Is Spring Getting Colder & Wetter?

The short answer is no, in general our springs are not getting colder west of the Cascades, but the last 5 April-May 2 month periods have been either average or below.  The data above is from all western Oregon inland stations…basically all areas between the Coast and Cascade Ranges.  Note the 100 year trend shows no significant change.  Warmer springs in the 30s and 40s, then colder springs in the 60s and 70s.  Back to warm springs again in the late 1980s through the mid 2000s.  Are we back in a 10-20 year period of cool springs?  Time will tell I suppose.  By the way, for those of you worried about a “bleedover” into cooler summers?  Definitely not, the trend is significantly warmer both for July-August and July-September.  Summers are getting warmer (maybe later?), but springs are either the same or (recently) cooler.  Here’s the spring rainfall graph; an increase there for sure…April-May has been getting wetter in Western Oregon:

Remember these graphs only apply to a specific geographic area and I didn’t look at the trend east of the Cascades or up in Washington.

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

107 Responses to Is Spring Getting Colder & Wetter?

  1. He remarked that the long cool and wet springs of 2008 2009 and 2010 reminded him of the way the valley was when he first came to Oregon in the 1970s. Garbanzos and lentils can handle the cool springs and are a good fit for this region.

  2. Jeez, I thought last evening was cool! it is 56.1, DP 39, clear skies, and a chilly NW breeze. This is NOT June weather.

    C’mon 00z show something more than just a brief transitory ridge!

  3. I hope 18z advertises scorched Earth type heat. Park the death ridge 594-600dm heights right over the PNW.

    • Why would you hope for that?

    • Some heat would feel nice. I’m sure Jesse would have to agree with this by now. 😀

    • runrain says:

      It might make us feel better to know that Tallahassee, Florida hit its all time record high today with a 105 recorded. And you KNOW that it felt a lot worse than one of our 105’s (can you say humidity?)

    • runrain says:

      Wow. In Tallahassee it was 104 deg at 4pm with a dewpoint of 62. With thunderstorms, and 2 hours later, it has dropped to 74.

    • Karl Bonner says:

      Actually do you remember July 2006 Runrain? On Sunday July 22, Portland topped out at 101 and the dewpoint was 62. That morning at 3am, the temp was 73 and the dewpoint, 70. Yuck!

      And the late July 2009 heat wave, the one that got both Eugene and Portland up to 106, was accompanied by dewpoints in the mid 60s that briefly dipped into the 50s during the hottest part of the afternoon.

      Tallahassee today started out with dewpoints in the mid 70s and morning temps in the upper 70s, then dewpoints dropped to low 60s during the brutally hot afternoon. In other words, in both 2006 and ’09, Portland at least came within shouting distance of the kind of heat/humidity conditions Tallahassee had today.

      ======================

      No I don’t want a death ridge now. That would most likely mean 105-110 for The Dalles after tons of low 70s for highs. Way too much heat way too fast.

    • I remember that July. It was 104 at my house with a dewpoint of 79. It was still 84 at 3 AM.

    • Boydo3 N. Albany 500' says:

      Jesse won’t agree with you. He likes the gray gloom. 😉

    • Boydo3 N. Albany 500' says:

      Oh, and July 06? I remember it well. We were just getting home from a ten day Alaska trip. Whoa! Come home to that from cold drizzle in SE AK.!!

    • Jesse-Orchards says:

      Hey Boydo, how about not telling me what I like? 😉

      Gray and gloom is ok sometimes, but I like sunny clear days as much of the next guy. Just not a big fan of heat/above average temps. Sorry if that’s a crime around here (almost seems like it is sometimes).

    • Don’t be so touchy, Jesse 🙂

    • Boydo3 N. Albany 500' says:

      Yeah, if and when we do get a string of hot, 90ish days, I’ll be whining along with a bunch of others on this blog. But I’ll have my shoes off and feet pointed at the sun trying to kill off the moss between the toes.

  4. Jesse-Orchards says:

    12Z EURO looks awesome!

    • Punxsutawney (aka HIOPHIL) at work by Sunset High elev ~280' says:

      Must be cool and wet!

