Back At Work

August 23, 2010

I’ve exhausted the vacation accrual account, so it’s back to work now.  Other than a day or two here and there, I won’t be taking a bunch of days off until Christmas week.  My hunch is that the weather should be much more exciting then (La Nina…La Nina…La Nina…).

For the short term, my internal debate of the night is whether to raise the 90 degree forecast high.  I figure at least 10 degrees warming tomorrow, but less than 15.  That gives us somewhere between 90-95 degrees.  The easterly flow looks to be a bit stronger than what we had during the heat wave a week ago.  WRF-GFS shows 4-5 millibars easterly gradient through the Gorge.  That should give us some gusts 30-40 mph in the usual windy spots at the west end of the Gorge, maybe 25-30 mph eastern suburbs.  The wind is pretty much gone by daybreak Wednesday though; this is going to be a quick offshore flow event.  In fact it’s all westerly at the surface by later Wednesday afternoon.

A strong marine push Wednesday night plus major cooling in the upper atmosphere should combine to give us one of those “double-whammy” summertime cooling days.  Down 15-20 degrees in one day.    I notice the 850mb temps drop from +19 Wednesday afternoon to +6 Wednesday PM.  Then down to +4 or so Friday?  Whew…that’s September for sure.  Our August chart for 850mb temps shows only 5 days out of the last 310 (10 years) with temps at/below +5. 

So basically the Fall-like weather that started late last Wednesday will contine through the foreseeable future, interrupted only by these 3 warm days!  Is it time to kiss goodbye to my little “grape-size” cantaloupes growing on the south side of my house???  I think so…there’s no way they are going to make it with lots of 60-70 degree days in the future.

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen