to slightly cool (depending on whether you want to include June or not) in the Metro area.  We’ve had a very regular marine influence.  During the last 10 days I just took off I think there were morning clouds of some sort almost every day except 1 or 2.  That influence hasn’t extended down the Valley as much, so Salem and Eugene have been much sunnier.  By the way, another excellent period to take off, I don’t think anything of any interest weatherwise occurred in those 10 days.  Okay, that one afternoon/evening we had some lightning strikes down around Salem and then a nice light show over the Cascades for a few hours, but that was it…boring!

So I come in this afternoon and see a nightmare on the weather maps…a tight and cool upper-level low is forecast to drop south along the Pacific Northwest coast the next 3 days and then linger through the end of the week in some form or another.  In GENERAL, this type of pattern can lead to thunderstorms/showers developing and moving west of the Cascades from the east.  There have been times where it didn’t happen even with the same upper-level pattern (June last year?).  Now the 00z runs have come in with the low farther east, although our 00z RPM keeps the low nearby.  A movement farther east keeps all activity to our east, and would mean no interesting weather west of the mountains this week.  What a mess…it’s been a rough summer for models and forecasting.

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen