Summer Wrap Up

Since today is the last day of August and September starts tomorrow, I figured it was time to do some old-fashioned number  crunching.  Looking at the June-August numbers, what a change from last year!  Remember that Summer 2009 was the warmest on record at PDX.  Well this year is the coolest since 1993, not in the top 5 coolest, but definitely on the chilly end…predominately held down by the cool and wet June.

By the way, before I get any farther, I already had a viewer email me and give the usual “summer isn’t over until late September!”.  Well, yes, the calendar says so, but generally meteorologists consider these 3 months the “summer” season.  That’s why it’s called “Meteorological Summer”. 

Okay, what are the other highlights?  Other than the well-advertised wet and chilly June; the wettest ever?  The other two months were dominated by cooler than average periods dominated by marine air and varying low cloud cover, separated by 3 hot spells.  A regular swing between hot and cool…instead of the hot, then warm that we were used to the last few summers.   Yet somehow we ended up with 11 days at/above 90 degrees here in P-Town…a few more at Salem and Eugene.

The rain is the big story tonight; what a beautiful orographic bit of action in progress.  Here at the station in North Beaverton (is there such a thing?), it’s pretty much dry, yet the eastern suburbs have been soaked by around .50″ of rain.  I’ve had about .70″ at my home near Crown Point.  Larch Mountain (WA) is up to .96″ at 10:30pm…looks like west slopes of the Cascades will end up in the 1.00-2.50″ range.  Orographic is in reference to mountains/topography.  Strong flow higher up in the atmosphere coming in from the northwest is rising over the Coast Range, dumping the rain, then rain “shadowing” the western metro area.  Then the air rises again into the Cascades, dumping another load of rain there.

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

80 Responses to Summer Wrap Up

  1. Battle Ground Brian says:

    Sept 01 2010 BG Lake Stats

    High: 67.4 Low: 54.2 Precip: 0.34

  2. RobWaltemate says:

    Had about 2/3″ of rain here on the Long Beach Peninsula on Aug 31, but today was nice and no rain after very early morning.

    • RobWaltemate says:

      And the wind was mostly from the west for the month of Aug. Here are some other items from Aug on the Peninsula
      High temp: 88.9 Low temp: 46.0 Highest gust: 20mph South and 1.19″ of rain is all. Kind of a different year than what we have had in the last few.

  3. tonybertolo says:

    Winter might not turn out to be too bad.

    We will see an active fall though.

    I usually offer a winter forecast around mid-september, maybe I’ll post another. Generally speaking I don’t do too bad. I will check a few indices first and will formulate something then.

    Here in Gresham my place just had a 10F upward swing in temperature. Went from being kinda cool, to warm in just over an hour.

  4. oregonalex says:

    Granted, this summer was lousy, but not all bust. Here are my bananas. And I am 2 miles from Hillsboro Airport – the veritable freezer box of the Portland area:

    • W7ENK says:

      Wow, you’ve got bananas here? That’s impressive!

      My avocado had a good summer, too.

      Not bad for 3 years. Two more and she should start flowering. 🙂

    • Washington Observer says:

      I am impressed.
      You actually have bananas.

    • oregonalex says:

      Yes there is fruit. Unfortunately, this variety (Japanese fiber banana) is not good eating – the fruit is too small and full of seeds. On the positive side, the trunks can survive some serious freezing – I had 8F in the garden last December for two nights and the banana stems survived only wrapped in a few layers of regular bubble wrap.

      Your avocado is pretty nice – way more ambitious than my bananas – I imagine you have to drag it indoors for bad freezes…

    • W7ENK says:

      Indeed, though I’m a little weary about this winter. She’s too tall for my 8′ ceilings now… perhaps I’ll wheel her into the garage for the winter?

  5. PDX Weather Nut says:

    Mark — perhaps the viewer that e-mailed you about summer not being over yet is from back east. The hot and humid weather often goes from April through early October in many places along the east coast including where I lived before moving to PDX.

    • Karl Bonner says:

      Actually in western Oregon, September is in fact slightly warmer than June on average, especially the daytime highs. Not sure if it is drier, but I’m pretty sure September gets fewer clouds than June does.

      But then we get an abrupt change in just two months: November is the second wettest month, average highs are quite a bit cooler than March, and it’s very hard to warm up under high pressure, at least not in the valleys.

      I like to think of summer as following the official definition in the Northwest, but fall is only two months and spring is four. Winter is exactly one month ahead of the official definition by my reckoning.

