Warm & Dry Spell Continues


What an incredible weekend!  Two days in the 80s here in Portland and now on Monday we hit 84 degrees.  And that’s nothing compared to the Ocean Beaches.  The southerly surge of cool air coming up the coastline held off until Sunday evening.  That means BOTH days were in the 80s from the tip of the NW Washington coastline all the way south to near Brookings.  This might be just about the only time I’ve seen the entire coastline in the 80s for two consecutive days; and it lined up over a weekend.  It’s safe to say that most likely this was the only time this warm season we’ll see both of those (heat & weekend) line up so perfectly out there.  Check out the dramatic change in temps from yesterday to today:


Back here in the valleys the dry east wind and warm temps have dried the soil dramatically.  We haven’t seen any significant rain in two weeks.  My freshly rototilled garden beds are very dry; this is the first time in years that I’m doing widespread watering the first few days of May.  I’m doing that because I see no rain for at least another 5 days; usually in early May we would see dry and warm followed by wet weather.  On the plus side, it’s the first time I’ve planted corn in early May too.  I live at 1,000′ on the west slopes of the Cascades…cool and wet spring weather is the norm.  We’ll see how it does this time around; the plan is to get it up and a few inches tall before some sort of  cold and wet pattern hits later this month or in early June.

Speaking of dry, I added up the rainfall at PDX for spring so far through May 6th for all the years at PDX.  It turns out this spring has been one of the top 3 driest so far here in Portland.  And it’s definitely the first real dry one since 2004.


There were a few years just as dry or drier for March/April, but all had some sort of soaking in early May.  There have been many reports of small fires over the weekend with the dry east wind too; so the assumption might be that we have a really bad fire season on the way?  Not necessarily so:


Notice the lowest acreage burned in Oregon the past 9 years?  2004!  How did we have such a dry spring and early summer and still avoid big fires?  I don’t remember exactly how that year played out firewise through mid August, but I do clearly remember that heavy rains fell in the 3rd week of August, totally drowning out the fire season.  Basically autumn began very early that year; so no fire issues in late August through October.

Where are we headed short-term?  We are in the “Rex Block” right now with an upper level ridge covering us and areas to the north and west.  An upper low is sitting off the California coast spinning moisture for thunderstorms through that area and southern Oregon.  That won’t change much the next 2-3 days, but then it heads off to the east.  Over us we are getting a weak marine push this evening, but our RPM and WRF-GFS keep the intrusion shallow with very little morning cloud cover the next few days.  850mb temps remain very warm under the ridge…+11 to +14 through Thursday.  Then the ridging strengthens a bit with temps warming Friday-Saturday.  We’re probably going to see 80s again at least those two days.

Models are in very good agreement with a cold front moving onshore Sunday.  There is a nice southwest flow aloft on Sunday and maybe Monday too, so hopefully we’ll get a good soaking of rain then (can’t believe I just wrote that in early May!).

Then both the ECMWF and GFS are hinting that the ridge may rebound for a few days, more of a June pattern with a weak cold front passage followed by a quick return to dry weather.  We’ll see how that pans out.

Here are the latest 12z ECMWF and 12z GFS ensemble charts.  First the GFS:


Notice the sharp drop to average temps behind the cold front and then warming next week.

Now the ECMWF.  Not as much ridging on the operational run, more typical mid May weather starting early next week:


Enjoy the sunshine!

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

40 Responses to Warm & Dry Spell Continues

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

    Klamath County is totally COVERED in lightning!!!

  2. JJ97222 says:

    Down here in Houston great sunny day not much humidity beautiful blue sky, perfect day! Heading home to scattered showers but then we dry out again awesome! Wouldn’t be something if we had a 85 degree average high temp Rose Festival that would be cooooool! Then it can start raining after I leave for the Lone Star State on 6/14

  3. Tyler Mode in Battle Ground says:

    Please enjoy my photo gallery, This Is Ireland:

    • Nice. Haunting in a way. But then you see the sheep which brings it all back home.
      I love that it wasn’t raining. How odd it that for Ireland!
      Hope you had a chance to hoist a Guinness with the regulars!

