Oh No! It’s Happening Again

Over and over again the past 6 weeks we’ve seen models attempt to develop upper level ridging (even if only briefly) over the West Coast of North America, only to see subsequent model runs squash it down and bring new, cool, upper-level troughs closer to the coastline than originally anticipated.  It’s as if long range models keep attempting to revert to “normal” summertime conditions, but then “clue in” to the persistent cool West and hot mid-USA pattern that has not changed (significantly) since late last winter.

Well…it happened again the past 24 hours.  Yesterday we had a 7 day forecast that showed mainly clear skies and temps around 80 or so both days this weekend.  Now the ECMWF model is rushing an upper level trough right into the Pacific Northwest SATURDAY AFTERNOON!  That would mean clouds and showers late Saturday and into Sunday.  A 2nd wet weekend in the middle of July.  We get 2 runs of that model every day (a new one every 12 hours).  Now the GFS model comes in every 6 hours and has gradually moved towards the ECMWF the past day or so.  It has showers coming in Sunday evening or night with yucky/showery weather Monday.   Here at FOX12 we haven’t gone “whole hog ECMWF”, but the threat is there:

We could see showers as soon as Saturday evening, definitely by Monday, so likely only 1-2 days of noticeably warmer and drier weather at the end of the week (Friday and Saturday).  We may have to move the showers into Sunday as well; that 7 Day may yet go downhill further.

Believe me, I’m just as annoyed by the changing forecast as everyone else.  Many people make plans (months ahead of time) for the almost guaranteed dry weekends in later July and August.  At least we’re catching it 5-6 days ahead of time, much better than a Thursday or Friday change to a weekend forecast.

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

112 Responses to Oh No! It’s Happening Again

  1. bgb41 says:

    Yesterday was the hottest day in 23 years in Indianapolis. Here is the weather statement declaring the milestone.


  2. john says:

    wow i live in enumclaw,wa and i looked out my window to see some trees showing fall color not a lot but just a little well we skiped summer right to fall

  3. ken says:

    Summer arrives tomorrow. Lets enjoy numerous sunny days in a row. Its been a long time coming!!!! Horaay!

    • Beaverton Chris says:

      And summer leaves tomorrow night. This is the year with no summer in the Portland area.

  4. Boydo3 N. Albany 500' says:

    I’m sure Mr Nelson will be chiming in the outlook for some pretty toasty weather coming in a week or so.

    • Sean (Lebanon, IN) says:

      I’m wishing for this hot weather to go back out west. Because I think you all would enjoy this type of sultry weather.

      We’ve actually hit 100 here for the first time in 23 years (just goes to show how rare it is, compared to the Pac NW).

    • halverbk says:

      I was in Columbus, Ohio during the summer of ’88. They were having a drought so it was not as humid as it is this year there. Flooding and then heat. Yuck.

    • Boydo3 N. Albany 500' says:

      Fortunately when we heat up we also dry out from offshore winds. Low humidity makes our 90+ temps much more bearable.

  5. Garron says:

    channel 8’s still got mid 80’s on the weekend forecast…Right as rain as they say….

  6. Mike near Clackamas Town Center says:

    The weather channel did a story comparing the cool weather in Seattle/Portland to the heat wave they’re experiencing back east..

  7. Jbpdx says:

    6 days at 80+ this year (or should I say in the past 10 months). Last year, which was proclaimed a lousy summer, we had 11 days 80+ and 5 days at 90+ in July.

    Any statisticians out there want to figure the odds of this place having 2 pathetic springs and summers in a row?

  8. pappoose in scappoose says:

    How about this site Garron. Lets finish filling up the “weather helper”. I really like to loop Area M.


  9. CorbettTez says:

    I’m not buying this weekends forecast AT ALL!! One day maybe, but two in the mid 80’s NO WAY!!! Sunday will turn to crap and by tomorrow they’ll be saying it will be “chance of showers, high around 75!” This is getting old! I don’t want 110 either, but I DO want some sort of summer this year!

    • bgb41 says:

      Most recent runs are making Sunday look like upper 80’s with increasing high clouds in the afternoon. We may just get 2 warm days this time.

    • Mike near Clackamas Town Center says:

      We’ve had pretty lousy conditions and It would be nice to have a decent amount of sunny and 85F days before the rainy season comes back in Sept/Oct.

