Memorial Day: Not the Start of Summer Here!

It’s common knowledge that Memorial Day Weekend to Labor Day Weekend is generally the summer vacation and/or travel season.  Schools start getting out after Memorial Day (somehow my kids are done a week from Friday) and the weather improves quite a bit.  BUT, west of the Cascades in the Pacific Northwest that’s not quite the case.  Take the average high for May 28th…70 degrees here in Portland.  That IS within 12 degrees of the hottest average high of the year (82 in late July and early August), but that’s the same as October 1st!  We sure don’t consider early October to be a great time to visit the mountains and/or go camping west of the Cascades due to the cooler days and chilly nights.  But lots of people will be out in the great outdoors this weekend.  Check out the past 5 years here in Portland:

Only one (2009) of those Memorial Day weekends saw nice weather with sunshine and warm temps.  In 2008 we had record rain Saturday night with a great round of thunderstorms…remember that?

This weekend doesn’t look so great.  The best weather still appears to be Friday, although now our RPM is showing a shower trying to pop up in the northerly flow over us.  Still, a good 10-12 degrees warmer than tomorrow’s cold shower day (hail and thunder likely by the way).  Saturday should be dry and partly cloudy; temps about average.  Then Sunday and Monday will be cool with lots of clouds and maybe a few showers.

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

59 Responses to Memorial Day: Not the Start of Summer Here!

  1. j2m says:

    Sorry. Link to the pic is

  2. j2m says:

    Pic from the backyard – black clouds rolling in from the North.

  3. j2m says:

    View of dark clouds rolling in from the North
    Oregon City ~440′

  4. vinnybob says:

    It’s 8 pm and my furnace just kicked in. 48.5 here in Cedar Hills

  5. Longview - 400 ft says:

    Wendy in Silver Lake, you should have something making noise by how black the sky is over you. Yikes!!!!
    Let us know what happens when you get a chance.

  6. I’m betting Mark will be off by at least 5 degrees on next Thurs and Fri. Its gonna be warmer. Toasty, even.

  7. W7ENK says:

    The sky to my North looks almost black as night! O_O

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

    First official thunder day here in Klamath Falls. Marked May 24th on the calendar…. @ exactly 1:28pm.

  9. Wendy-Silverlake, Wa says:

    Thunder directly over the house. Windows rattling and everything. Totally cool!!!

  10. vernonia1 says:

    looks like we are under the “dome” today!

  11. W7ENK says:

    Funnel cloud spotted near Albany!

  12. vernonia1 says:

    Here ya go W7

    • W7ENK says:

      All I got was a blank black box… 😦

      But, I swapped the 1 for a 2 and the image came through. 🙂

      Looks like a strike up near Vancouver Lake, too!

    • vernonia1 says:

      hmmm. did a copy & paste….oh well…Mark’s page. Gonna keep an eye on it

  13. W7ENK says:

    Possibly hearing distant rumbles of thunder to the South of downtown…

    Trying to confirm that they are not either errors or too far away to actually be heard…

    Sky looking very dark to the South.

  14. muttville1 says:

    Now Mark is being conservative about next weeks high temps!!

  15. pbo9 says:

    Thunder and close lightning here in the past 20 minutes. 1 mile west of the north Wilsonville exit off of I-5.

  16. Mr Data says:

    I’ll try again.

    (Sigh) I don’t know HOW the bloggers get these songs or weather videos to show up during discussions.

  17. Mr Data says:

    I hope I don’t offend anybody as I do not know where to ask this but why is it that whenever a business or organization changes owners they (the new owners) are ALWAYS greedy and fail to deliver the promises of hope and change.

    Me and my parents have seen many business come and go and whenever young people take over it’s always the same old song and dance.

    I hope the song shows up which is the story of our life when it comes to business practice.

    • runrain says:

      New owners are usually just looking for a quick buck, not realizing how much work is involved.

    • W7ENK says:

      Remove everything in the URL from (and including) the ampersand (& symbol)

      I took off &w=420&h=315 from the end

      And don’t use shortened URLs, those won’t work either.

  18. Sandi (Wilsonville) says:

    Just heard thunder! 🙂

  19. muttville1 says:

    So tomorrow we turn a hard corner just like that huh, cause this weeks been a nightmare…………….

