Weather Conference Update: Day 1

  This evening I walked past two notable landmarks in Downtown Oklahoma City.  That was right after my first ever Fried Okra at “Earl’s Rib Palace”.  It was really good along with the other great food, but they probably have high blood pressure or cholesterol in this part fo the country?  I digress slightly…the first landmark is the corporate headquarters of Sonic Drive In.  If you like those burgers or restaurants, well, apparently this is where it all begins.   However the building appeared to just contain the same cubicles you’d see in any other office.  See how exciting that is on the left?  Of more interest, especially to someone like me who loves history, is on the right.   It’s the Oklahoma Land Run Monument.  Very impressive brass sculptures of horses, wagons, and people racing across the prairie on April 22, 1889.  In one day 50,000 people went from the starting line to staking claims on 2 million acres.  You can read about it if you click on the link above.  Or, like me, you could suffer through the movie Far And Away for 2+ hours to see a re-creation of the event part way through.  I should warn you that would include 2+ hours of some annoying acting.

It was 98 degrees and sunny here today.  That was with very low relative humidity so it felt REALLY good.   This evening was great walking around with temps in the 80s after sunset.

Two interesting conference highlights today:

1. New 1981-2010 Climate Normals: 

Every 10 years NCDC (National Climate Data Center) releases updated 30 year averages, normals etc… for weather stations all across the USA.  Of course each time a new decade is added and the old is dropped off.  In this case we’ll lose the 1970s and gain the 2001-2010 period.  That new data will be available July 1st (a week from Friday) on the NCDC website here:

2. A Weather Expo:

For those of you that have been around as long as me, you may remember the name Miles Muzio?  I watched him on KOIN-TV while in high school.  He was on in the mid-late 1980s.  He moved on to TV weather in St. Louis, Hartford, and then Bakersfield, CA.  He’s now involved in a project to create a “weather expo”.  The plan is to convert 100 acres north of Denver into a museum, experiential exhibit, restaurant, research building, and advocacy center.  All about weather.  The experiential part was most interesting to me.  It would have something like 6 different climate “rooms” which would be representations of different climate areas of the earth, including plants, humidity, temperature etc…  Imagine walking from tundra to tropics, to desert to temperate in just a few minutes.  Their website is here:

Moving on…not much to talk about weatherwise at home.  Big thunderstorms that dumped more than an inch of rain on La Grande this evening have moved east.  Marine layer surges inland even stronger tonight, so not much hope of signficant sunshine until MAYBE Saturday afternoon.  Temps remain well below average through Saturday as well.

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

26 Responses to Weather Conference Update: Day 1

  1. Kyle From Silverton says:

    *insert PNW weather curse of choice here*

  2. umpire says:

    Mark, thanks for the reports from OKC. As to the averages – Tyree Wilde spoke last year at a lunchtime presentation related to emergency planning at the City of Portland, and he mentioned that the averages are updated every ten years.

    And, the storms in eastern Oregon last night either spun off storms over Boise, or there were storms moving from the SW over SW Idaho – my brother texted me late last night that Boise had one of the loudest, biggest T-storms he had ever heard (they also had a high of 95 yesterday) – and he’s been in Boise 40+ years.

  3. I had never had fried Okra until I went to college in Oklahoma. People there were incredulous when I told them that. Oklahoma does have a pretty interesting history in that it was settled very differently, and much later on then most other Western states. Oregon became a state 48 years before Oklahoma did.

    • Cherie in Vernonia says:

      I enjoyed the folks we met in OK. We were there for 5 weeks as campground hosts. It was the first time I had ever heard tornado warnings. We were in a 21′ travel trailer & were told to go to the park restrooms for shelter. After seeing the damage done this year by tornadoes I doubt if that concrete block bldg would have helped much unless it was a small one.

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

    This is a funny video:

  5. pappoose in scappoose says:

    More of the same on the way according to the NWS (no death ridge in sight).

