Oregon strawberries are at the farm stands already; a little earlier than normal. That’s because the last half of spring has been warmer than normal. You can see the above average temps along the West Coast on the 30 day temperature anomaly map:
It sure hasn’t been a “hot” May, but it has been consistently warm. And have you noticed what else is different? We haven’t had any long period of cool and wet weather! Rainfall is running about average for northwest Oregon and southwest Washington, but the severe drought continues across southern Oregon and California.
Earlier tonight I calculated the monthly average temp with the numbers so far and then added in the forecast highs/lows for the next 3 days. It appears that the average temperature will remain about 3 degrees above average here in Portland. That’ll give us the warmest May in 17 years!
As mentioned, we’ve sure seen hotter weather in May, but most years that is then followed or preceded by cool/showery weather. By the way, there’s a very good chance the much warmer than normal northeast Pacific waters are at least somewhat to “blame”. That along with a lack of chilly westerly upper-level flow too. Check out the huge warm pool from the coastline all the way out into the central Pacific. It has been there for at least 6 months and probably isn’t going anywhere with El Nino developing to the south. Another reason we will likely see warmer than average temps this summer, along with the data we’re seeing elsewhere referenced in a posting last week.
We will remain in weak upper-level troughing over the next 5-7 days, so we won’t be cloud-free and we won’t see decent offshore flow to push temps well into the 80s. But temps will return to a few degrees above average (70s) starting Friday and continuing through most of next week.
Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen