October Begins Mainly Warm & Dry

9pm Friday…

This month has the distinction of being the fastest-changing of any month here in Portland.  That’s temperature-wise.  The high temp drops 12 degrees from 70 on the first to 58 on Halloween.  No other month sees such a rapid rise or fall.  It’s not really part of our rainy season although in some years the rainy season really kicks in the 2nd part of the month.


September was a somewhat boring weather month this year.  Temperatures were near or just slightly below normal and rain was below normal.

anomimage (1)


We’re seeing a few sprinkles or showers moving through the area this evening as a cold upper level trough drops south through the Pacific Northwest.  The center of the low is just coming across the border into Washington at this hour.  It’s moving quickly and by sunset tomorrow it’ll already be into Nevada.  The result is a quick breakout to sunshine Saturday west of the Cascades as drier northeasterly flow moves in.  We have a beautiful weekend on the way!

The weather pattern for this first week or so of October appears to be very mild with upper-level ridging remaining near the West Coast most of the next 10 days.  Note the ECMWF ensemble 850mb temperature chart shows above average temperatures through the 17th.


Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

77 Responses to October Begins Mainly Warm & Dry

  1. Mark bergal says:

    You see how much red is on that gfs? It appears over much of the country. Again, what is going on? Is this just some hiccup in the transition to Autumn?

    • Paul D says:

      What is this “autumn” you speak of?

      • Mark bergal says:

        The leaves are changing color, and the nights have been crisp. The days have been warm lately. Just curious to see what happens a month from now. Will it be seasonally chilly or will it be more of the same?

  2. leer` Geddy says:

    5 inches of rain were I live since late August and yet were gonna have a AR event here in western WA this weekend why?, we don’t need anymore rain send it to Oregon were they need it.

  3. runrain says:

    Stunningly beautiful in the San Juan’s this weekend. No snow on the Olympics but a swath on the western side of Mt. Baker. Temps in the islands just mid 60’s or so but very clear and comfortable with a north breeze. We sat in my friends living room and watched 3 pods of whales swimming by just offshore. The ferry system has added a new vessel to the fleet and it’s really nice. Still quite busy up there a month after the tourist season. The merchants all say it was a pretty good summer for them.

  4. WEATHERDAN says:

    NWS has SLE above normal for temps and below normal for precip in September. CPC has us with an 80-90% chance of above normal temps in the 6-14 day time frame. Also with a high of 84 predicted for SLE today we should have our 99th day of at least 80 for the Summer. Our previous record of 94 was set just last year. Still as Mark said the cooler and wetter weather well get here eventually. As for that atmospheric river event it will most likely set up around the Puget Sound area. Leaving us in the warm and dry sector. Although we might see a little rain around Portland but probably not much further South. Kind of like that event in early August when we were expecting copious amounts of precipitation but got none. Anyway today is a beautiful day and the rest of the week looks nice as well. As for which is the most boring weather of the year for me it is February. Occasionally we get a little Winter weather but it is usually quite dull. Go Dodgers. Peace.

    • Josh "the snowman" Gladstone says:

      I could care less what happens in Salem, and I really hope the dodgers lose. Go hawks!!!!

      On a weather note. The AR could set up right over us. Looks like the trough in the gulf should steer it further south. Just my thought.

  5. Really warm out in the bog at the edge of the Cascades east of Seattle where I was picking wild cranberries yesterday. The nearby woods was a good 10 degrees F cooler. Not a surprise as bogs do tend to have big temperature swings because they get full sun exposure and peat has far less heat capacity than normal soil.

  6. Josh "the snowman" Gladstone says:

    Nice sunny day on my birthday :). Too bad I’m stuck in a dark crawl space working. I’m 38 btw. Not as old as that fossil mark nelsen. Lol.

  7. Jake-(Gresham) says:

    I remember 5 or 6 years ago we had a heatwave toward the end of summer that hit 90F around October 2nd or 3rd. I recall I spent the day by / in the Columbia with the family (mostly “in” :P). Obviously don’t think it’ll get that hot today but it’s sure been a hot / long summer.

    Looks like it’ll be ending on the 10th though (weather wise). And I have to say – I’m looking forward to it.