  10. pappoose in scappoose says:

    Is most of the energy going north of us, or will it slam right into us? Hahaah! Lets watch.


  11. Ryan (Walnut Grove) says:

    Jesse and I might be the only two on this blog that are enjoying the current weather. The rest of the United States can have the heat.

    • pappoose in scappoose says:

      At least 22 dead.


    • Margaret in Fairview says:

      I’m okay with the current weather. Lived in the heat before. They can have it. I don’t look forward to sweltering this weekend if it turns warm. I might just stay at work in the A/C.

    • Joshua in Lake Oswego says:

      Don’t forget me. I would be a happy man if we never saw 85 again this entire year. I know that’s not going to happen, but a man can dream.

    • Jesse-Orchards says:

      I think there are more than that Ryan.

      But yeah, this beats heat indexes in the 110s any day.

    • Absolutely would not trade this weather for what so much of the country is experiencing. I would be thrilled to have some more sun, but the cooler 60s and 70s don’t bother me one bit. It’s kept my house a very consistent temperature too, without needing heat or AC, and still am able to open the windows for fresh air pretty frequently. Can’t be mad at that.

    • SilentReader says:

      Count me in for loving this weather. For working outside, getting the property cleaned, starting projects etc. You can’t beat it. Nothing worse then being outside and seating in 85-100f heat. 90+ here is a lot like snow in the winter. Oregonians tend to hole up and not know what to do. For those wishing for extreme heat remember. In the winter you can crank up the heat because we all have heat of some sort. Or add more layers of clothing. but with heat you can only take off so many layers of clothes until you are naked. And many Oregonians don’t have air conditioning. So heat, to me, is way worse then cold weather. Plus with cold weather you may get snow which at least can be entertaining for a while. With heat we get to see people who we would rather see with more clothes on 🙂

    • pappoose in scappoose says:

      Hahaah! Don’t look at those people SilentReader, look at the ones you wish would take the rest off!

  12. pappoose in scappoose says:

    Sunny warm weekend? Yes, no, yes, no, yes…

    National Weather Service Portland or
    216 am PDT Thursday Jul 21 2011

    Long term…medium range models in fair agreement delaying the
    arrival of the next upper level trough until Sunday night. This will
    allow Sunday to remain very warm across the interior. However…the coast will likely cool quite a bit Sunday as the trough axis gets close enough to usher in marine clouds and cooler air. Models are tending toward a more progressive upper trough pattern next Mon/Tue…building the trough over the Pacific northwest. This will again produce a cool onshore flow pattern with a few showers… mainly along the coast and over the higher terrain.

  13. bgb41 says:

    00Z GFS – This run trying to flick on the heat switch on Aug 1

    Major heat wave in la la land once again with back-to-back 101 degree days.

    • bgmike says:

      To bad it never comes closer than 8 days away.

    • Kyle From Silverton says:

      11/11/11 00Z GFS Shows 8-12 inches of Snow for Portland and another 2-4 inches right on it’s heels JUST 8 DAYS AWAY!
      Do you see that snowflake at the end of Mark’s new 7 cast?

      Actually you know what’s surprising?

      Dad said on his way to work the last few mornings has been hard rain all the way up till the mid morning hours prompting dad to do the big job on our gutters which overfilled.

      I mowed the grass later.

      The funny thing is I slept thru the rainy part and didn’t notice a thing until I looked in my bucket that showed 3/4ths of an inch of rain.

  14. bgb41 says:

    7/20/2011 Oregon (All) Temperature Summary

    High:86 at NORTH FORK MALHE(3270 ft)
    Low: 62 at Rufus(185 ft) & CW8927 Young Lif(1631 ft)

    High:50 at Timberline Lodge(6001 ft)
    Low: 27 at DESCHUTES PORTAB (5100 ft )

    Largest Diurnal Change: 50 degrees
    FOSTER FLAT (82/32 ) (5000 ft )

  15. Karl Bonner says:

    Well earlier this evening I discovered that the weekend temps had been nudged up to 84 on Sat. and 80 on Sunday. Then for tonight’s show they were up to 87 and 86. Let’s just hope there isn’t a last-minute swing back in the other direction!