    • Derek Hodges says:

      Looks like its cooler than the GFS in our little heat spike and then another ULL parks itself over us.

    • bgb41 says:

      That would be consistent with the last 3-4 months.

    • runrain says:

      Let’s all get on the Jesse bandwagon and pull for 60’s and rain the rest of the summer. Who needs the sun and accompanying heat? C’mon! We’re Western Oregonians!

    • pappoose in scappoose says:

      I’m in!

    • Jesse-Orchards says:

      Ha, I don’t want 60s and rain all Summer. I’d like to see it get nice for the most part soon, and I’m sure it will by early July. I’m certainly fine not seeing a hot Summer though.

  5. gidrons says:

    Another story on sunspots and climate change, with a heavy dose of politics

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20110614/ts_afp/usspacesun

  6. Jesse-Orchards says:

    Looks like a nice mid-June snowfall at Timberline this morning.

    http://nwhiker.com/oregonCAMmthood.html

    49 and raining lightly here.

  7. Jesse-Orchards says:

    Now post the 06Z GFS data Brian!

  8. Runrain says:

    That 82 on Tue sure looks nice right now.

  9. Just noticed it is down to 53.6 here, 70% RH, and a chilly NW breeze. Is this Fall?

  10. No surprise 00z EURO is very transitory with a fairly deep trough digging over us.

  11. bgb41 says:

    00Z GFS showing 850 mb temps of +24 at the end of the run and 97 degrees.
    Details coming shortly. Looking like 3 days in the 90s on this run.

    • Jesse-Orchards says:

      Lol, I know you’d be all over that. 15 days away dude.

      The only thing worth talking about is what looks like a legitimate shot or warmth the middle of next weeek. That end of the run stuff is just meaningless.

    • See! I told everyone to hold the phone! about a possible pattern change. Are you so sure now, Jesse? 🙂 …. I hope 00z EURO agrees.

    • Jesse-Orchards says:

      A pattern change usually describes something long lasting. A transitory ridge with another trough at its heels would not qualify.

    • Emily Waldman says:

      Really say it is so! I can’t wait! Yahoo! 

    • 12z EURO was very transitory just showing a 2 day warm spell, then an unfortunate return to cruddy GOA troughing. Hoping tonight’s run is improved.

    • Mark Nelsen says:

      Ugh…this is so tough, I can barely say it.

        Jesse is correct

      (breathing deeply), that early warmth next week is just a brief blip we need to enjoy because it’s back to cool and moist as we head towards the last weekend of June.

    • Right, if the EURO is correct, but if the new GFS is right, well then that changes things. We need much better agreement. I was merely speculating and trying to be hopeful that we could break out of this gloom.

    • bgb41 says:

      here it is guys .. wow nice!!

    • Derek hodges says:

      Under the right conditions, +24 850 temps can produce temps of around 100. That wouldn’t feel good after the spring we just had.

    • Karl Bonner says:

      Derek brings up an important point. That being said, it would be very interesting to find out what it feels like to go from 60s to upper 90s in just a few days.

      I recall with great clarity the May 2008 heat wave. It was dramatic enough in Portland, but in Eugene and Corvallis it was made even more dramatic by exceptionally high humidity – dewpoints in the South Valley got into the low 70s in some spots!

      Actually, Eugene got quite a few muggy days during the 10 years I lived there. It seemed like every year we got at least 3 or 4 days where dewpoints got into the 62-65 range, sometimes more. And LOTS of 55-60 days! I realize that’s nothing compared to what the southeastern US and Mid-Atlantic experience during the summer, but it’s still humid enough to become noticeable.

  12. Austin (Cornelius) says:

    When could we see the next good convection in the westside…or Portland area atleast? It’s been awhile, and usually when temps go up, convection followes 1-7 days afterword.

  13. Severe storms moving into the Tulsa, OK area.
    Streaming cam – http://70.184.36.23:85/view/index.shtml
    Not the best cam, but the lightning is very active.

  14. Timmy_Supercell (Klamath Falls @ 4200') says:

    December 21st 2012 is not the end of the world, but its the result of when Al Gore and Herold Camping have a baby.