    • chris s says:

      How has it been a nightmare??? Sure are alot of transplants from other states here lately it seems, as if your a true oregonian, this is fairly normal weather for spring time!!! 🙂

    • runrain says:

      Yes, this is what keeps Portland’s population from exploding. Its a near perfect place to live. Add abundant sunshine and we’d become, well, Sacramento! Not that Sacratomato is that bad of a place but my point made (?)

    • muttville1 says:

      Below 60F IS a nightmare for the last 1/3 of May! & you caught me Chris, I’m not a Oregonian, I’m a Washingtonian! Don’t be jealous……….

    • Kassie97222 says:

      Washington? How could anyone complain about Oregon weather, being from Washington? Not that different, I have been back and forth between the two…

    • karlbonner1982 says:

      I agree with Muttville, highs in the 50s in late May is pretty ugly. Worst of all, though, are 50s in June – I sure hope you ‘Westsidas’ don’t have to suffer through THAT this year!

    • jbpdx says:

      I’ve lived here 17 years. When do I transition from transplant to Oregonian? Exactly how long do I have to live here before I’m permitted to be critical?

  20. gidrons says:

    Euro has Saturday and Tuesday dry.

  21. bgb41 says:

    5/23/2012 Oregon (All) Temperature Summary

    High:72 at Castle( 283 ft)
    Low: 54 at CW1075 Boardman(322 ft)

    High:31 at HOWARD Mt Howard(8150 ft)
    Low: 21 at ALAKES Haines (7979 ft )

    Largest Diurnal Change: 32 degrees
    CRN SITE NEAR RILEY (57/25 ) (4260 ft )

    Heaviest Rainfall:
    0.76″ at YELLOWSTONE MTN.(3080ft)
    0.71″ at CEDAR(2220ft)

  22. boydo3 N Albany says:

    Memorial Day has become a Hallmark Holiday. As if you can only now begin to fire up the grill. Its summertime! All of a sudden.. BANG!..” you may now start wearing shorts, applying sunscreen and enjoying the outdoors”, the loudspeaker says.
    And then its supposed to be over on Labor Day. Drop the shades and forget camping, going to the beach and grilling till next year. I’ve always been cynical about the whole commercial thing. Around here, the best part of summer is September.
    This Memorial Day weekend I’ll be pulling weeds, killing slugs and waiting for my lawn to dry out so I can mow it. Oh, and taking a buddy on a float down a certain river in search of Steelhead and Spring Chinook. And we might even get our asses wet. Just like any other month in western Oregon 🙂

  23. karlbonner1982 says:

    I want to thank Mark a thousand times over for pointing out the hard fact that gets missed over in popular culture – for the PNW at least, Memorial Day is definitely NOT a summer holiday. The good news, however, is that Labor Day usually is. AND the payback for all this ‘Gemini Gloom’ (and sometimes Cancer Gloom as well) is that our summer often continues through the entire month of Virgo!

  24. W7ENK says:

    Okay, seriously? WTF is this… really??? Where?!?

    The sun is shining, and the sky was mostly clear toward downtown… o_O?

  25. Kassie97222 says:

    No thunder or lightning near milwaukie… I heard there is this big annoying dome around here…

  26. runrain says:

    Am I the only one who had a thunderstorm today?

    • W7ENK says:

      Yes, yes you are.

    • ThunderCloud - North Plains says:

      That’s weird, Mark’s weather page doesn’t show any lightning… Maybe it only shows C to G lightning? Not sure…

    • runrain says:

      Well, 8 state high school softball teams were pulled off the fields at Hoodview Park, waiting the mandatory 30 minutes from the last peel of thunder so I had plenty of witnesses. Teams from Putnam, Clackamas, Tualatin, Sandy, Bend, Lincoln, Crater, and Eagle Point all affected.

    • Mr Data says:

      It’s also dark here with no sunshine whatsoever. Third time today where it looks like it’s going to storm hard but then nothing happens but the WINDS were very erratic.

    • W7ENK says:

      I dunno… I think maybe we should ask the thunderstorm authority before we go calling this an actual thunderstorm. It might have been nothing more than an error, especially considering nothing showed up on the lightning maps! 😆

    • Larry says:

      I wonder how far away it could be heard?

  27. Larry says:

    I’ll be staying home this weekend, my lady has to work.

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