Hot & Smoky Weekend Ahead & Much Warmer 7 Day Forecast

6pm Friday…

The lack of fire smoke west of the Cascades has been nice the past two days, but it’ll be back this weekend.  Take a look at the latest U.S. Forest Service BlueSky smoke dispersion model:

A couple of still images show smoke from big fires in northern Washington and the Cougar Creek fire on Mt. Adams heading to the east-southeast right now:


Then as our wind switches to northeast and easterly the next 24 hours the smoke is carried right into Western Oregon and SW Washington during the day Saturday.


That smoke will be pushed back out of our area again late Sunday and Monday as the flow turns weakly onshore again so at that point haze should diminish again.

So how warm will it get this weekend?  It’s obvious we have a pretty decent easterly wind flow through the Gorge tomorrow…maybe 3 millibars.  You can see the solid offshore flow during the daylight hours Saturday on the 4km WRF-GFS cross-section.  Note time goes from right to left.  This morning is on the far right side, Monday afternoon on the far left side:

Winds will probably be gusting around 40-45 mph at the Vista House wind gauge tomorrow morning-midday.  Gusts 15-25 mph on the east side of the metro area midday as well.  850mb temps climb to around +18 or +19, which according to my chart means a high temp 90-95 degrees.  I figure we need to knock off a couple degrees for loss of sunlight due to the smoke, so I have gone with a high temp of 92 at PDX.  Sunday maybe just a notch or two cooler, but still we probably will add 1 or 2 more days to the 90+ count for this year when the weekend is finished.

The big change to the forecast is for next week.  Models are definitely struggling with what’s going on in the Pacific, and the Ridiculously Resilient Ridge.  They HAD been advertising a cool trough coming down and hanging around for an extended visit along the West Coast.  But in the past 24 hours they have steadily been pushing the low farther and farther offshore with each run.   The 18z GFS has now gone as far as suggesting we stay very warm with maybe another 90 or two returning the latter part of next week!  Take a look at NEXT Saturday, the 29th from last night’s GFS run vs. the latest.  See the difference?



The unprecedented dry weather will continue; we’ve only seen .12″ rain so far this month.  I am starting to see young trees dying (fir trees turning brown) on the sides of the freeways on my daily commute…water your trees!

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

58 Responses to Hot & Smoky Weekend Ahead & Much Warmer 7 Day Forecast

  1. ockman says:

    Hi mark Nelson we always get wicked windstorm events every fall winter months September October November December January February March April.
    I’m ready in case the power goes out PGE will be out lots of power outages.
    Brandon Bockman

  2. WEATHERDAN says:

    Latest GFS winds aloft charts going out to 384 hours show a couple of minor disturbances going by to our North well into British Columbia. This might give us some low clouds on some mornings but no rain and no cool weather. Sine 1888 we have had many times when we had 2, 3, or even 4 cool and wet Summers in a row. So what happened in 2010 and 2011 was not that unusual. But what has happened in 2013, 2013, and 2015 is unprecedented. Never before since 1888 have we had 3 consecutive hot Summers as this. The closest was 1950-1952 when we averaged 78 days over 80. This time the average for the last 3 years will be more like 94 days. And the nights are far warmer and the Summers drier. In the 50 years between 1953 and 2002 Salem had 11 summers with 70 or more days over 80 in a Summer. The average for that time was about 60 days each Summer. In the last 13 years it has happened 8 times. Averaging about 74 days each Summer. Something has most definitely changed in the 21st century. Peace.

  3. WEATHERDAN says:

    Visibility less than two miles in smoke this afternoon. This to me is the worst weather day of the Summer. More warm to hot and dry weather ahead with maybe some late week Thunderstorms sure to spark even more fires. The RRR is as strong as ever and our record setting Summer goes on and on and on. Peace.

  4. Jason Hougak says:

    We’ll prolly have one day of rain and people will complain and want it to go away.

  5. Jason Hougak says:

    Wonder if this summer is as dry as when the Tillamook Burn happened in the 1930’s?

    • WEATHERDAN says:

      We are drier this year Jason and hotter too, but it was a hot and dry Summer in the dust bowl years. And it could happen again. It happened during a late Summer East wind event. It also happened in just about the same place in 1939, 1945, and 1951 but not since then. All it takes is one spark. Peace.

  6. vernonia1 says:

    and now Hwy 26 is closed in both directions. Coming home need to get off at Timber Jct & leaving town take 47 to Timber Rd. what a mess Fire up the hill….& hwy was closed earlier due to domestic with a gun…but that is resolved

  7. Jake-(Gresham) says:

    I’m working in Damascus and the smoke is pretty bad. Even staying indoors with the AC on rather then having the windows open and I’m still suffering. I have never seen this much smoke in the Portland metro area. We are really paying for the lack of rain in the Winter / Spring. I’m used to having allergies in the Spring / Summer but this takes the cake. I am agreeably irritated at this point.