  15. Runrain says:

    Question: I know its out there a ways, but is that Mon-Tue warmup looking like a two day deal and back to the crud, or a breakout of summer for awhile (4-5 days maybe)? Thanks!

    • bgb41 says:

      18Z GFS shuts down the ridge quickly with 850 temps falling back to +1C by the end of next week with heavy marine influence and maybe some showers.

    • Jesse-Orchards says:

      Like!

    • runrain says:

      Thanks bgb. I have relatives coming in from Montreal late next week and was hoping to at least give them a chance to SEE Mt. Hood! Guess that’s not going to happen. Anyway, ff that’s the way its going to be this summer, then I vote for cloudy days, highs in the 60’s and lows in the 50’s. I know I’ve said it ad nauseum, but GREAT jogging weather!

  16. Is the Columbia River ever going to fall? I’ve been fishing some off/on the past month with my Brother in the Rooster Rock vicinity and yesterday the river was up easily 4-6′ from last week. There are many locations that are inundated with water that never have been before. Assuming this season that the river doesn’t fall to usual Summer time levels might there be some concern when the Fall rains arrive for a larger scale flood situation? Just a thought of mine.

    • Timmy_Supercell (Klamath Falls @ 4200') says:

      If that rainfall chart does continue its consistent increase of amounts over time…What you are thinking might be the case. Perhaps we would have a re-occurrance of their last major flood in due time.

    • Timmy_Supercell (Klamath Falls @ 4200') says:

      But if we run into another Indian-Summer like 2009, the river would already fall into its normal levels or possibly even lower than normal levels by the time the rains arrive.

    • EA_TTD says:

      It’s very high..noticed it Saturday for the first time in a few months but the hydrologic forecast has it down by a foot from last week so with the melt slowing and lack of appreciable precip, it should fall rather dramatically. Perhaps not in time for the Government Island 4th of July crowd???

    • Karl Bonner says:

      Timmy I have fond memories of that Indian Summer, so much so that I used to have a Facebook photo album titled “Indian Summer 2009”!

  17. Umpire says:

    Mark, I think your poll needed one more answer – something to the effect of, “Hey, this is Portland Spring Weather – now let’s move on to summer.” I don’t think this spring is anywhere as bad as last spring – if we’ve had as much rain, the patterns have differed – as I’ve noted in earlier posts, I’ve gotten far more yard work done by this time than last year. We’ve actually had a number of dry weekend days, albeit cooler than normal. If it’s not raining, I really don’t care if I’m working in the yard at 60 degrees or 75 degrees.

    • Mark Nelsen says:

      Stephanie suggested “sitting in corner, rocking in fetal position”, but I left that one off. You’re right about yard work…60-70 and cloudy is best for that. Really, who wants to do yard work in a hot 85 degree sun? But who wants to go jump in a river or pool at 65 degrees? Only kids under 15 I think.

    • bgb41 says:

      I have weed whacked about 1000ft of trails on my property the last week. 60-65 with overcast is the best conditions for this kind of work. When the sun pops out it just gets too hot in a long-sleeved shirt and pants.

    • pappoose in scappoose says:

      Ideal IMO is below 55 degrees for most of the work I do outside. If you’re getting cold…you aren’t working.

    • Mark Nelsen says:

      Another good point

    • Boydo3 N. Albany 500' says:

      Nothing like hitting a big ol slug with the weed whacker! An if it comes back at you in pieces….well that makes a wet spring all the more special!

    • bgb41 says:

      Odd that you’d mention that. When I took off my shirt, there was a slimy piece of slug stuck to it today.

    • pappoose in scappoose says:

      Should eat it bgb, good protein source. Hope you didn’t waste it…Hahaah!

  18. Timmy_Supercell (Klamath Falls @ 4200') says:

    Something funny I found the other day…

    Proof of Global Warming:

  19. pappoose in scappoose says:

    Brace yourselves for the “Climate Refugees” my friends.

    http://www.portlandtribune.com/sustainable/story.php?story_id=130713227325162200

  20. Austin (Cornelius) says:

    Ha!!! I remembered! It’s not global warming, it’s climate change!

