The Brookings Effect Today: 101 Degrees!

A coastal city was the hottest place in Oregon today.


Yep, the temperature hit 101 degrees at Brookings way down on the south coast.

How does that happen???

It’s called the Brookings Effect, or sometimes the Chetco Effect.  With the right wind direction, air rushes down the Siskiyou Mountains, compressing and warming the airmass.  As a result, a localized area around Brookings can see temperatures soar ANY month of the year. Cliff Mass did a nice write-up about it a couple of year ago.

You know you’ve made it “big time” if you have a Wikipedia entry right? Sure enough, you can find an entry for the Brookings Effect here.

As soon as the wind direction changes the temperature drops rapidly.  It’s quite possible to have a high in the 90s one day and then be foggy and 58 the next as the air comes off the chilly Pacific Ocean.  You can see some of that up/down on a chart of the past 13 days:


The most extreme heat wave in the Brookings area occurred in July 2008.  That was a crazy few days, I can’t imagine what it was like for folks who most likely didn’t have air conditioning!  The 108 was the all-time record high for that location.  Note the low of 85 degrees the following night as the warm north wind continued to blow.


Speaking of a warm night, I see it is still 89 degrees in Brookings at 11pm with a northeast wind gusting to 16 mph.

Here in our area the heat begins tomorrow (Wednesday) and continues through at least Monday.  Models seem to be pointing towards significant cooling beginning Tuesday.

Stay cool!

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

47 Responses to The Brookings Effect Today: 101 Degrees!

  1. Lee Wilson says:

    Seen a small plane struggling to get altitude to day…is it true that aircraft have a harder time gaining lift in hotter air?

  2. Lee Wilson says:

    We hit 103. And it’s 9:00 pm and we’re at 82.. forget freaking hot..we’re freaking roasting. Our a/c never shut off and the cars a/c was maxed to lost temp.

  3. Paul D says:

    Shouldn’t there be numbers on the graphic?

  4. schmit44 says:

    Portland has only reached 100° once in the past 5 years and the last time was back in 2012. We are overdue this year. Between 1981 and 1992 we reached 100° 11 of 12 years.

  5. Jason Hougak says:

    Smoke rising Sourheast of Hood. Called my Forest Service Rec. friend and he’s going to get more info.

    • runrain says:

      Thanks. Keep us up to date on the latest. A fire right now could be disasterous.

    • W7ENK says:

      Great… 😦

      I had an awful dream last night that a massive forest fire was racing up the West flank of Mt. Hood, and it chased my friends living in Welches out of their home. I could see the massive plume rising in front of the mountain from my office in the afternoon, and looking that direction after dark you could see the fire — it looked like the volcano had erupted with lava flowing down toward Portland.

      The first thing I thought of when I woke up this morning, that dream still fresh in my mind: With all this heat, and a dry East wind, shiz’ gonna burn today…

    • Tyler Mode in Battle Ground says:

      That smoke is visible coming up on the satellite from southern Oregon. I’m not sure if you’re referring to a new fire or just smoke.

    • Jason Hougak says:

      Got a confirmation of smoke drift moving Northest to Southwest and circling Hood

    • Lee Wilson says:

      I had a dream the Cowlitz River became a small stream..and not even a jet ski could navigate it..that couldn’t really happen…could it..then to top it off we the massive quake hit ….

  6. schmit44 says:

    7/29/2015 Oregon (All) Temperature Summary

    High:108 at AGNESS2( 247 ft) & MERLIN SEED ORCH(1144 ft)
    Low: 73 at FLYNN PRAIRIE(1543 ft)

    High:58 at Newport(30 ft)
    Low: 24 at CROW FLAT (5172 ft )

    Largest Diurnal Change: 59 degrees
    CROW FLAT (83/24 ) (5172 ft )

  7. Jason Hougak says:

    Went rock climbing outside Leavenworth Washington last weekend. Enjoyed the mountain scenery and refreshing Icicle Creek in Icicle Canyon. Had some rain showers Saturday but was awesome weather wise. The drought is taking a toll on the forest there. Many of the fir trees have turned orange and the new growth is dying. It may also be the pine beetle.
    Mount Hood has the least amount of snow I’ve ever seen. My helper at work and I were shocked at just how fast the snow is melting. If we don’t get a good mountain snowpack this winter it’s looking like the mountain will just be a volcanic rock without its robe of glaciers.
    69F just before 10pm
    Works crazy and the heat down right makes it tough on the body. Praying for a great winter to end the drought.

    • High Desert Mat says:

      Amen to that brother. Just curious, have u ever climbed smith rock? I work literally 1.5 miles from it. Before I worked out here I barely knew about it. Now I know people from around the world come to it everyday.

    • Jason Hougak says:

      Yes it is a climbing mecca. Slack lining is very popular there. I’ve seen slack line setups where it’s off 2 cliffs and hundreds of feet of the ground. Smith has climbs for all abilities. Great place except during the heat of course.

