Summer Wrap Up: Record Number of Warm Nights

An overwhelming number of Pacific Northwesterners agree it was the best summer in years.  That’s based on a poll I took on this blog from August 16th to 25th

74%  gave it an A or A+

19%  gave it a B

But a few of you didn’t like it…7% gave it either a C or D.  I’m guessing these are people who would prefer to live elsewhere in a cooler climate, OR, maybe very annoyed by the warm nights.  In fact this summer WE HAD MORE 60 DEGREE OR WARMER NIGHTS THAN ANY OTHER IN PORTLAND’S HISTORY:

Mark_SummerNightsWarmRecord

People probably liked this summer for these reasons:

1. Some early warm weather in May and above average June temps, but still plenty of rain to finish up spring and avoid drought issues.

2. Lots of sunshine throughout the summer, not many thick marine layer days.

3. But enough marine layer to keep the extreme heat away.  We only had ONE record high temp at PDX this year, yet 11 record warm lows.  Two of those were ties.

Mark_SummerWrapEarly

The oddities this summer:

1. Several very humid periods around July 1st (the most humid stretch), and 3 more times in August and early September.  There was no single reason, but we did have several upper-level troughs inject moisture into our air a few times while at the same time no big onshore flow to cool us off or offshore flow to dry us out.  Basically there was nothing to “clear the air” each time.

2. Larger than average spread of high temps in the Willamette Valley vs. Portland Metro Area.  This was most noticeable in July.  Salem had 8 90 degree (or warmer) days, but Portland only had 4.  By the end of the season the difference wasn’t quite as extreme, but Portland still ended up with slightly below the normal “allotment” of 90 degree days.  That’s 12.9  If you don’t like 90 degree days, be thankful you don’t live in Ontario!!! Note the chart below.

3. Some good lightning at times in late August and early September.  Until that time it was pretty dead in Western Oregon…although that’s not so unusual.

MarkHeatwaveStudio_90degreeOregonDays

Fall is here though and it looks wet over the next 7-10 days.

Okay, now you can all argue about why it was such a horrible summer, how I have a “warm bias”, or what you loved about the summer so much…

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

92 Responses to Summer Wrap Up: Record Number of Warm Nights

  1. EY (Oak Grove) says:

    Reasons I didn’t like this summer:
    1. Too many 60+ nights
    2. Too many humid nights
    3. Too many humid early days
    4. No 100 degree reading
    5. An overabundance of “annoyingly hot” days (my definition range is 86 – 94), often in a row.

    Honestly, the biggest problem I had was the humidity. It just seemed unbelievably muggy… Maybe my internal thermostat is off, too, because it frequently felt too warm, sticky and stale. I enjoyed the two hot days we had, but we only had two of them (June 30th and September 11th, both above 95) which meant we had a long stretch of summer with very little in the way of change… It got boring.

    Then there were the nights. That was by far the worst spot. I’ve never had to rely on the AC so many nights just to sleep as I have this year. Which could explain why I never woke up feeling really refreshed.

    To me, there’s no argument that this was a bad summer. It’s my opinion based on how I felt during it and how I feel looking back. That said, it wasn’t exactly free of it’s own niceness…

    Reasons I liked this summer:
    1. Late-summer thunderstorms
    2. Only getting a trace of rain in July
    3. The normal start to it

    #3 is the reason I feel like many people look back at this summer with such appreciation. We actually started during summer time, as opposed to the horrible late-spring/early-summer years we’ve had in the past. I can’t disagree with that being a HUGE bonus to this summer… But it wasn’t enough to win me over. I DID like having my fruits and veggies actually grow this year… Last year was really rough.

    I know it’s not THAT rare, but only seeing a trace of rain in July was kinda neat. Always funny to point out to people that hey, Portland isn’t always drizzly and dreary and that sometimes we can go for long, long stretches without measurable rainfall.

    Finally, the best part, was the end of season thunderstorms. I cannot recall a time that I have seen so many flashes of lightning and rolls of thunder in such a short period of time. I lost count on one of those days after I reached something like 50 flashes or so.

    While we didn’t get pegged where I live, they didn’t completely leave us alone. I actually got to see bolts coming out of clouds and heard thunder directly above me. Heck, one night we had the tiniest, yet heaviest, shower I’ve ever experienced. I can’t remember what night it was, but the shower was only a couple pixels at most on the radar… It was literally like a solid wall of rain hitting us, then moving away 15 – 20 minutes later. On the Wunderground radar, it seriously was 6 yellow pixels and that was it.

    Even though it was a departure from what we’ve seen recently… This summer didn’t knock my socks off like it apparently did for most people. It stood out from the last few years because of the reasons above, but that doesn’t necessarily make it a vastly improved summer. There was plenty of things wrong with it.

    Tear me a part or whatever for it, just remember that these are my personal feelings and opinions. Also remember that I wouldn’t go out of my way to gripe about how others see it… I disagree with their opinions to an extent, but that’s just it… It’s their opinions.

    BRING ON THE FALL WEATHER! …For like, a month… Then I’ll long for summer again.

  2. W7ENK says:

    What? Why did that go here?!?? That WAS posted under your “90=way too hot” comment… o_O

  3. W7ENK says:

    LIGHT TO MODERATE RAIN WATCH
    NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE PORTLAND OR
    932 AM PDT THU SEP 19 2013

    http://inws.wrh.noaa.gov/weather/alertinfo/12422294

  4. pappoose in scappoose says:

    I really like it when strong fronts SLAM into the coast!

    NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE PORTLAND OR
    842 AM PDT THU SEP 19 2013

    SHORT TERM…ARRRR…ITS GOING TO AN OCTOBER LIKE WEEKEND COMMMENCING WITH A SOGGY EVENING COMMUTE FRIDAY…FOLLOWED BY PLENTIFUL SHOWERS SATURDAY…SOME WITH SMALL HAIL AND THUNDERSTORMS.
    ADDITIONALLY SNOW LEVELS FALL TO 6000-6500 FEET. SHOWERS TAPER OFF SATURDAY NIGHT EXCEPT IN THE MOUNTAINS. THEN A STRONGER FRONT WILL SLAM INTO THE COAST SUNDAY AFTERNOON BRINGING STRONG WINDS AND
    ANOTHER SOLID DOSE OF RAIN FOR MUCH OF THE REGION.

    MODELS CONTINUE TO INDICATE THAT INSTABILITY WILL NOT JUST BE TIED TO PEAK HEATING AND THE 500MB COLD POOL. AS A RESULT…THUNDER WAS ADDED TO THE FORECAST FOR THE COAST AND WATERS FRIDAY AFTERNOON AND
    EVENING. OROGRAPHIC ASCENT COUPLED WITH THE CONDITIONALLY UNSTABLE POST FRONTAL ATMOSPHERE MAY RESULT IN A FEW LIGHTNING STRIKES ACROSS THE COAST RANGE AND CASCADES FRIDAY NIGHT AND SATURDAY MORNING WITH THUNDER CHANCES EXPANDING TO THE ENTIRE CWA SATURDAY AFTERNOON AND EARLY EVENING. SNOW LEVELS WILL DROP DOWN TO NEAR 6KFT BY LATE
    SATURDAY. WITH OCEAN INDUCED CAPE VALUES APPRAOCHING 900 J/KG…SFC TO 850 T VALUES APPROACHING 12C…AND LCL TO EQUILIBRIUM LEVELS BEING RATHER LARGE…THE CHANCE FOR A WATERSPOUT IS NOT OUT OF THE QUESTION. THE CHANCE FOR A COLD CORE FUNNEL EXISTS BUT IS VERY SMALL.

  5. Muxpux (Castle Rock 175') says:

    46 and dense fog here. Feels like football!!

  6. Made it down to 39.7 this morning 🙂

  7. 40.6 right now.

    My lowest temp since June 10th, my first below normal low temp since August 25th, and the first morning it really has felt like September!

  8. schmit44 says:

    9/18/2013 Oregon (All) Temperature Summary

    Warmest:
    High:82 at AGNESS2( 247 ft)
    Low: 59 at JUNIPR(359 ft) & HEPP(311 ft) & BLALOK(277 ft) & John Day River B(305 ft) & RUFUS(185 ft)

    Coldest:
    High:38 at HOWARD Mt Howard(8150 ft)
    Low: 25 at CHLOQN (4231 ft )

    Largest Diurnal Change: 41 degrees
    Worden (66/25) (4080 ft)

    Heaviest Rainfall:
    0.96″ at LOG CREEK(2800ft)
    0.47″ at Detroit Lake(1675ft)

  9. snodaze says:

    who’s your best TV met in PDX history? — just wondering…

    • snodaze says:

      I’d say:

      Jack C.
      Jim L.
      (then… wait for it… — Mark?)
      etc
      etc
      etc
      etc….