    • Timmy_Supercell (Klamath Falls @ 4200') says:

      Ha if you call a .4F difference ‘climate change’ then be my guest! Its neither GL or CC in my opinion 🙂

    • Timmy_Supercell (Klamath Falls @ 4200') says:

      I meant GW or CC.

  21. Punxsutawney (aka HIOPHIL) at work by Sunset High elev ~280' says:

    Mark,

    I would be very interested in seeing the trend broken out by high and low temps in addition to mean. I’m guessing that the high temps are downward slope at the moment, and lows are upward which would make sense given the increased rainfall and hence cloud cover.

    A cloud cover graph would be interesting but I doubt the data from before ASOS would be readily available.

    • bgb41 says:

      Look at the means for each day at KHIO. Did you notice something? They are identical to PDX. This means that Hillsboro is using Portland data for its departures each day. We all know that the average low is probably 3-4 degrees cooler at KHIO each day in the warmer season which would translate into a 1.5-2.0 degree lower mean each day. This is what is causing your skewed results on your temp anomoly each day. Its not your fault. It just the data set for KHIO is not very old and has not established a 30-year avg yet.

    • Punxsutawney (aka HIOPHIL) at work by Sunset High elev ~280' says:

      ?

      Records for Hillsboro go back till 1929 though the NWS/NCDC only uses the ones from ~1948. ASOS records started in 2003 I believe.

      While KHIO is likely to be cooler at night than PDX, it is also likely to be warmer during the day than PDX as it doesn’t have the influence of the Columbia River and the NW breeze and low clouds that generally come up along the river this time of year.

      I took an average of the June daily temps since 1929 for Hillsboro and it is very close to what the NWS is using to calculate the mean temps currently.

    • bgb41 says:

      This is true Phil, but for some reason when it comes to these monthly summaries, HIO uses daily mean data from PDX. If you don’t believe me then look at past data.

    • Punxsutawney (aka HIOPHIL) at work by Sunset High elev ~280' says:

      If that’s true, then KHIO will pretty much always come out colder on the daylies because of the low temp differences. The NWS should be called on it though I suspect it is due to rounding and if we used tenths instead of whole numbers it would come out differently. The next time I see one of the NWS people I will mention it.

      I notice though that PDX and KHIO have different monthly means though for both May and April with KHIO colder. I didn’t check farther back.

    • bgb41 says:

      If you take a look at July/August, Portland’s average low for the 1981-2010 period is around 57/58 degrees. Salem’s average low is 52/53 and Eugene’s is 51. So my earlier estimation of 3-4 degrees cooler for minimums at KHIO is probably more like 6-7 degrees on average. Obviously the fact that the marine layer is much less prevalent there on summer nights allows KHIO to be significantly cooler at night than areas east of the Willamette river. In short, to say that the daily mean at KHIO is lower is an understatement which has lead to the skewed numbers on their daily F6 report. It certainly needs to get fixed because its inaccurate.

  22. Karl Bonner says:

    I wonder why Mark didn’t post a graph showing the long-range upward trend in summer temps? If our summers are getting hotter, show us the data!

    My next data digging project will be to look at the year as a whole for both Portland and The Dalles. You can do that on Wunderground if you select “Custom” for the date range and enter Jan.1 – Dec. 31 as your time period. Then just change the year pulldown to check another year.

    It would definitely be fun if there was a trend toward longer and longer summer temperature lag over the long run. The easy way to check for that is to look at calendar months to see if August is pulling ahead of July, and September increasing its lead over June. You could break each calendar month into two parts (or even four) to get a sharper view of how our seasonal temperature régime might be changing.

    • Jesse-Orchards says:

      Man I wish this was California!!!

    • Timmy_Supercell (Klamath Falls @ 4200') says:

      You said it Karl Bonner! It seems in recent times years like 2006 and 2009 are becoming more frequent and closer together rather than farther apart. Some time ago we would hardly see 100’s during our summers, but now we see them at least every other summer.

    • Karl Bonner says:

      Sorry to disappoint you Jesse. Not only do we not have a California-like climate (yet), but *I wasn’t even fantasizing about California’s climate* when I made the above post.

