Today is the Day; The Heat Is On!

Everything has fallen into place this morning for our first 90 degree (or plus) day in the interior of Western Oregon and parts of Western Washington too.  Skies are clear, and the atmosphere has warmed dramatically the past 12-24 hours.  The 5am weather balloon over Salem recorded a +19 degrees C at 850mb (near 5,000), and a northeast wind at 20 kts at 1,800′ elevation.  That north to northeast flow extends from just under 10,000′ to almost the surface.  So we have offshore flow in progress and a very warm air mass overhead.  That’ll give you 90+ just about any day between late May and early September.  The +19 over Salem is actually a bit warmer than modeled too.  So we may end up with +20 or +21 this afternoon.  The Crown Point wind sensor at Vista House had an east wind gust to 21 mph at 8am.  Not huge offshore flow, but the best of the summer!

Expect a quick warmup between now and noon as the warmer air surfaces and the downslope warming kicks in.  The heat doesn’t stick around long, although tonight will be a very warm one for late August.  Urban areas will remain at or above 60 degrees.

We have something else interesting on the way Monday and Tuesday.  A very wet system, an “atmospheric river” is going to sit over Vancouver Island later tomorrow through early Tuesday.   This contains tropical moisture and will dump a ton of rain up there.  Rain may get as close as a line from Hoquiam to Olympia.  Note the 72 hour rainfall total from the UW-WRF model.  This isn’t the usual North Pacific cold front either.  Precipitable Water (measure of total moisture in the column of air overhead) is going through the roof.  I see the NAM has it up to 1.60″ over Seattle with an 850mb temp still around +12 later Monday!   That system basically spends Monday-Wednesday dying over the Washington Coastal waters and Southern British Columbia.  So we get a ton of moisture on our doorstep and very little wind from any direction after today.  This is a setup for unusually humid weather and warm nights next week.  In fact that’s how I noticed it…MOS model temperatures show quite warm nights much of next week for the last week of August, so I went poking around to see why.  If the surface wind turns northwest or northerly after Monday, we’ll just be importing that humid air mass from the rain-soaked ground up north even if we are sunny.  I think this happened during the hot spell two, or three years ago?  I can’t remember the exact setup or which warm spell it was, but I remember Cliff Mass posting something about it.  I’m on vacation and don’t want to do that much work looking for it, maybe one of you could find it?

It’s really nice to have something to talk about weatherwise finally.  It’s been a very slow summer for the weather weenies…

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

182 Responses to Today is the Day; The Heat Is On!

  1. About a half hour ago my wind switched from NW to a breezy SE wind now. Haven’t had that in a while. Currently 62 w/ a dp of 58.

  2. pappoose in scappoose says:

    Really great to hear about the progress of the new radar:

  3. bgb41 says:

    ‎06Z GFS says a low of 65 for Wednesday morning. This will very likely end up being the warmest overnight low of year 2011 in Portland.

  4. bgb41 says:

    8/21/2011 Oregon (All) Temperature Summary

    High:102 at ALKALI FLAT(2495 ft) & NORTH FORK MALHE(3270 ft)
    Low: 70 at ALKALI FLAT(2495 ft)

    High:57 at YACHTS Yachats(74 ft)
    Low: 34 at DESCHUTES PORTAB (5100 ft )

    Largest Diurnal Change: 58 degrees
    DESCHUTES PORTAB (92/34 ) (5100 ft )

    Heaviest Rainfall:
    0.26″ at HOYT CREEK(5445ft)
    0.21″ at BLACK ROCK(4891ft)

  5. 69.6 here. Feels so much more comfy.

  6. Muxpux says:

    66 here and seein some low clouds race by…at least it’s not a solid deck of clouds yet…

  7. 74.3

    Early night. Up @2:30 AM tomorrow. Heading up to Olallie Lake again. Peace to my weather geeks!

  8. pappoose in scappoose says:

    At least it’s a little different:

    National Weather Service Portland or
    831 PM PDT sun Aug 21 2011

    Infrared satellite imagery shows a low holding steady in the Gulf of Alaska near 58n 145w. An associated cold front along 131w off our
    coast is moving slowly east. A weak cold front will stall over
    Washington state and the extreme northwest corner of Oregon Monday before weakening on Tuesday. This front will bring cooler
    temperatures…more extensive inland clouds…and possibly a few
    showers across SW Washington and northwest Oregon Monday and Tuesday.
    The weak front finally moves east of the Cascades by Wednesday with temperatures warming slightly. The airmass will be somewhat unstable with the possibility of thunderstorms over the Oregon Cascades Wednesday afternoon/evening. Likens/mh

  9. bgmike says:

    Got to exactly 90.0 today making it the second 90 degree day here. Now it’s down to a perfect 72.7 as the marine layer is coming in.

  10. NAM drops .6″ rain here next 48 hrs give or take

  11. Ok, so we hit 90. Now the question is, does Vancouver or Portland record any measurable precip before August is over? The last few models have been hinting at some rain here tomorrow night.