      Wadda damn pro that Nelsen is…

    • weather lurker says:

      Jack Capella
      Mark Nelson
      Jim Little
      Bob the Weather Cat

    • High Desert Mat says:

      Don’t forget Jim Bosley

    • WEATHERDAN says:

      My top 5 are as follows

      1. Bob Lynot-KOIN 6

      2. Jack Capell-Kgw 8

      3. Jim Little-Katu 2-KOIN 6-KGW 8

      4. Mark Nelsen-KPTV 12

      5. TIE Rod Hill-KATU 2-KGW 8-KPTV 12 & Matt Zaffino KATU 2-KGW 8

      Honorable Mention Mike Fairborne KGW 8, Ferris Top KOIN 6,Fred Barnes KATU 2, Pete Parsons KOIN 6-KGW 8

      What made the earlier guys better was they got the the job done with little in the way of equipment or graphics. Crude satellite pictures, no computer access, and no fancy computer graphics. Yet they did a very god job of accurately forecasting the weather. That’s not a rap against Mark or any other current tv mets. Just an appreciation for the guys who were doing it way back when. Peace.

    • pappoose in scappoose says:

      I don’t think one can compare the earlier guys to the present guys, for the reasons you stated, WEATHERDAN (and other reasons).

  10. archangelmichael2 says:

    We need a furnace thread for counting the days when people turn their heat on the first time!

  11. 57 here in BG. Will be interesting to see how cool it gets tonight.

  12. Jake-(Gresham) says:

    How fitting that the first day of Fall on the forecast is going to be the wettest and windiest. I’ll admit however that I want the crickets at night to last a little longer. Poor buggers are going to get drowned here soon I’d imagine. >_<

  13. BoringOregon says:

    What time for the, east winds tomorrow?

  14. WEATHERMAN says:

    What’s up with the heat bashers. Personally I love a good 90 degree day. Not so much the humidity but a good old fashioned dry heat 90 degree Oregon summer day. It’s those cold gray foggy days when the chill gets in your bones type of days that I can’t stand. Or those rainy drizzly 41 degree days that I dislike. Sunny days are for me. I can’t stand the rain. And before anybody says go back to California let me say I was born in Salem and have lived here all of my life. Not every native Oregonian loves the cool gray foggy rainy weather.

  15. WEATHERDAN says:

    Looked up some old weather data for Salem. Averaging the Minimums and Maximums for June-August these are the top five warmest summers in Salem.

    1. 2013
    2. 1992
    3. 1958
    4. 1967
    5. 1941

    All were within a degree or so of each other. It wasn’t our maximums that put us at #1. It was our incredibly warm nights. Peace.

  16. In Trout Lake, WA (elevation 1855 ft) we had 14 days at 90 or above this summer: 1 in June, 9 in July, 1 in August and 3 in September.
    It rarely stays above 60 for the low here due to the higher elevation, but we did notice the nights were much warmer this year (some lows in the upper 50’s for sure). Overall, it was a great summer!

  17. David B. says:

    It was a great summer on the island where I now live. 70s pretty much every day, a few 80s, a few 60s, and no 90+ temps at all.

  18. schmit44 says:

    9/17/2013 Oregon (All) Temperature Summary

    Warmest:
    High:79 at LAKE OWHEE AND O(2400 ft) & Ontario Municipa(2188 ft)
    Low: 61 at Rye Valley(I-84(2230 ft) & John Day River B(305 ft) & RUFUS(185 ft) & JUNIPR(359 ft) & Celilo, East of(225 ft) & WYETH(102 ft)

    Coldest:
    High:43 at CW6028 Pine Mtn(6296 ft) & Timberline Lodge(7001 ft)
    Low: 32 at Bly Mountain (Or (4920 ft ) & Sand Creek (US 9 (4525 ft ) & HOWARD Mt Howard (8150 ft )