    • Mike near Clackamas Town Center says:

      Accordind to PDX records for Portland Summer hasn’t had an average high temp below 75F since 1983. The last time the average low temp in summer was below 55F was in 1988. So NW summers have been consitantly warm for 25-30 years now. We’ll see if last years cool summer was a fluke or not.

    • Mike near Clackamas Town Center says:

      *consistently*

    • Jesse-Orchards says:

      Are you guys seriously rooting for global warming? 😆

    • Timmy_Supercell (Klamath Falls @ 4200') says:

      Rooting for GW, probably not, but we are just sharing facts and information that you just can’t argue against, Jesse.

    • Timmy_Supercell (Klamath Falls @ 4200') says:

      Afterall, according that chart above, there has only been .4 degree increase since over 100 years ago. And that’s not saying much. GW would bring much more of an increase than that. And GW does not just include temperatures, so we are not necessarily saying that GW is coming yet.

  23. Derek hodges says:

    The temp graph looks a lot like the PDO numbers, corrolation? I think so.

    By the way the last option on the poll was pretty funny, almost made me choose it. 😉

  24. bgb41 says:

    6/13/2011 Oregon (All) Temperature Summary

    Warmest:
    High:82 at Medford Viaduct(1360 ft)
    Low: 60 at DW0462 Umatilla(1273 ft) & Blalock(280 ft)

    Coldest:
    High:40 at Mount Hood Meado(6601 ft)
    Low: 34 at Mount Hood Meado (6601 ft )

    Heaviest Rainfall:
    0.90″ at NORTH FORK(3120ft)
    0.79″ at DW0228 Eagle Cre(350ft)
    0.60″ at SOUTH FORK BULL(2630ft)

  25. jbpdx says:

    [b]Now headed for the 4th straight month with BELOW AVERAGE TEMPERATURES. For June: 11 out of 13 days below normal, [i]especially the highs[/i][/b]. That’s 84%. Better than March–May, which was 90%. (Where are all the above averages?)

    I moved here in October 1995. I grew up in Kansas City. Lived in San Antonio, South Florida, and San Francisco. I’ve never hated the weather anywhere as much as here. Until recently….. Things seemed to change around 2006.

    Portland used to have the nicest springs you’d find anywhere. And predictable sunny, warm summers, which made up for the dreary winters. But if this is a trend, and all we have to look forward to are brutal winters (2008–2009, 2009–2010), pathetic springs, and nonexistent summers, then on your poll, I’d check: [i]”Get me outta here.”[/i]

    • bgb41 says:

      This is not true!! Here are the June 2011 stats at PDX so far though 13 days.

      Exactly average mean temp at 61.0 degrees

      6 days above normal
      6 days below normal
      1 day at normal.

    • jbpdx says:

      Don’t know how to post the NWS graphic but for Hillsboro:

      -7
      -11
      -1
      +5
      +8
      -1
      -3
      -5
      -1
      -4
      -1
      -8

    • jbpdx says:

      Hillsboro:

      -7
      -11
      -1
      +5
      +8
      -1
      -3
      -5
      -1
      -4
      -1
      -8

    • Karl Bonner says:

      “I’ve never hated the weather anywhere as much as here. Until recently….”

      This implies that you think the last few years in Portland have been better than the 1995-2006 period. I think you said the exact opposite of what you mean. (Don’t worry; we all make that mistake from time to time!)

    • jbpdx says:

      yeah you’re right. I meant it was better before. Must be the lack of vitamin D

    • bgb41 says:

      I wouldn’t trust those “Normal” Hillsboro numbers if that is really the listed departures. It has been quite normal so far this month most places.

    • jbpdx says:

      add one more: -8 to the list (for Sunday 13 June)

    • jbpdx says:

      add one more: -8 on Sunday 13 June….

  26. Gregg-formerly Troutdale now in Bend says:

    It would be interesting to see the trend for east of the cascades. It has really been a cool and damp spring here also.

  27. bgb41 says:

    Here are the Top 5 years that had the least 80 degree days at PDX as of June 30th each year. Will be break the all-time record this year?

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