  8. High Desert Mat says:

    Happy 18th anniversary Mark!!! You and Sheila deserve it. Here’s to your 18 years and to another 50. Keep up the good work and the blog for that matter. Congratulations.

  9. schmit44 says:

    10/4/2015 Oregon (All) Temperature Summary

    High:91 at Brookings Airpor( 459 ft)
    Low: 62 at RED MOUND(1753 ft)

    High:50 at HOWARD Mt Howard(8150 ft)
    Low: 22 at CROW FLAT (5172 ft )

    Largest Diurnal Change: 51 degrees
    PROVOLT SEED ORC (85/34 ) (1180 ft )

  10. Paul D says:

    GAG! Another 80 degree day, and another tomorrow. GO AWAY! It’s October!!!!!!!

  11. Mark bergal says:

    January can be exciting as its often our greatest chance of receiving some kind of wintry precip

    • Josh "the snowman" Gladstone says:

      Thanks for the words of wisdom captain obvious!!! Unfortunately in this strong el nino year we have a slim chance if we don’t get it before the first of the year. The clock is ticking as we speak.

    • leer` Geddy says:

      A strong El nino 09/10 was a perfect example of that a artic blast and snow early Dec then rest of the winter was dead.

    • High Desert Mat says:

      Um Josh, if you happened to read Marks earlier post from about a month ago he said that early and active weather in the fall and winter in an el Nino winter is an old wives tap. It’s simply not true. Go back and read his remarks about it.

    • High Desert Mat says:

      Not tap, tale. Grr

    • An “exciting” January? Well, perhaps in Portland it’s possible, but let me tell you further north in my area, Januarys over the years have really let me down when it comes to wintry precipitation. Don’t know why. I usually see more snow in December. Maybe this coming winter will be different…

    • Garron (1/3 of a mile from the Hillsboro airport) says:

      I’ve heard good things about tapping into old wives tales. Some actually can be true, and some not so much. But I guess I’d still heed an old wives tale, and like Happy Gilmore, give it a lil tap a roo! “Sarcasm alert”

  12. Josh "the snowman" Gladstone says:

    Anyone have a map of the blob from two months ago to today?

  13. Garron (1/3 of a mile from the Hillsboro airport) says:

    Another 80 + day in the record books for Portland! Will we make it to 90-80 degree days this year like Karl mentioned? Stay tuned…

  14. Garron (1/3 of a mile from the Hillsboro airport) says:

    For the water year last year (October 1, 2014 through Sept. 2015), we received roughly 47% of our annual rainfall during the 3 months of October through December. (14.3″) While (16.2″) fell in the 9 month stretch January all the way through September of this year. Quite lopsided to say the least! I wonder how this fall will play out, but at least we won’t get 50% of our rainfall in one week, like South Carolina…OR will we?!?!?! TS Oho…

  15. Josh "the snowman" Gladstone says:

    Looks like a possible atmospheric river event towards next weekend. European more bold than the gfs on this scenario. Thoughts?

  16. Mark bergal says:

    So get this. The east coast is flooding, its raining in southern california, and the midwest is receiving an autumn chill. Strangely, we have the sunniest and warmest weather in the country. Climate change, el nino, blob, or just strange?

  17. schmit44 says:

    10/3/2015 Oregon (All) Temperature Summary

    High:78 at Rye Valley(I-84(2229 ft)
    Low: 57 at JUNIPR(359 ft) & Gold Beach (US 1(60 ft)

    High:40 at CW6028 Pine Mtn(6296 ft)
    Low: 20 at Beatty (4320 ft ) & CRAZYMAN FLAT (6180 ft )

    Largest Diurnal Change: 38 degrees
    Lorella (60/22 ) (4160 ft )

    Heaviest Rainfall:
    0.32″ at WANDERER’S PEAK(4350ft)
    0.28″ at GREEN MOUNTAIN(3064ft)
    0.26″ at CW7581 Condon(2838ft)
    0.21″ at SLIDE MOUNTAIN(5589ft)

  18. Weedeater says:

    What a night for street tacos!

    • High Desert Mat says:

      Who are you and where are you at weedeater? The randomness is making me curious.

    • Boring Oregon says:

      Guessing by your name, you eat weed then go out and buy tacos and eat them on the street?

    • Garron (1/3 of a mile from the Hillsboro airport) says:

      Do dandelions count? I’ve got a yard full of them, and maybe they taste good on asphalt tacos?