    Largest Diurnal Change: 26 degrees
    CW8673 Elgin (69/43 ) (2782 ft )

    Heaviest Rainfall:
    1.13″ at BRUSH CREEK(2130ft)
    1.06″ at SUGARLOAF(4328ft)
    0.99″ at FIELDS(3373ft)
    0.91″ at WILKINSON RIDGE(1346ft)

  19. Longview - 400 ft says:

    This summer was great. But I really like last summer the best because it did not start raining until the second Friday of October.
    I remember it well because I could dry my wood out longer than this year. This last weekend I spent putting tarps on all of my firewood. I did not have to do that until the second week of October last year.
    My first fire last year, in the wood stove, was the first Friday in October. This weekend coming up might require me to start her up.

    Normally, the last week of September is when I get a fire going.

    But this summer was great except those warm nights which required the fan to be on high most of those nights.

    • David B. says:

      That’s precisely why I disliked summer last year: too dry, to the point where forest fires and air quality became an issue. I’d much rather have a few showers and cleaner air.

    • archangelmichael2 says:

      Too much smoke last year. Despite the nights being too warm the skies have been a LOT clearer this year and many more days where you could see the coast ranges clearly.

      I went to Mary’s Peak last September and looking down I couldn’t believe what we were all breathing especially up towards Portland.

  20. TygrrQueen says:

    Personally, I absolutely abhor Summer: the heat, the sun, all of it. In fact, anything above 65 is too warm for me! That being said, this Summer was actually quite bearable when compared to the horrid Summers of SoCal’s San Fernando Valley, which is where I grew up. I moved up here 2 years ago to escape that weather, and I can say that I am extremely thankful that the Summers here in the PNW don’t last for 6 months, like down in SoCal. =)

  21. Weather this summer in seattle area gets an A. Cooler up here than down south, but better than average thunderstorm activity made up for it. Lightning strike density this summer must be pretty high relative to average. Lets hope Fall gets an A, and Winter an A++.

  22. Doppler Dave (NE Portland) says:

    Overall, I thought it was a great summer. Lots of sunshine, an abundance of high temps in the 80s and lows in the 60s. Only two things I would have enjoyed better: more thunderstorm activity directly over the Portland area, and more hot days in the 90s or 100s. In my opinion, this was the best summer since 2009.

  23. paulbeugene says:

    I feel like someone from Miami, FL….it is FREEZING outside…54.3F right now…got to find my sweater…trying in vain to keep from turning on the furnace (in Eugene)…after all those warm nights the past couple months

  24. Great summer indeed! Looking forward to some fantastic fall color!

  25. Would’ve been more fun if we’d had gotten to 105 at DLS in the early-season heat wave, but anyway…a GREAT summer for your vegetable gardens, I imagine not?

    • Lurkyloo says:

      Karl, I have so many Roma tomatoes this year that I’m having a hard time giving them away. The last couple of years they were all still green in mid-Sept.

  26. Paul D says:

    When we have zero 90 degree days I’ll rate it above a C.

  27. BoringOregon says:

    I really do not mind this, fall like temperatures. Soon we are going to start Raking leaves in the yard!

  28. I received one of those heavy showers out here in BG today. 3.25″/hour at 17:06. Just 0.22″ for the day though. Felt a lot like fall, so much so that I created my fall photo album 🙂

  29. W7ENK says:

    Your warm bias has gotten really bad, Mark.So bad in fact, it’s influencing Portland’s weather and actually making it warmer in reality! You’d better stop it before a select handful of bloggers melt into an annoyed little puddle of whine. 😆

    • archangelmichael2 says:

      Nahhh. It’s all those cows and their methane. Gotta put mufflers behind the cows! 🙂

      Where’s Al Gore and his cow muffler program when we need him.

      (sarcasm off)

  30. oldwxwatcher says:

    What got me was the number of days with a dew point of 60° or above. Wonder if we set a new record in that regard.

  31. Joshua in Lake Oswego says:

    As much as I hate hot weather, I can admit that it wasn’t a bad summer. Too warm overall, but little extreme heat.

  32. …for me…the best summer on the west side of the state since the 71 day
    dry spell of 1967……

  33. There’s still a couple more 90ish days down the pike 🙂 Choo choo!

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