  8. Tyler Mode in Battle Ground says:

    Vancouver area temps:

    81 in Minnehaha, 75 at 119th and 72nd out to 502 and 72nd.

    Up to 79 in Battle Ground and 82 at my house.

    There is a light offshore breeze blowing here keeping the temp up and the humidity down.

  9. Paul D says:

    AACK!!!! There’s a TRIPLE DIGIT number on tomorrows forecast!! Run for the hills!!!

  10. Vinnybob says:

    75 now Brookings

  11. DELXV says:

    Nice note on the Brookings effect. Old TV and PDX weatherman, Jack capell, wrote the fist paper describing the meteorological causes and results of the Brookings/Gold Beach/ Chetco heat low. He wrote the paper about 1960. Back in the early 1950s, the Weather Bureau surface weather chart analysts in Washington DC threw out the Bookings pressure reading on hot days there….they did not believe it could be as low as reported……..Good for local weather pioneer. Jack Capell.

  12. runrain says:

    I know it’s a bit far out there, but what are the general indications of the weather after the middle of next week’s cool down? A prolonged cool down or another warm up into the following weekend?

  13. WEATHERDAN says:

    96 at 3:00 PM. Another 100 degree day it looks like although we aren’t there yet. PDX should be 96 or 97. They are 93 at 3:00 PM. Next Wednesday only mid to high 80,s. Sounds perfect to me. One item to consider. During our hottest Summers the valley usually sees less convective activity than during a normal Summer. That is not to say we won’t have any TRW activity this Summer. Only that our chances are reduced. Peace.

  14. Paul D says:

    My turn to do some forecasting: the second and third weeks of August will be unseasonably cool, and so will June and July next year.

    What do I base my forecast on? One fact – I won’t be in Oregon. This place always has weather I want when I’m not here. This has happened in the past. We’ll see if it does again 🙂

  15. Farmer Ted says:

    no one would complain out 101 degrees in the winter I bet.

  16. WEATHERDAN says:

    91 at 1:00 PM. On our way to 101. Some parts of the valley may top out at 106 tomorrow. NWS calls for 102. TWC calls for 106. SLE may have 100+ maximums today through Saturday. When we cool back into the mid 80,s the middle of next week it sure will feel good. But remember when this heat wave ends next week it will be only the 5th of August. While we may not have another long stretch of 90,s it is likely we will have two or three more mini heat waves of 3 days or so before all is said and done. We should have 26 days of 90+ this Summer by next Tuesday. I expect another 6-10 by October 1. This would give us 32-36 days this Summer. These days may be too hot for most people but I find our evenings and nights to be most pleasant. I can remember going to minor league baseball games in Salem in the early and mid 1960,s and having to wear a jacket and a blanket. We sometimes dropped to between 40 and 45 degrees in the June-August time frame. Now our lows are usually 55-65. Much nicer for Summertime evening activities. Peace.

  17. Steven James says:

    I love Brookings. I go there on vacation every year! I’m sure all the beaches were absolutely packed. The Pacific Ocean must have been such a sweet relief.

  18. schmit44 says:

    Hottest overnight low of all-time this morning in Brookings. Low temperature was 86 degrees.

    • W7ENK says:

      Why are the readings only posted once every 6 hours? That seems odd… is there more frequent/consistent data available?

      Additionally, if that 86 was recorded as the lowest temperature between 10pm and 4am, it’s entirely possible the temperature could have dropped another degree or two before sunrise (6:08am this morning). The coldest reading of the day typically comes as a slight dip in temperature once the sun cracks the horizon and hits the saturated overnight air, which only lasts a minute or two before the air starts warming again. Don’t count your eggs before they hatch, let’s see what happens after the 10am numbers are posted.

    • Mark Nelsen says:

      All FAA stations report highs/lows every 6 hours. Weird, but it’s been that way for about 20 years. Temperature from midnight to midnight is all that matters in the end. That said…what a neat night to camp on the beach!

    • runrain says:

      Interesting that yesterday afternoon in Brookings, the temp there dropped 15 deg in half an hour from the upper 90’s to mid 80’s, then popped right back up to 100 in the next 30 minutes. That’s what I call fragile heat, with a slight wind shift having the ability to affect temperatures suddenly.

    • Tyler Mode in Battle Ground says:

      Temp dropped to 73 at Brookings…

    • Tyler Mode in Battle Ground says:

      I take that back…that wasn’t the airport…

    • W7ENK says:

      So, I take it the PDX airport isn’t an FAA station then? It reports hourly.

    • runrain says:

      I wonder if they study the Brookings Effect at the Brookings Institute…

    • Death Valley dropped to 87 during that same time period.

  19. I think I read about the “Brookings effect” years ago in a book by David Laskin (“Rains all the time”). Fascinating place to be a weather observer! Meanwhile I’m confident this will be my warmest July on record, although it certainly won’t be my driest; 18 other previous Julys had less.

  20. jimbo says:

    First first first

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