    • For me September is about 1/2″ drier than June.

  6. PDX Weather Nut says:

    Looks as if winter this year will be quite different than last if La Nina develops.

  7. Battle Ground Brian says:

    Battle Ground Lake Summer 2010 Stats

    Average Temps
    Month- High Low Precip
    June – 67.0 48.4 5.95″
    July – 77.8 52.1 0.26″
    Aug – 78.6 52.9 0.69″

    Highest Temp: 98.3 August 15th
    Lowest Temp: 40.6 June 5th

    11 days above 90.

    • To pattern after your stats:

      Sweet Home, OR Summer 2010 Stats

      Average Temps
      Month- High Low Precip
      June – 68.7 49.1 3.87
      July – 81.7 51.3 0.25
      Aug – 81.6 51.8 0.71

      Overall average temp – 62.8

      Highest Temp: 99.2 August 14th
      Lowest Temp: 42.5 June 14th

      13 days at or above 90.

  8. muxpux says:

    cant you all just eat fried green tomatoes and be good? haha.

  9. I second the motion of wanting to hear everyone’s winter forecast! I gave mine in the last post, feel free to read it, looking forward to hearing more. Enjoy the rain.

    • Washington Observer says:

      I haven’t seen any wooly bear caterpillars yet so I have no winter forecast to present.
      With that being said, I am preparing for a 1964-65 winter.
      As for eating fried green tomatoes….the only good part is the cracker crumbs.

      Speaking of caterpillars. I haven’t heard the crickets.

    • W7ENK says:

      Actually, I’ve heard tons of crickets the past few nights, even last night while it was raining… a little odd. It sounded so cool the other night, I took about 60 seconds of video (for the audio). Maybe I’ll try to upload that later?

    • O.C.Paul says:

      I like your winter outlook. I’m thinking we will see many systems coming staright out of the Gulf of Alaska. Much cold and wet weather. I think the quick turn-around from last winter is a good sign of that.
      I look forward to a few wind storms in Nov & Dec. too
      And several Artic Invasions.

      It does my midwest heart good.

  10. Timmy_Supercell (Hillsboro) says:

    Cat 3 hurricane hitting DC and New York…. The Day After Tomorrow???

    J/k 🙂

    • Garron near washington square says:

      It’s the weather channel’s ” when it could happen tomorrow!” All drama aside, it does look like the outer banks of NC might get hammered, some great surfing further north.

    • Timmy_Supercell (Hillsboro) says:


      I find it very funny that in the afternoon/evening hours it is HARD to get your local on the 8’s without there being some sort of show or movie.

  11. WEATHERDAN says:

    What a difference 24 hours makes. Monday in Salem we had .18 rainfall while most of the Portland are had none or next to none. Yesterday you had up to 2/3 of an inch of rain and we had only a trace of rain. Fascinating.

  12. Battle Ground Brian says:

    From 1030am yesterday to 1030am today I received 0.99″ of rain total.

  13. Garron near washington square says:

    UGGHHH! NOAA’s having issue loading, that’s a bad sign when your history consists of KPTV blog,, and weatherinderground, 1-2-3. It feels like a pineapple express minus the moisture out there.

  14. stilllearning says:

    We are trying to paint our house this weekend – all the stations are saying it should be rain free, but I wanted to check with you guys as you guys seem to be a little more on top of things (of course Mark, you aren’t included in this group – you do a great job).
    Is this weekend going to be a bad weekend to paint?

  15. Heisson Rob says:

    I’ve had one ripe cherry tomato all year. I’ve got Riesling vines with nothing but hard green berries on them, not even close to being ripe. There’s already one tree here that has lost almost all its leaves.

    I coulda used some more real summer.

    • W7ENK says:

      Oooh, that’s a good point! Everyone had high hopes for a killer 2010 vintage because of all the wet weather at the beginning of the summer, but if the grapes at the vineyards don’t ripen because of the cool summer, Oregon’s economy could take a MASSIVE hit come this winter or next spring.

      According to this, “The total economic impact to the state from the Oregon wine industry is approximately $1 billion.” – and that was in 2004. Add 6 more years of booming industry growth, and countless new wineries each of those 6 years…

      That’s not complaining, that’s simple fact!
      We could be in trouble. 😦

    • umpire says:

      I put in the plants Memorial Day weekend – five plants, all grape or cherry tomatoes. I’ve had ripe tomatoes regularly for about a month, and if we get a few warm days later this week, should have a lot more. Figured this was NOT the summer to plant beefsteak tomatoes 🙂

    • Garron near washington square says:

      Well, there’s at least two more days of summer and then, better start looking for those ways to ripen green tomatoes before they rot on the vines! This is my 10th year in a row that I’ve done at least 40 tomato plants, and this is the 1st year it’s been this bad. I’ve heard if you pick green tomatoes and stick them in brown bags with a couple of apples or bananas, they will ripen. I am going to try that tomorrow, and I’ll give everyone an update as they progress.