  16. bgb41 says:

    Latest 00Z NAM guidance suggesting the possibility that Saturday could be the warmest day of the summer so far. Current run showing 89 degrees.

  17. big nel says:

    Checking in from sunny Phoenix AZ, 41 straight days of 100 plus (including that 118 day and massive dust storm)……its pool time.

  18. I think we should capitalize on this. Just think of all the people in the MidWest and East coast who are absolutely hating life in that steambath. Advertise a place they can come to cool off. Watch a big tourist influx. Weather tourism – happens all the time in the Winter, people in cold places travel to warm places – let’s just reverse that and have Portland and Seattle be the destinations.

    • Boydo3 N. Albany 500' says:

      Good idea, but sure as the world, about the time people decide to come here, we get a big heat wave! But our coast is nearly always a Mecca for heat relief and capitalizes on it even by us local valley dwellers when things get hot. Btw, has anyone noticed the latest euro? Hmmm…..

    • Mike near Clackamas Town Center says:

      The Euro seems to be hinting at a possible heat wave in the long range but some of the GFS models aren’t on board with that solution yet.

  19. Mike near Clackamas Town Center says:

    I wouldn’t be surprised if Mark adds a few degrees to this weekends high temps 🙂

    • Joshua in Lake Oswego says:

      I wouldn’t be happy if Mark adds a few degrees to this weekend’s high temps.

  20. Not sure how long it will last, but it’s nice to see sunny skies this morning. Dropped to 49 overnight which is my 7th low below 50 this month.

  21. bgb41 says:

    Here is an article talking about that all-time record high dewpoint set yesterday in Minneapolis. (82 deg)


  22. pappoose in scappoose says:

    My sunny morning just vanished.


  23. pappoose in scappoose says:

    Hahaah! I’ve noticed Rod Hill has trouble with his eyes, but making a video with the SUN IN YOUR EYES certainly isn’t helping at all!


  24. pappoose in scappoose says:

    It’s all about trends eh Mark?

    National Weather Service Portland or
    238 am PDT Wednesday Jul 20 2011

    Long term…models and ensemble forecasts in fair agreement with
    some weak ridging over the pacnw to start out the weekend…then
    another upper level trough takes up residence along 130w on Sunday. Some subtle differences in location of the trough axis could lead to a few more clouds on Sunday…especially near the coast. Latest runs of the GFS/ECMWF/Gem have all trended toward a more progressive upper trough pattern next Mon/Tue…leading to a similar cool onshore flow
    pattern to the one affecting the Pacific northwest over the next 48 hours.

  25. At least whiskey sales should go up! Or tequila, rum, …etc!

    • bobby says:

      weather reports are very inaccurate even more so lately like this morning they said it would be just like yesterday,mmmmmm
      nope again it wasnt sunny yesterday. must be a good job when
      you dont have to worry about being right on the mark lolol

  26. Today’s high of 69 for me marks the 7th day so far this July with a high below 70. I’ll still take this any day over 100+ temps.

    • Sean (Lebanon, IN) says:

      I’m not sure if I could handle a summer full of chilly temps. Though what we have here, isn’t exactly the most fun either. Tried to sit out on our deck last night, but at 11pm the heat index was still 99.

      I’m really hoping that this heat will shift far enough west sometime soon, that we can get a nice flow out of the NW and chill out for a few days at least.

  27. Karl Bonner says:

    Let’s just say I should be grateful that I moved back to The Dalles when I did….over here the cool summer pattern does more good than harm. Partly sunny and breezy with highs in the 70s….cool evenings in the 60s and late nights in the 50s. But I’m sure my attitude would be different if I was actively growing lots of tomatoes or peppers or melons, or if I had two or three camping trips planned for the summer.

  28. bgb41 says:

    7/19/2011 Oregon (All) Temperature Summary

    High:85 at Ontario Municipa(2188 ft)
    Low: 65 at DW6470 Ontario(2150 ft)

    High:44 at CRATER LAKE RIM(7050 ft)
    Low: 36 at Timberline Lodge (7001 ft )

    Largest Diurnal Change: 31 degrees
    Haines (78/47 ) (3348 ft )

    Heaviest Rainfall:
    1.71″ at GRANDAD(2900ft)

  29. Muxpux says:

    Well, last weekends forecast for Sunday of low 80’s didnt fade too fast, and not until saturday do I recall a real mention of rain, so we went ahead with outdoor BBQ/swimming/games for the gf’s daughters 9th bday party. Luckily the rain held off til I was *almost* done mowing, then it came with a vengeance. Thank goodness 64 and moderate rain won’t stop 6-10 yr. Olds from swimming and having fun in the rain! Heck, I almost jumped in due to the humidity.