  12. Cooling much more quickly tonight as the marine air moves in.

  13. PDX and VUO both hit 90 again today. 87 here in BG.

  14. Muxpux says:

    Longview at 82. Enjoy the heat everyone. I wouldn’t know about it, lol

  15. Low 64 at my house, dewpoint 62 now

  16. Kyle From Silverton says:

    So what was the movie you watched Brian? We did our own movie time last weekend which I saw Toy Story 3 and it’s pretty funny though at times more serious then usual for a Disney film.

  17. I know it will be a little more humid: Are we talking Oregon humid or East Coast humid?

    Oregon humid: inconvenient but still feel like you can breathe.
    East Coast humid: Once you step outside you are instantly covered in sweat and you feel like you can’t breathe.

    Both suck but Oregon humid I can live with.

    • Karl Bonner says:

      I think it’s Oregon humid; i.e. dewpoints in the 58-65 range. Last September some spots saw dewpoints get up to nearly 70, and in May 2008 the southern Willamette Valley had one day with East Coast style dewpoints (low 70s). I remember last September I happened to be in Portland when we had the morning that was foggy yet warm, and in the middle of the daytime the inside of the car windshield was fogging up. Definitely not pleasant!

  18. bgb41 says:

    Heading up to the Siouxion Creek trailhead for a hike. After the hike I am going to attempt to 4wd my way to the Canyon Creek and Calamity weather stations if the roads aren’t gated. I am hoping to get pics that will explain why these two stations report such different temps daily.

    • Garron says:

      Enjoy! How was movie night? Glad that the heat is on after visiting the oasis of Las Vegas! I gotta try camping down there, so many cool things to see at night.

  19. Runrain says:

    Sounds like the NWS is back in this-is-a-recording mode with their weather discussions.

    Was last night a beautiful night or what? Driving home around 11 it was all the nightspots had people hanging around outside on the sidewalks having a good time and enjoying the balmy late night. We needed that!

  20. I wonder if 12z follows the 00z EURO… Looking at the overall 500Mb pattern in regards to the Gulf of Alaska trough position/northerly jet and the ridge we’re not too terribly far away from seeing a more persistent ridge and upper 80’s to mid 90’s throughout. It looks possible.

  21. Made it down to 53.5 last night, not bad after a 92 degree high yesterday.

    It’s warming quickly today though…

  22. bgb41 says:

    53 this morning at BG Lake after the 95 yesterday. Still 68 in my kitchen. Looks like the A/C will remain in mothballs till summer 2012.

  23. pappoose in scappoose says:

    High and low clouds are attempting to descend upon us:

  24. pappoose in scappoose says:

    Low of 55 in the land of gravelly plains.

  25. Mike near Clackamas Town Center says:

    00Z Euro says Death Ridge is here to stay for a little while longer along with more 90F readings coming Wednesday & again next weekend 🙂

  26. bgb41 says:

    8/20/2011 Oregon (All) Temperature Summary

    High:99 at CW3932 Central P(1290 ft)
    Low: 68 at BULLY CREEK RESE(2500 ft)

    High:55 at Port Orford (US(90 ft)
    Low: 31 at DESCHUTES PORTAB (5100 ft )

    Largest Diurnal Change: 56 degrees
    DESCHUTES PORTAB (87/31 ) (5100 ft )

  27. pappoose in scappoose says:

    Hahaah! “There is only one area that can give us trouble–southern California. But who would want to live down there anyway?”

  28. Tyler in Battle Ground says:

    Look NE around 1038 about 30 degrees above the horizon to see the next iridium flare!!!

  29. Down to 67 here in Silverton. 96/50 today.

  30. Temp: 78.1
    Dewpoint: 48
    Relative Humidity: 35%
    Face on Weather Station: 😮 He’s freaking out
    Barometer: 29.80 in
    Beverage: OceanSpray Diet Blueberry

  31. Down to 82 here and rapidly dropping despite the high dewpoint of 58.


  32. bgb41 says:

    Still sitting around 80 here.. Time for a drive-in movie in the driveway…..

  33. Karl Bonner says:

    I’m wondering if tomorrow during the day The Dalles might get a “Chenowith-Sevenmile Effect” as the west winds are first kicking in, where a bit of compressional heating pushes us briefly over 100 before cooler air arrives?

  34. Well lookie there.. Some t-storms fired.

    Looks like my 2 PM analysis was spot on. Yippeee… NOW get those storms up here!

  35. Kyle From Silverton says:

    Can I drive over and watch Brian too? I’ll pay admission. 😉

  36. Kyle From Silverton says:

    Mom says that Brian should charge admission for the drinks when he sets up his 15 feet wide movie projector since I realized all the neighbors will hear the movie going.

    Then they will pass the word along and before you know it the whole neighborhood will show up at your doorstop to catch the film so make sure it’s a good one! 😉

  37. pappoose in scappoose says:

    Can you say “We need to keep an eye on Irene?”

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