  8. WEATHERDAN says:

    The 16 day forecasts continue to forecast rainfall about 10-14 days out. But just like in the Winter time it doesn’t seem to be getting closer. So I just don’t see a big pattern shift in the near future. Now 83 and very smoky at 2:00 PM. Should top out at 88-91 today and hit 90-93 on Sunday. Monday through Friday look similar with maybe some TRW,s by Thursday or Friday and highs from 87-92. 80 consecutive days +70. 61 consecutive nights +50. Summer rolls on, peace.



  10. Jason Hougak says:

    Visibility is down to 1/2 mile

  11. vernonia1 says:

    This is more smoke than I have ever seen here in V-town!

  12. schmit44 says:

    Assuming today hits 90 at PDX here are some daily occurrence data for this warm season 2015. We need just two more nights in the 60s to break that record and 14 more days in the 80s to break that record.

  13. Jason Hougak says:

    Winds have picked up substantially up here as well as thicker smoke. Leaves and fir needles falling. A lot of particles falling from sky too.

  14. MasterNate says:

    I’m still holding out hope. The GFS is still, and has been for awhile, showing wetter and cooler weather at the end of August, first week of September.

  15. When I saw the maps two nights ago, I just KNEW that the Warm Blob out in the Pacific was going to eat next week’s cold troughs for lunch. It’s been doing that all summer long. And now the forecast temps for next week are starting their all-too-familiar upward migration. This is going to be a pretty hot August, even though it never had a long heat wave apart from the one that ended on the first of the month! Just a bunch of warm days and a few brief stints in the 90s.

    I imagine we’ll see a few more 90s at PDX during the month of September, so the old record of 24 days will be completely nuked.

  16. Jason Hougak says:

    El Niño conditions shaping up with one super typhoon Atsani and a strong typhoon Goni in the Pacific. Goni is 18 mph from becoming a super typhoon. If it does then it’ll be the first time since the 1997 El Niño. 1997-98 brought that much needed relief to California. So many variables to the upcoming winter. By September season passes come up for sale at the ski areas. Three horrible ski seasons would just be terrible for us skiers and riders.

  17. Jason Hougak says:

    I’ve never seen so many pine comes dropped into the yard from the squirrels. They look like they are preparing for winter in a big way.

    • W7ENK says:

      I saw about 20-30 yellow jackets swarming over a dead squirrel on my ride home yesterday. I’m sure that means it’ll be a really cold and snowy winter, because I didn’t see any yellow jackets there last summer, and look what kind of a winter we had. I’m certain these things are connected!!


    • Garron near Washington square says:

      A picture perfect autumn day in early Nov. 1995……A neighbor lady of mine was perplexed about a dead squirrel in her driveway, and confronted me about it asking “WHAT DO YOU THINK HAPPENED HERE?” Almost as if implying that I’d been out on my porch with a BB gun shooting at squirrels that had been digging in my garden. While, I had a thought about squirrel vs. garden justice as they had torn up everything in my yard, I assured her that I wasn’t the cause and said that maybe the dead squirrel had taken suicide over his wife’s cooking and griping, or something to that affect. Little did I know, the neighbor lady and her husband were on the outs and soon separated, maybe a couple of weeks after the conversation. And, low and behold we had the great wind storm of December 1995! SO, yes Erik, it is ALL related!

    • Jason Hougak says:

      Animals have that 6th sense
      I was at a job yesterday locating a well buried under ground and found a massive ground yellow jacket hive. Thousands of bees coming in and out.the customer sprayed it last night. Be cool to dig it up and see how big it is. They have a massive one on display at the city of Gresham public works.

  18. Jason Hougak says:

    If this pattern doesn’t change we will be fighting wildfire into winter.

  19. Boring Oregon says:

    Welcome to the Nuclear Winter…

  20. Jason Hougak says:

    Red sky in the morning fire fighters take warning

  21. Tyler Mode in Battle Ground says:

    I woke up and looked out thinking, whoa it’s cloudy, the forecast was wrong.

    Then I realized it’s just how thick the cloud cover it…

    Cool though, 46 degrees. Coolest since June 17th.

    • Longview 400 ft says:

      I am thinking that as well, how thick the cloud cover might not reach the upper 80’s today in Longview.

    • Longview 400 ft says:

      Well, I take ll that back. I was looking out my window that looks southwest thinking that we are currently under a thick marine later of clouds only to discover when I looked out my kitchen window that it was not the marine later at all but smoke from the east. Wow and yikes!

  22. runrain says:

    Wow. With all the smoke in the air you have to wonder if we’ll even see the sun today. Should keep the temp down anyway.

    • Garron near Washington square says:

      runrain, I have to agree! We are running a couple of degrees cooler than yesterday at this time. Not to say we won’t have a quick spike this afternoon with the east winds. But the smoke is so thick even in Hillsboro right now reduced visibility even at ground level, you can smell it like it’s burning in my backyard! IMO, it smells like a forecast bust.

  23. As says:

    Great post, thank you! What temperature is considered above average for September? October and November? I see that temps will be warm and not much rain, but how warm is warm? Im sure these sound like silly questions, but I am new and unfamiliar.

    • In September around Portland (or at least where I used to live in Eugene, which isn’t much different), a “warm” pattern means sunshine and temps in the 80s, occasionally 90s. Generally 70s are considered warm in early/mid October, and 60s in late October / early November also qualify. It gets harder and harder for the weak sun to warm the lowlands up after mid-October, and too much “upper level ridging” later in the fall often causes chilly, dense fog to get stuck in the valleys all day long even if the mountains are warm.

    • Paul D says:

      I like Weather Underground’s calendar view to see what the average temperature is for any given date. Here’s a link to it for Hillsboro. Change it to whatever city you want and see what to expect for any day or see historical information too.

    • As says:

      Thank you both so much for the helpful replies! I’m becoming more and more fascinated with weather these days!

    • Garron near Washington square says:

      The “shade” of color denotes % probability they think the upcoming conditions have in a one region or another. Not the actual temperatures above or below normal. For instance, I put this map up because it shows for Northern and Southern Alaska, a VERY high probability, 60~70%, of having warmer than normal temps. While central Alaska has a 40~50% chance of being above normal median temps for this time frame.
      We’re (NORTH WESTERN OREGON/ WASH)in the VERY high chance category for mid Sept- mid Nov or being above normal temperature wise, 60%. The rest of the region, while quite high, is in the 50% chance color. Just click on the “MORE OUT LOOKS ” tabs on the right to see the months ahead for predictions.

      I hope this helps? You got any more questions? We got more answers, maps, and weather monkeys than Mark Nelsen has vacation days….Well, ALMOST!

      PS. This does not in any way say there will be no winter! We could see two straight weeks in the above normal category in November, followed by an arctic outbreak that lasts the latter 1/2 of the month.

    • As says:

      That was also a big help, thank you for the information and the link! I will definitely start asking more questions when they come up. Now that I’ve started learning about this stuff, I’m becoming addicted!

  24. schmit44 says:

    8/21/2015 Oregon (All) Temperature Summary

    High:93 at EW1735 Central P(1285 ft) & LAKE OWHEE AND O(2400 ft)
    Low: 69 at Rye Valley(I-84(2229 ft)

    High:56 at MT HOOD TEST SIT(5370 ft)
    Low: 28 at CROW FLAT (5172 ft )

    Largest Diurnal Change: 52 degrees
    KLAMATH NWR (83/31 ) (4531 ft )

    Heaviest Rainfall:
    0.19″ at MASON DAM & PHIL(3899ft)

  25. Marl Bergal says:

    Is it likely this is a pattern that will continue even after summer ends. I think a lot of us were hoping this cooling trend next week would serve as an unofficial end to this insanely hot summer. It’s beginning to get a bit scary

    • David B. says:

      Long range forecasts say warmer and drier than normal for us until about next spring.

      • Marl Bergal says:

        They always seem to always have a warm and dry bias in our area lately. There is a big difference between Temps slightly above average or 20 degrees as they have been, or slightly below average rainfall/no rain at all. Seems like we are becoming a desert.

    • Paul D says:

      I was definitely hoping, but am not the least bit surprised that the heat isn’t going away yet. I’m thoroughly tired of it, but don’t think we’re going to get relief from it anytime soon….

      • Marl Bergal says:

        Could this be the year that it is still 80 degrees at Thanksgiving? The way it’s going with this persistent ridge and all that warm water, I am wondering if we will be breaking warm records all the way until Christmas

    • Bob Bales says:

      I remember a year — I forget which one (maybe 93?) – in which there Portlanders were told to conserve water because of the drought. Then fall and the rains came, Soon as much water was spilling over the Bull Run dam every day as Portland had used in two weeks.

  26. JohnD says:

    Simply amazing!

  27. Jason Hougak says:

    That map is amazing. There are even fires south of Olympia where they just got that heavy rain. Goes to show you how dry things are and how much precipitation we will need to end this fire danger. Washington State looks like 1/2 the state is covered.

  28. Jason Hougak says:

    National Weather Map has it’s first frost advisory for the coming season, too bad it’s in Montana.

  29. Farmer Ted says:

    Going to be very dry and windy, everyone please be extremely cautious, stay cool and water the trees.

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