  4. marcus.winston.965@facebook.com says:

    Ugh is this marine layer going to burn off???? I hope so

  5. schmit44 says:

    5/7/2013 Oregon (All) Temperature Summary

    High:91 at DW0462 Umatilla( 390 ft) & ECHO(683 ft) & JUNIPR(359 ft)
    Low: 65 at RUFUS(185 ft)

    High:47 at FOURMILE LAKE NE(5810 ft)
    Low: 32 at BEND WATERSHED (5330 ft )

    Largest Diurnal Change: 47 degrees
    CW8673 Elgin (86/39 ) (2782 ft )

    Heaviest Rainfall:
    0.83″ at KLAMATH NWR(4531ft)
    0.81″ at TEPEE DRAW(4735ft)
    0.79″ at STRAWBERRY(5590ft)

  6. W7ENK says:

    Wildfire potential through July, not looking good for the PNW…


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

    Big thunderstorm today. 5 minute long video. Exciting part is after 3:00 😉 (Sorry at 3:40 i slip a cuss word in there… lol)

    • runrain says:

      You go ahead and cuss away, Timmy. We appreciate your efforts and keeping us up to date on weather activity down there. Thx for the video.

    • pappoose in scappoose says:

      Cuss up a storm! Some days the supply of available curse words is insufficient to meet my demands!

  8. Garron near Washington Square says:

    Back to back beautiful May 8th birthdays’ for me? Yea! That’s gotta be a rare event since I’ve lived here. Three years ago, it was 80+ on the day before my birthday, then rained. That happened to fall on Mothers’ day. So I blamed myself for wishing for perfect weather on my birthday every year. FINALLY, it paid off! This year, I’ll wish for everyone else to have nice weather on their Birthdays’. I just hope it doesn’t take 40 years for that to happen…lol

  9. pappoose in scappoose says:

    “During the summer, we should rename the web page, TarWatch.”


  10. Dave in South Salem (500') says:

    Could really use some rain soon. Higher water bill cancels out the lower gas bill than usual… I’ll take it after last year’s wet spring but a little rain shower at least would be nice.

  11. pappoose in scappoose says:

    Timmy! They’re back! Keep an eye on em!

  12. *BoringOregon* says:

    Some nice looking tower clouds over mt hood right now !

  13. WestVan says:

    It does not bode well for my garden when I am grumpy about watering in May. I will need an early fall in August or my plants are dead at that point because I will have given up. 🙂

    • Joshua in Lake Oswego says:

      Ha, yea I am getting annoyed with having to water already too. I think it was 2011 where I didn’t have to water anything until July.

  14. schmit44 says:

    5/6/2013 Oregon (All) Temperature Summary

    High:93 at BLALOK( 277 ft)
    Low: 62 at Wasco(2107 ft)

    High:50 at BIG RED MOUNTAIN(6250 ft)
    Low: 28 at CRANE PRAIRIE (5500 ft )

    Largest Diurnal Change: 50 degrees
    CW5507 Camp Sher (83/33 ) (3020 ft )
    Hermiston Munici (89/39) (636 ft)

    Heaviest Rainfall:
    0.64″ at PROVOLT SEED ORC(1180ft)
    0.56″ at Baker City Munic(3373ft)
    0.52″ at CW8876 Williams(1640ft)

  15. The spring of 1969 might have been dry but the preceding winter was fantastic. 🙂

  16. W7ENK says:

    I absolutely LOVE this weather!! 😀

    • W7ENK says:

      It can just stay like this all the way through Hallowe’en. Toss in a few scare-the-hell-out-of-you nocturnal thunderstorms in July and August, I’d call that perfect!

  17. karlbonner1982 says:

    Spring began in early February and summer in early May….does this mean fall will start in early August?

    • karlbonner1982 says:

      Perhaps this year the God of Seasons is manipulating the upper-level weather pattern in such a ways as to effectively cancel out normal seasonal lag along the West Coast – while in the process generating extreme seasonal lag in the eastern 2/3 of the country.

    • karlbonner1982 says:

      If this theory is true then we should see cool showers in August, frost by mid-September, and some kind of lowland snow event or arctic blast around the 2nd week of November….

    • pappoose in scappoose says:

      Fall in August, Winter in November…yeah, baby, yeah!!

  18. Punxsutawney aka HIOPHIL in Hillsboro says:

    Dry east wind and warm temps here this weekend took a toll on a lot of tender young vegetation that was close to freezing a few days earlier. My lettuce and broccoli did not appreciate it.

    Gusts almost as strong in Hillsboro as at Crown Point on Sunday.


    • Mark Nelsen says:

      Yeah, the sudden hot/dry wind was a bit harsh to vegetation westside used to our mild and moist weather. Water water water!

    • gidrons says:

      Also, hot weather will make certain vegetables go to seed prematurely, such as lettuce and spinach.

  19. schmit44 says:

    Still above climo. I’m lovin’ it

  20. *BoringOregon* says:

    1ST !!!!

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