    • W7ENK says:

      @Garron et al: One thing I forgot to mention about the brown bag trick before… If you toss the bag atop the refrigerator (or another warm spot) it aides in ripening.

      The smaller, ‘not even ready to pick yet’ green ones probably won’t ripen at all, but the larger ones that are close but just haven’t turned, those should do well.

      Good luck! I’ll probably be picking mine by the end of next week. Whenever the rains come back again. Corn, too.

    • Garron near washington square says:

      Thanks W7ENK, we need all the help mother nature couldn’t give us this year. I sure will be curious to see too what happens with the hurricane. They think it might not turn in time and head up into Washington DC and New York.

    • Pete says:

      Wow, heavy 5-10 minute shower just passed through at NE 60th/Glisan…

      But about wine: Will this be a vintage that will rank with the disaster of 1984 and the awful 1995? If we don’t get good sunshine in September it might. Selling the 2010s could be difficult if the “bad vintage” meme takes hold in the wine media. With sales already challenged, that could present real problems for many wineries, even if they do manage to make solid wines. Meanwhile, here’s good reading: Dr. Greg Jones at SOU put out a 2010 vintage update/forecast last week —

    • When we had a barn…we pulled the plants up & laid them on loose hay….then covered with hay(or straw) …had ripe toms for quite some time 🙂

  16. Kyle says:

    60F for my lowest low and 62F right now with sticky icky dewpoints of 55F. 😦

    When is our overdue monster cold fronts a coming? 😕

    • Garron near washington square says:

      Looking at the visible it looked to be awhile before it moves through, but now I can’t even get NOAA to load the sat images!

    • Garron near washington square says:

      must be due to the hurricane, they’ve been just inundated with people I guess.

  17. Kyle says:

    *points to the two way different pictures* Holy jeez! 😮

  18. Steve Pierce (Vancouver, WA.) says:

    Coldest Portland Summer In 17 Years

    Issued: September 1st 2010 – 8:05am

    * Note – Permission is granted to quote or reuse the information below, with credit given to author.

    “Portland just finished its last full month of summer 2010, and with it comes the distinction of being the coldest “meteorological” summer (June, July & August) in the past 17 years. The last time Portland experienced a summer this chilly was in 1993. This was the exact opposite of last summer, which was the warmest summer on record at the Portland International Airport (1941-2010). This was also the first summer since summer of 1976 (nearly 35 yrs) that all three summer months (June, July and August) recorded back-to-back below normal average monthly temperatures. In fact, Portland has now been below average for five back-to-back months, beginning in April and continuing through August. Either way you slice it, it was a chilly summer by Portland standards. Summer 2010 will also be known as the summer that featured large temperature swings from one extreme to the other, along with morning low clouds that persisted longer than normal.”

    Here are some additional highlights from the summer of 2010 —

    * 10th coldest June on record at the Portland Airport.

    * Single wettest June ever recorded (1941-2010). More than four and a quarter inches of rain fell.

    * The latest date in history to finally reach 80 degrees for the first time in a given calendar year. That was done on June 11th of this year. The old record was June 9th.

    Here are the top 15 coldest summers on record at the Portland Airport (1941-2010) —

    Year Jun Ave Jul Ave Aug Ave Summer Ave
    1954 57.9 63.0 63.3 61.4
    1964 58.7 64.5 63.7 62.3
    1963 59.9 63.0 66.2 63.0
    1955 60.7 63.4 65.5 63.2
    1953 58.6 66.2 65.6 63.5
    1957 62.0 65.5 64.5 64.0
    1956 59.0 68.0 65.4 64.1
    1976 60.4 67.2 65.5 64.3
    1962 61.6 66.4 65.9 64.6
    1949 61.7 65.9 66.5 64.7
    1993 62.5 64.3 68.5 65.1
    1989 64.2 65.5 66.0 65.2
    1980 60.7 68.9 66.4 65.3
    2010 60.4 67.5 68.1 65.3
    1952 60.3 68.0 67.9 65.4

    Steve Pierce
    Vice President
    Oregon Chapter of the American Meteorological Society (AMS)
    503-504-2075 (Portland)
    web site:

    • Garron near washington square says:

      Thanks as always Mr. Pierce, your information is always interesting, and abundantly useful. I have had to explain to my bosses time and time again why our sales at the stores for summer stuff is down, and I can just point to this blog and say, ” yeah that’s what I’ve been trying to explain to you guys”

    • Mark Nelsen says:

      Yeah, but do YOU have permission to quote me on the 17 year summer thing?

