Hot History

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

60 Responses to Hot History

  1. Garron near washington square says:

    what the GFS is going on here!?!?! What a roller coaster ride. I’d go with what we’ve been experiencing this summer pattern. If the GFS says 100, take 15 degrees off, if it says 80, i’d go with am clouds and 73. If it says 65 and am rain, probably east winds and blowing snow…lol Gee it will be an interesting trip this winter.

  2. Tyler in Hazel Dell says:

    Doesn’t look all that bad up in Vancouver BC. Some rain to clear the air, and now some clearing behind the front. Must feel like fall up there!

  3. Battle Ground Brian says:

    Rain is approaching Puget sound from the northwest now.

  4. chris s says:

    Somewhere in a secluded room there is a monkey throwing darts blind folded at a wall of numbers. These numbers than are input into what we know as the gfs. i always remember the computer models being so so but my goodness i dont think out to lunch even covers the gfs this summer 🙂

    • Ryan (Walnut Grove) says:

      Don’t forget the bottle of Jack that the blind folded monkey has been sipping off of as well!

  5. Ryan (Walnut Grove) says:

    Holy hot sauce Batman! The 12Z GFS run is completely out to lunch. I feel bad for any weather professional attempting to make reliable predications with the garbage the models have been spitting out this summer.

    Winter should be thoroughly entertaining…

    • Tyler in Hazel Dell says:

      I think this is why the NWS always trends towards climo. It’s much more likely to be in the low 80s on Saturday vs. over 100. Any model riders better hold on tight!

    • Ryan (Walnut Grove) says:


  6. Boydo3 500' North Albany says:

    Looks hot on the euro.

  7. Battle Ground Brian says:

    12GFS at KTTD – Wham!! Death ridge is back in the forecast.

    Calling for 102 Saturday and 98 Sunday…
    I do not believe these numbers have any chance of happening as the GFS has been so inconsistent.

  8. Runrain says:

    Little humor from the latest NWS discussion: “Upper low – weathermans woe”.

  9. W7ENK says:


  10. Battle Ground Brian says:

    06Z GFS output here: looking quite cool next 16 days with a few chances or rain here and there.

  11. Derek Hodges says:

    I don’t know if anybody was paying attention but you know….6z gfs does keep the 500mb circulation east of us, but at 700mb the flow is NE. So technically I guess we still need to watch because the upper level flow is still somewhat offshore.

    • Ryan (Walnut Grove) says:

      My money would be on the low continue to be pushed east and no further support for t-storms. Not to be a downer but this is typical for this sort of setup for us… Just like snow forecasts.

      I am excited to see at least the GFS continue with a cooler overall theme. Interested to see if the 12Z EURO follows suit or if it keeps up with the death ridge long term.

    • Tyler in Hazel Dell says:

      I agree, the trend has been to move things east…much like our winter cold. I would be happy with a quick heavy shot of rain just to clear things out of the air.

    • Derek Hodges says:

      I agree with you, I just have nothing else exciting to hope for

    • Justin (Brush Prairie) says:

      The GFS hasn’t been cooler, Ryan. In fact, the 00z and 6z runs are a lot hotter. If the ULL goes far to our east as it’s showing, then we’re going to cook underneath that ridge.

    • Ryan (Walnut Grove) says:

      What 06Z where you looking at? 850mb temps never topped more than +18 degrees and mostly stayed in the +9 to +13 range. At the end of the run it dropped all the way to the +5 area.

      We had two days at 85-88 and then dropped back into the upper 70’s and low 80’s. Earlier runs advertised 90’s during the same range.

      The 12Z went nuclear with heat though.

    • Justin (Brush Prairie) says:

      No, the 06z GFS clearly shows 850mb temps much warmer than that.