    National Weather Service Portland or
    820 am PDT Thursday Jun 23 2011

    Long term…given the model agreement on bringing a cooler and
    stronger system in for the Tuesday and Wednesday time frame…went
    with a trend towards a cooler and wetter forecast for those days.
    Removed the chance of thunder for Tuesday as much of the instability
    is east of the Cascade crest. The presently modeled Tuesday front is
    rather impressive for this time of year with precipitable waters in excess of 200
    percent of normal. Model run to run consistency looks alright for
    this period…though there are differences especially in the timing
    so thats the reasoning for the trend instead of going full fledged
    rain. Wolfe

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

    Golfball sized hail reported 5 miles east of Anatone, WA. Also 1″ hail in Union County.

    Considering the echo tops and VIL data, I really would not have been surprised to see hail exceeding 2.00″ – 2.50″ in diameter. Afterall, there are still unpopulated locations that are not able to report such events during severe weather.

  7. pappoose in scappoose says:

    WHAT DOES THIS MEAN!!! (crying).

  8. It sure seems like summer is teasing us. We’ve only had two 80 degree days in 2011. I just looked at the numbers and the last time we had two 80 degree days in a row was back on September 2 & 3, 2010. That’s 293 days since we’ve had our last two consecutive 80 degree days. Ouch!

  9. bgb41 says:

    6/22/2011 Oregon (All) Temperature Summary

    High:96 at CW3932 Central P(1290 ft)
    Low: 68 at Blalock(280 ft)

    High:55 at Mount Hood Meado(6601 ft)
    Low: 36 at SUMMIT LAKE (5600 ft ) & Diamond Lake (Or (5260 ft )

    Largest Diurnal Change: 51 degrees
    DESCHUTES PORTAB (88/37 ) (5100 ft )
    CABIN LAKE (88/38) (4560 ft)

    Heaviest Rainfall:
    1.64″ at La Grande/Union(2717ft)

  10. Ashley Watson says:

    attention mark nelson!!!!!!!

    what is your opinion about the website alot of there stats come directly from national weather service websites. seems legit. what do you think???

  11. bgb41 says:

    00Z GFS – Not alot of change except for warmer now around the 4th of July weekend. Would be nice if that 81 happened wouldn’t it on the 4th this year.

  12. Jesse-Orchards says:

    The experiential rooms sound awesome!

    Although they will only have the polar one at 40F I see. I was hoping for something more like 20 below. Get some real contrast going between that and the tropical room!

    • bgmike says:

      Ya it would be great going from 92 to 20 below.

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

      At the Antarctic Center in Christchurch NZ they have a room that they take down to something like -5 to -10 Celsius for about 10-15 minutes. They lend you warm clothes. They also simulate a storm with 40kmh winds. It had an ice slide for the kids.

      But frankly it was not nearly as cold as the ice cream freezer at a drug store I used to work at in the 80’s.

  13. Mike near Clackamas Town Center says:

    Nice post Mark. Lots of information and history 🙂

  14. bgb41 says:

    ‎1.64″ of rain in 2 hours and 47mph winds in La Grande this evening. Wish I could have witnessed that.

  15. bgb41 says:

    I have already calculated the 1981-2010 30-year norms for several cities in the west. Here is Portland’s:

    Much warmer than any other 30 year period in our history. The 90’s and early 2000’s were mostly all above normal. Consequently the July/August temperature average have risen significantly during this period of record.
    Also, as Mark had mentioned in an earlier post, the spring time is getting notably wetter the past 10 years which is reflected in this data.

    • Boydo3 N. Albany 500' says:

      Nice work. Would be interesting to graph that. I’m betting the last 6-7 years would show a gradual decline in average temps. Not big, but no increase.

    • bgb41 says:

      I would give anything for an Average July/August this year. 80/ 81 sure is nice.

  16. I started out sunny this morning. Low clouds took over by about 11am.

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