    And really, a crumbling forecast Is NO surprise around here. Happens in winter ALL THE TIME and summer too. Epic cold snap, highs in the mid 20’s, lows in the low teens? 2 days later it’s upper teens for lows and barely above freezing for highs, and instead of a 3 day spell it’s sone day thing, with rain to transition. Summer goes from, well, like we’ve seen this summer but a 3 day stretch above 100 always turns into a late developing pattern and early to arrive front on the other end resulting in one hot day.

    I’m used to it. And I agree with most people here, I LOVE extremes, but 10 is to cold and 100 is too hot. However, we don’t get either nearly often enough to really hate it. A couple days of snow in winter? Complain to anyone east of the cascades and north of Texas. What, an average of 3 days above 100, if that? I guarantee anyone in that heatwave in the midwest would take our “heat”.

    All that said, I do miss drvin round with the sunroof open, shades on, shorts and flip flops and sun tans

    • Garron says:


      I was stuck with four kids on Mt. Hood last weekend, and it wasn’t until we ran out of marshmallows that the REAL panic began. We had almost flash flood conditions at the Tollgate campgrounds last Sunday, it was quite dynamic, and a surprise to say the least after leaving Wed to the forecast of 80 to 90 degree temps being forecast. Quite amusing as we all huddled around the fire saying, “it’s just a shower, I’m sure it’ll pass…”

  30. Kyle From Silverton says:

    This is one HARRP angels who are smart won’t play.

  31. Wally's Moment says:

    As weather nut I always enjoy extreme happenings in weather… But this has been a terrible summer for local vacations, Weddings, people events.
    Don’t give me, it’s better than a heat wave statement!!
    Nice sunny weather does create more positive people,,,, every time we see a long-range change from 80’s to 70’s people’s attitudes sinks.. People have give up on any one talking about weather models!!

  32. Punxsutawney aka HIOPHIL says:

    I hate to think what the mood would be if we got a 1968 fall here. Check out the rainfall amounts for August through December. Almost 4″ of rain in Hillsboro in August of the year and it never stopped.

    December had one heck of an arctic blast and snow storm though.

    ps. I’m not in favor of a wet August and September at this point as I would like to have something other than split green tomatoes. Homemade salsa is running low after a disapointing 2010.

    • eugene in vancouver says:

      I lost about 90% of my ‘maters last year. If the same thing happens this year I may give up on gardening altogether. Just too damn frustrating

    • Garron says:

      I’m buying a green house! I love to garden too much, so I’ll be forcing nature’s hand and be able to actually start my maters in April. Much easier to deal with, and the deer and bunnies won’t be tasting my goods before I do!

  33. Roman~Snow-Zone says:

    Summer of 2012 PDX will get their first 80-less summer.

  34. Jesse-Orchards says:

    Loving the good news Mark!

    • Jesse-Orchards says:

      Hearing how terrible the heat/humidity has been back east this week make it seem even nicer.

    • Timmy_Supercell (Klamath Falls @ 4200') says:

      Yeah that weather there can stay where it is.

      As early as 9 AM CDT dew points were reported above 80F. Definition of insanity would be that.

    • Yeah, who wants 90s? I could do without the rain, but overall this summer has been very pleasant so far! No uncomfortable heat at all thus far! Even the warm days have been followed by cool comfortable nights.

    • Kyle From Silverton says:

      Enjoy it for when *inversion* season comes and it’s in the 60s up at the mountains melting our much needed snow pack.

  35. Boydo3 N. Albany 500' says:

    80 is the new 90 degs.
    Partly cloudy is the new sunny.
    Drizzle is the new dry.

  36. Runrain says:

    It would be interesting to stand outside of the lower level at PDX and watch passengers arriving from the east and midwest go AHHHHH! at the room temperature air here in Portland!