  12. muxpux says:

    new site up from BPA. displaying real time wind info, as well as temp, humididty and barometric pressure…might wanna bookmark it for winter wind storms…

  13. Garron near washington square says:

    Welcome back welcome back welcome back,,,do-do-do-doddo, sorry I had that sitcom’s WELCOME BACK CARTER song stuck in my head thinking about 1981. I was 10 and living overseas in Saudi Arabia w/ my dad while he was building Safeway stores when that occurred. If I had to guess, I think it was probably 115+ that day over there. Hey at least it was a dry heat…There were a couple of Christmases back there that were 105 or better, fun stuff!

    Hope we get those t-storms so Mark has something fun to come back to.

  14. Ryan (Walnut Grove) says:

    06Z GFS returns to cooler logic for the duration of the run. Looks more like October than it does August at the end of the run. 🙂

    • pappoose in scappoose says:

      In that case it can send us a Columbus day windstorm, thank you very much.

    • Ryan (Walnut Grove) says:

      Wouldn’t that be grand? I’m hoping the ominous predictions that are popping up for this coming winter come to fruition. Wind storms, snow storms, and cold snaps… oh my!

  15. pgiorgio says:

    I was 1 year old at the time living in a no AC house. Hope it didnt fry any of my baby brain cells.

  16. Tyler in Hazel Dell says:

    Looks like the NAM was more correct than the GFS…

  17. Runrain says:

    I was 25 and I remember getting ready to board a morning flight to Chicago for national training. They held us up from boarding for a while, as they needed open up the plane to air it out. It had gotten too hot inside from the heat overnight. I remember that being a Sunday morning.

  18. Jory (Sandy) says:

    That’s right after I graduated high school in ’81. Knowing how I was back then, I was probably cooling off over at the Little North Fork of the Santiam River. Either that, or slaving away at a cannery.

  19. eugene in vancouver says:

    I was 24 in 1981 and unfortunately none of my brain cells have survived from that period.

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

    Holy cow. Has anyone looked at tonight’s 00z EURO?
    Yes, unfortunately it take the first initial low further inland, so no storms for us. The bigger news is by next Monday it takes the 850mb +24c isotherm and shoves it well north almost into British Columbia. EURO looks HOT.

    • Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

      It looks like the heat builds in from the southeast, so I assume a good chunk of humidity will as well. There is another upper low offshore in the extended period that could produce storms.

      Anyhow off to bed. Getting up at 4:30 AM to go Fishing with my Dad and Brother at Harriet Lake.(Southeast of Estacada near Ripplebrook Ranger Station) Going to try to entice those large, elusive Brown Trout.

      Good night.

  21. Robert in Hazel Dell says:

    Mark, I think this “mess” is nothing more of an echo of the NWS report a few months back that gave no confidence in their forecast for July-Sept. But hey, at least I’ll give them credit for getting that part right!

  22. Mike (Orchards 255') says:

    It was an amazing run of hot temps in that August ’81 heat wave. Two days of 107 with a 105 thrown in-between that was preceded by a 103 was one very memorable heat wave..

    A feeling good 59° currently…

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

    I was 9 and I have no recollection of it.

  24. Ken says:

    Welcome Back. Hope you had a good vacation.

  25. Ken says:

    Welcome Back Mark. Hope you had a good vacation.

  26. Battle Ground Brian says:

    I was also 12 years old during that 1981 heat wave

    Here is what Aug 8th looked like in the valley.

  27. Battle Ground Brian says:

    Speaking of heat wave, 00Z GFS 8-day numerical guidance has us getting pretty warm end of the week

  28. PaulB/Eugene says:

    Remember the heat wave well….was camping at Trillium Lake @ Mt Hood, watching the Perseids. Remember hearing on the radio that it was 101F at 7pm at PDX (If I remember correctly…I was 10 years old then

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

    Welcome back, Mark! Thanks for the update.

    I hope 00z was a small hiccup of sorts. Maybe 00z EURO will disagree and 12z suite of models tomorrow will revert back. We NEED some weather excitement.

  30. Boydo3 500' North Albany says:

    Mark, you can stay on vacation. We’ve got it under control!

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