  19. chiefWright says:

    Quite a contrast in rainfall patterns in the last 48 hours! A 180 flip in the pattern about an E/W axis thru the Clackamas/Yamhill/Marion/Washington “armpit”:
    Here’s yesterday’s CoCoRAHs data:

    And today’s data (partial, not all in):

  20. August

    High 99
    Low 43
    Rain 0.71″ (.69″ on the 30th)

  21. August 31st

    High 68
    Low 46
    Rain 0.00″

  22. W7ENK says:

    Oops, new post. 😳

    4:40am – I was just awakened my a pretty hefty gust of wind… not really feeling like getting up to go see how strong it was, but it sounds awfully breezy out there right now.

    Okay, fine – SSW 23.2, that’s a decent surprise.

  23. Kyle says:

    Hey Rob: We sure had gusty winds that at times look/sound like a minor south wind event.

    Some gusts look like they topped 30mph REAL BRIEF here but mostly like you said. In the 20-25mph range.

    I heard SOMETHING like a small branch bounce off of the fence to my north. 😮

    And this is only September!!!

    • Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:


      I wouldn’t doubt if some gusts locally were near 30mph. A few gusts were even slightly audible inside my house. Not bad not bad

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

    Good morning and Happy September everyone!

    It sure feels like Fall. Definitely September out there, or maybe Septober….

    I was surprised to wake up to very breezy to nearly gusty southerly winds. So far my peak gust is 26mph. Not too shabby for September 1st!

    Even the southerly surface pressure gradients are decent.

    As of 4 AM
    PDX-EUG: -3.2mb

  25. Sifton says:

    In 17 yrs??? It just figures……….

    • Jesse-Orchards says:

      And last Summer was the warmest ever??? It would take several Summers like these to offset that monster. Yet people like you will still complain.

    • Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

      Not just him, many folks throughout the area complained about this cool Summer. It is like I said before some folks like it cooler, some like it hotter. We all has biases that lean us towards one or the other.

    • Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

      Last Summer was WAY too hot.

    • Ryan (Walnut Grove) says:

      Save from our one 5 day stretch of 90+ temps this summer was perfect. I’m more than ready for fall though.

    • Sifton says:

      Well excuse me Jesse for living in the now & not last summer!

  26. Battle Ground Brian says:

    08-31-2010 Oregon Weather Extremes


    High: 83 at O’Brien
    Low: 59 at 8 different locations


    High: 41 at Timberline Lodge (7000ft) Palmer lift
    Low: 27 at Crow Flat, Mazama & Crane Prairie

    Largest Diurnal Change: 42 degrees
    Beatty (71/29)

    Heaviest Precip:

    North Fork 1.80″

  27. Battle Ground Brian says:

    Heaviest rainfall total I could find last 24 hours?

    4.30″ at Skookum Creek (el3920) in the North Cascades East of Seattle.

  28. Battle Ground Brian says:

    BG Lake Rainfall as of 1:45am

    I am in the orographically lifted rainfall zone (as usual) much like Mark’s house outside Corbett.

    Under .2 of an inch storm total at PDX so far.
    Meanwhile out here since 10am when the measurable stuff started I have received 0.75″ as of 1:30am since the rain began this morning.

    Larch Mtn has received 1.35″

    • Battle Ground Brian says:

      Just checked, quite amazing how Salem has only received a Trace of rain from this system.

  29. Kyle says:

    You guys all must be blind! 😮 😦
    There is 0.00 inches of rain and mostly gusty S winds causing small branches to sway and rustle every 10 mins.

    An hour ago I heard a medium sized woosh come thru.

  30. Summer is back for a couple of days this week and then its quickly back to fall..

    58° with 0.61″ rain

  31. tonybertolo says:

    Been raining here for a bit now.

    September is usually the month that ushers in those early winter forecasts. Any takers?

  32. High today was 61° with 0.59″ of rain so far.

    Currently 58° with light rain.

  33. Justin (Brush Prairie) says:

    No thunder here for the whole summer. A first.

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