  37. ken says:

    i know not appropriate but someone eluded to it earlier….weather terrets. Sorry. Love you all. I got an idea. Everyone plan an in town move. Its always hot as heck when you have to move. 🙂

  38. Lisa Nowak says:

    I hate to say I told you so, but I told you so. I never did believe this forecast. I knew it would fall apart. I’m just surprised you’re announcing it this early. Not to get snarky, but I think meteorologists have come to rely so heavily on all that computer technology that they’ve forgotten how to listen to their instincts and look out the window. I don’t think this is a quirk. It happened last year and it’s worse this year. I think it’s the start of a major climate shift. Quick, you Californians, move back to LA before the lack of vitamin D renders you so lethargic you can’t make it off the couch.

    • Pete says:

      When I hear someone say, “I never did believe this forecast,” without citing specific atmospheric developments that led to the conclusion, it just sounds like a hunch to me. And hunches are fine for those of us at home. But the thing about hunches is, we remember — and post about — the times our hunches turned out, while gliding right by the times they don’t. Alas, the guys on TV, who have to deliver forecasts day in and day out, don’t get to do that. Mark posts an accounting of his forecast accuracy (https://fox12weather.wordpress.com/forecast-accuracy/). I wonder how we armchair meteorologists would do if we had to do something similar. It would be a hoot to see.

    • Lisa Nowak says:

      Pete, you could call it a hunch, or you could call it pure cynicism. My hunches are probably no better than anyone else’s, normally, but this year they’ve been pretty accurate because I’ve been expecting the worst, and our weather, by and large, has been lousy. We’re lucky to get one good day a week and a few so-so days. I understand what you’re saying, and I think you have a point. However, we’ve been in a strange weather pattern for 19 months now starting in January of ’10 when temps were above average. Since then the only times we’ve had our “typical” weather was this past November through January. And considering we were supposed to be in a strong la nina, that weather really wasn’t even what was expected for those conditions. My hunches these days are based on looking at the pattern we’ve been in since mid-February, when it became unseasonably cold. Everybody keeps expecting it to magically change, then acts all surprised when the early models don’t play out. How many times does the pattern have to repeat itself before people start looking to something other than a short-term computer model? People keep talking about the summer of ’54 or the fall of ’67 or whatever, but when was the last time we’ve had unusual weather for such an extended period of time? I think we’re looking at the beginning of a major shift in our climate. That’s my hunch, and you can keep track of it for accuracy. 🙂 I really, really hope I’m wrong this time. I am more than willing to eat my words, because I never want to have to go through another spring and summer like this.

    • Garron says:

      I agree with you whole heartedly Lisa. Our “hunches” in the NW are like a farmer’s “hunches” in the mid west. These hunches seem to stick with us as we progress through the many changes we see in our weather. When the patterns’ shift it is like our bodies can feel the shift, and know when things are stuck in a rut like they are now.

      I know the tv people have to rely on their intuition based on past weather patterns, just as much as they have to try and read the computer models, and use their best judgement as to which one is closest. But I totally agree that sometimes we need to use our hunches and trust them more, because the weather models are just trying to go with the climatological norm beyond about day 6/7.

  39. Joshua in Lake Oswego says:

    I feel guilty for being happy about this “crappy” weather because most of you are so upset by it.

    Oh well… bring on the below normal temps and above average precipitation!

    • Couldn’t agree with you more, Joshua! I’ll take this over heat indexes of 125 any day.

      I just got back from the midwest a couple of weeks ago, and it was hot and humid enough for me then, before this massive heatwave took hold.

      LOVE our weather!

    • yetanotherguy says:

      A fair number of people make their living based on having some warm weather in the summer. Microbrew beer companies, farmers, recreation companies, farmers markets, canning companies, etc.

      Honestly, this weather is beginning to become a the cause of some significant economic hardship to many people in our area

    • pappoose in scappoose says:

      Right Joshua, who’s suffering/upset? Certainly not us.


  40. Jbpdx says:

    This is the last year I do any vegetable gardening. That is over for good. This place is a joke. Life’s too short to put up with this endless nonsense.

  41. pappoose in scappoose says:

    Hahaah! The summer with no dead grass!

  42. Wow this summer is definitely starting to bring back memories of 1993.

  43. Boydo3 N. Albany 500' says:

    There are no words to describe my disappointment. Just shoot me.

%d bloggers like this: