A Taste of Fall In the Weather Maps

After a week on vacation, I came back to weather maps that look a little more “Fall-ish”.  It’s hard to describe, but the upper-level maps (mainly 500mb) have a little more action moving around the northern hemisphere compared to a week or so ago.  We also have a wet weather system sitting just offshore that promises to give us some humid and cooler weather the 2nd half of this week.


This plus no sign of real hot weather means that we’re going to make it through a good chunk (or all) of August with no heat wave!  This has been a summer of very little hot weather  west of the Cascades.  We’ve seen only one day 95+ here in Portland so far this summer.  Last year we had 6 by mid-August.  Salem has seen 3 and Eugene 6 so far this year…clearly a nice marine influence on the high temps here in the metro area.  Yet even with the lack of extreme heat we have seen a lot of sunshine and very warm temps interspersed with brief cooldowns.  I think most would say this summer has been great.  We haven’t had a below normal month temp-wise since January.  So a decent spring followed by a nice summer, what else can you ask for?  Okay, maybe a chance to actually see a thunderstorm in the city of Portland?  We haven’t officially seen a thunderstorm at PDX since last September.  But at least the chilly summers of 2008, 2010, & 2011 are a memory (for now).

What’s on tap?  The juicy system offshore drags its sorry tail end through the Pacific Northwest Thursday and Friday.  Lots of clouds, humid weather, and showers may be popping up both days.  Possibly convection (thunder) either day.

Beyond that we should see some sort of ridging, although once again it appears it won’t be a setup for hot weather.  Still, quite a bit of disagreement on strength of ridging next week…notice the 850mb ensemble chart from the 12z ECMWF today:


notice the average is higher than the operational run, a clue that the ridge may be a little stronger than what we see on the maps.  The 12z GFS:


Similar look with the operational a little cooler than the average.

So…summer continues with no real extremes over the next 7 days or so.  Enjoy.

My bike ride last week went better than expected.  I survived and had no major issues.  For ME, it was a good accomplishment.  That road from Enterprise to Asotin, WA is amazing!  Check it out on Google Maps.  A 10 mile drop with curves down 3,000′ to the Grande Ronde River and then a rise 3,000′ in 10 miles via switchbacks up the other side is incredible…from sagebrush to forest in just an hour and a half or so.  That was my favorite day.  The next day was the hardest though, from Asotin, WA to Dayton, WA.  A long hot climb at the end of the day.  My hind end is just now recovering and I won’t be touching that bike for awhile!

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

40 Responses to A Taste of Fall In the Weather Maps

  1. BoringOregon says:


  2. karlbonner1982 says:

    The word of the day is “DEWPOINT”. Current DPs of 63/64 practically everywhere west of the Cascades, about 60 in Hood River, and 57 at DLS and climbing rapidly. I hope Goldendale’s air is a bit drier, because I have to play French horn outside for 2 hours this evening!

  3. W7ENK says:

    Overnight low of 64.5F, second warmest of the summer. Perfect for sleeping with a fan in the window.

    • Joshua in Lake Oswego says:

      65.1 here for a low. This would be a cool night for a lot of folks on the east coast or in the south. I don’t know how they tolerate it.

    • JJ78259 says:

      My lows have been 75 to 78 at night 2 big ac systems and the best Ceiling fans made in all 5 bedrooms. Keeps us cool!

    • W7ENK says:

      I’m glad I live here and not there for that very reason. I’ve been all through the Upper Midwest and parts of the South and up the East Coast in summer many a time, and I don’t know how they deal with all that humidity! I’ve seen full on October-esque fog in mid-July at 77 degrees in Central Ohio. No thanks, that was miserable! Windows that sweat on the outside because of the cold A/C against the hot and humid of the Florida outdoors, YUCK!! And 90 degrees with 90% humidity in DC in June is almost unbearable! The fact that it doesn’t cool off at night is the worst. It almost feels like it gets warmer after sunset because your body is expecting it to cool down, but it doesn’t.

      No, I’ll take the PNW over that humidity any day, even if it doesn’t snow or thunderstorm very often.

    • I’ll remind you of that this winter when everybody is getting snow except the dome dwellers! 🙂

    • BoringOregon says:

      When I lived over in, Boston a couple yrs ago. It was over a, 100 degrees for a week straight with 90% humidity. But today is a lot worse then over there. And when I left I flew out when They had a huge flood in lightning like, I have never saw before !!