  19. umpire says:

    It may be boring, but what a great time for hiking in the Gorge. A quick hike up Latourell falls today, then hopefully Forest Park tomorrow. Colors hadn’t changed as much as I expected.

  20. Mark bergal says:

    Pretty impressive departures from normal but if you notice, its not just us. What is going on?

  21. Aleta says:

    Certainly a wonderful weekend on the coast!!! Crystal clear skies with a bit of a breeze. What a weekend for a vacation!

  22. () says:

    Ten bucks says we get less rain this year than last year.

  23. I have a feeling this October MIGHT be warmer for the Gorge and Lower Columbia Basin, than even last October IF we don’t lose the warm departures in the 2nd half of the month (i.e. 65-75 high temps instead of 55-65). We might not have any days near 90 at the beginning of the month – but anyway, we’re getting into the season where warm NIGHTS are critical for setting records. If we can get the muggy “flat ridge” instead of a death ridge during the 2nd week of October, and especially if the clouds/rain are far enough north and west that we still hit 80-85 at DLS under parly/mostly sunny skies for a few days, then we have a better setup for warm nights than we would under a dry high pressure with light offshore flow and no clouds anywhere nearby. In October the dry, clear, windless nights can put a cap on mean temp departures, even if days are extremely warm and sunny.

    I noticed that the fools at Weather.com and Wunderground showed highs in the low 80s for The Dalles late next week, coupled with low temps in the 58-62 range! That’s almost unheard of for so late in the season, more like a typical summer day in downtown Portland. Who knows what the dewpoints might be if we tap into tropical moisture on a couple of those days, too…might we break records for latest-ever 60+ dewpoint???

  24. October 2012 was an example for me how drastically the weather can shift; The first 8 days were sunny and warm. Then we had a 3 day turn to fog. After that it was rain, rain, rain…

  25. So if this system would have done this several weeks from now, we’d be looking at some pretty cold temps… This looks like a classic Arctic front on the satellite loops…

  26. Garron (1/3 of a mile from the Hillsboro airport) says:

    It was so calm outside until a few minutes ago! I have a couple friends over, BBQ some chicken, have a bonfire in the fire pit. Then about 10 minutes ago, we started to play musical chairs with the smoke and flames. Now, I’m generally a little concerned! No more logs on the fire. The wind really kicked up a bit, no rain here yet.

  27. Boydo3 N. Albany says:

    October is, however, the month of big change..

    • Paul D says:

      But will it be this year? If we go from the 80’s the next couple days to normal temps at the end of the month, that will be BIG change, but who knows what will happen. We’ll probably still be hitting 70 on Halloween….

      • Mark bergal says:

        The monthly forecast I look at, keeps pushing typical temperatures back. Currently it shows much above normal temps until early November. 70s and 80s common through Halloween.

  28. schmit44 says:

    10/2/2015 Oregon (All) Temperature Summary

    High:84 at Ontario Municipa(2188 ft)
    Low: 66 at Rye Valley(I-84(2229 ft)

    High:48 at NORTH FORK(3060 ft)
    Low: 21 at KIRK (4519 ft )

    Largest Diurnal Change: 49 degrees
    Agency Lake (75/26 ) (4150 ft )
    KLAMATH NWR (72/23) (4531 ft)

    Heaviest Rainfall:
    0.21″ at TIDEWATER(2035ft)
    0.16″ at HEBOWX Mt. Hebo(3160ft)
    0.11″ at CW9821 Gleneden(49ft)

  29. Jason Hougak says:

    I loved the September weather, the mountain got sum fresh snow to help temporarily cover the damage done by the abusive summer. The fall color has been pretty amazing, the Vine Maple especially. I am ready for a cold winter with massive mountain snowpack in epic proportions. Oregon needs a BIG winter to help this state out of the drought, unfortunately it most likely won’t be winter 15-16. Hopefully a strong La Niña developes along with the decrease in solar activity from the sun to bring us some snowfall.

  30. Mark bergal says:

    This kind of endless summer will either end like clockwork in a few weeks or this will be the year without a Fall or Winter. My instinct tells me, cold and wet weather will be late but will get here.

  31. () says:

    Am I the only one sick and tired of this boring weather?

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