  4. schmit44 says:

    8/14/2013 Oregon (All) Temperature Summary

    High:102 at HEPP( 311 ft) & ALKALI FLAT(2495 ft) & Rye Valley(I-84(2230 ft) & GRANDE RONDE RIV(1594 ft)
    Low: 73 at BLALOK(277 ft)

    High:61 at Newport(30 ft)
    Low: 36 at DIMLKE (4726 ft ) & KIRK (4519 ft ) & CRAZYMAN FLAT (6100 ft )

    Largest Diurnal Change: 52 degrees
    EW2055 Prairie C (96/44 ) (3547 ft )

    Heaviest Rainfall:
    0.26″ at TILLAMOOK(11ft)
    0.26″ at OCNSID Oceanside(22ft)
    0.23″ at PACCTY Pacific C(253ft)
    0.21″ at LINCON Lincoln C(187ft)
    0.21″ at HEBOWX Mt. Hebo(3160ft)

  5. Some rain drops up here. This is the 5th day this month with some kind of rain falling.

  6. BoringOregon says:

    I can’t complain just has been the must, perfect weather all summer long and I hope we at least see one more, Warm spell in August or September then that kicks off Huge thunder and lightning storms for the seasons to change!!

  7. WEATHERDAN says:

    86 in Salem yesterday. Today at 1:00 PM we are mostly cloudy and 82 degrees. Probably we can tack on another 4-6 degrees today. Looks like another +60 degree night tonight. Rain I believe is unlikely, but who knows. Weekend looks warm, 85-90. Last Saturday we had a vigorous TRW. Over 250 lightning strikes in Salem during the 90 minutes the storm lasted. Those figures about the TRW are from the NWS. So don’t bug me about them.

  8. Greg Carstens says:

    Probably more myth and legend than real fact here…

    “If the weather cools in the second half of August then there will be warmth again after Fall starts. If we are warm August into September and rains and cooler weather come by around the end of the Puyallup Fair then we could be looking at a pretty rough Fall”.

    Like I said here, only a feeling I have had for years and there is no scientific hard core evidence of the above thought.

  9. pappoose in scappoose says:

    “And it is happening right now.”

    Happy day! Can’t happen soon enough for me.
    I hate working in the hot weather, wringing wet with sweat, and worrying about the trees going up in flames. Would much rather dodge the rain. (OK, bring on the hate mail! Hahaah!)


  10. Sifton says:

    Man it just figures! Was gonna ride yesterday but noooooo, Wed. is gonna be even warmer. Can’t believe EVERYONE blew this 1 in just the last 24-36 hrs!! S.A. here I come!!

  11. TracyEllen Carson Webb says:

    So we MIGHT get a thunder/lightning event here in the city?

  12. karlbonner1982 says:

    There IS a sign of fall in terms of 850mb temps near the Arctic – but this is perfectly normal for the 3rd week of August up there. I’d say that the 850mb color-coded temps on Mark’s ECMWF 10-day maps look a little less orange/red in the subarctic latitudes as well (50 to 70 North), a sign that the weakening sun is already having tangible effects further north.

  13. schmit44 says:

    8/13/2013 Oregon (All) Temperature Summary

    High:98 at ALKALI FLAT(2495 ft)
    Low: 73 at CW1075 Boardman(322 ft)

    High:58 at Newport(30 ft)
    Low: 32 at DIMLKE (4726 ft ) & KIRK (4519 ft )

    Largest Diurnal Change: 52 degrees
    CW5507 Camp Sher (91/39 ) (3020 ft )

    Heaviest Rainfall:
    0.33″ at DW4287 Keno(4090ft)

  14. That ride up from the Grande Ronde must have been a killer! Driven it a few times and it kinda gives me the willies! Can’t look down 🙂
    Nice job, Mark.

  15. W7ENK says:

    Too damm early!!! >_<

  16. schmit44 says:

    Glad the ensemble means are above average in the long term. I am not ready to punch the fall time clock.

    • Mark Nelsen says:

      Agreed, not ready for that until September 10th.

    • Sifton says:

      I always stretch that sucker out till Oct.10-15th before I say the F word!! Then it’s all down hill from there……(maybe I should move to S.A.??) Sounds like a fun ride too Mark, but I think I’ll just keep it to Forest park elevations for me. I’m ah ‘avoid climbing steep hills @ all cost’ kinda rider!

    • JJ78259 says:

      With the upper 80’s to mid 90’s in Sept, lower 80’s in Oct and mid 70’s in Nov cleaning up the fall leaves will have a whole new meaning.

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