Warmest Stretch Of Summer Ahead

6pm Wednesday…

This summer has sure been different.  A perception I keep hearing is that it’s been a “cool and cloudy summer”.  The cloudy part might be partly right, but it definitely has not been cool here in Western Oregon and Washington.  June was above normal and July was near or 1-2 degrees below normal:

I think what sticks out this year is a lack of very hot days; and I don’t think any of us are complaining!  That said, it IS a bit strange to go from early June to early August and only see 2 days above 90 degrees.  Note the 5 warmest days so far:


How does this summer compare to the well-known “green tomato” summers?  Not even close.

July average high temperatures at PDX and rain:

1954   72.6  1.24″
1955   72.2    .89″
1983   75.2  2.68″
1993   72.8  2.41″
2011   76.9    .96″  <– Not really a green tomato year but close
2016   79.1    .66″  <– Rainfall exactly normal

Yeah, this past July was definitely not “wet” or “cool” west of the Cascades…just NORMAL.  And it’s obvious why 1983 and 1993 stick in our minds…cool and very wet!  I wasn’t around for 1954-55 but those must have felt about the same.

Where do we go from here?  Models say we’re headed for the longest/warmest period of the summer between now and the third week of August.

Check out the 850mb ensemble chart from the ECMWF.  The thick line is the average temperature this time of year over Salem (in celsius).  Note that just about all of the next two weeks the forecast temps are ABOVE that line:


There is a huge amount of spread after about day #8, but most of those 51 ensemble members are above average.  The actual forecast highs for Portland look like this:


That’s the most consistent warm to hot weather we’ve seen so far this summer.  And considering we’re moving through mid-August, that’s likely to end up the warmest as well.  Once we get to late August temperatures typically are cooling off a bit.

The GEFS ensembles are similar:


so confidence is high that a prolonged spell of warm to hot weather is on the way.  No rain in sight either of course.

By the way, the all-time high temperature at PDX was set on this date 35 years ago.  During the big 1981 heatwave we hit 107 not once but twice!  That was a huge scorcher.  As I recall I was 12 years old and watching a Planet of the Apes marathon right here on Portland TV from the cool family room in the basement.  It may have been on KPTV as well!  Full circle right?


We’ve actually hit that 107 mark THREE times…one day in July 1965 as well.

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen



31 Responses to Warmest Stretch Of Summer Ahead

  1. Dave in SW PDX (235') says:

    I was fortunate enough to have great weather for my annual Perseid meteor shower pilgrimage to Southern Oregon. With two cameras aimed at the night sky early Friday morning, I managed to capture quite a few meteors. Here is a link to a couple of photos I recently posted over at Spaceweather.com:



  2. runrain says:

    If you’re going to check out Mark’s 7 day, make sure you’re sitting down first…

  3. JackFrost says:

    For the first time in over a week the air mass is totally yucked out in the valley the sun is almost blotted out and the airmass feels very stagnant.

    Chemtrails across the skies creating these weird clouds and some of the chemtrails are these half U-turns like the pilots were drunk or something. At least 3 were that way. Half the sky blocked by houses so I can’t say for the other half.

    • Mark Nelsen says:

      Chemtrails don’t exist. Those are contrails and they’ve been around since the dawn of the jet age in the 1940s, or 1950s, or whenever it was

    • They’ve been noted at least since World War II, when the Army Air Force commissioned a (now declassified) report that detailed all the observed properties of contrails, included how and why they sometimes linger for hours. They were strategically significant, because contrails could reveal the positions of high-flying B17 bombers.

      If there really was a conspiracy to rig jets with spraying equipment or to adulterate the fuel they burned, there would have to be so many airlines, national governments, maintenance contractors, and so on in on it that it would be impossible to keep secret and the lid would have been blown off it decades ago.

  4. Love the heat. Bring it!

  5. runrain says:

    With high clouds moving in, gonna make for a warm night. 70 deg low?

  6. 83F here today with some patches of cirrus cloud overhead. I doubt we’ll pass the June 5th maximum for the year with this current warm spell.

    • My minimum overnight was 63F- that’s pretty high for me. Intresting daily temperature pattern the last couple of days: We got maximums early in the afternoons, then it cooled down a couple of degrees only to rise again later (around 6pm). Yesterday’s maximum of 86F came at 5:57 pm, after a previous high of 85 around 2pm, for example.

    • Made it up to 84 today at my place. June 5th was I believe 87, have yet to top that reading this year. Overnight low was 58.

  7. W7ENK says:

    Forecast high for Milwaukie today is 97F.

    That should be glorious! 😀

  8. runrain says:

    Went out at 2am to check out the Perseid meteor shower. More like a dripping instead of a shower. The media has been advertising up to 200 per hour (one every 20 seconds or so). On average, I saw one about every 90 seconds. Sometimes I didn’t see anything for up to 3 minutes. All appeared to move in a north to south direction. Being in the far east side suburbs, the sky was fairly dark though not perfectly ideal. Sure was warm and pleasant, though. Will perhaps check it out again tonight.

    • It had mostly fizzled by 2AM. I was out watching from 1AM to 2AM and at the start it was several per minute, about 180/hour. But that includes the real faint ones that were only visible in my peripheral vision plus I made some allowance for the ones I was missing because I couldn’t watch the whole sky at once.

  9. Joshua Downtown PDX says:

    Mid to late next week is looking downright hot. 4 or so days of making today look like a walk in the park. It can still change a bit, but the trend is not our friend. Above average temps and bone dry as far as the eye can see. This is the Portland summer I have come to expect, but loathe.

  10. Looks like a nice clear night coming up for watching the predicted peak of the annual Perseids meteor shower. Double the normal peak rate is forecast this year.


  11. It sure isn’t “cool and cloudy” here now: Sunny skies with a fresh NW breeze and a temperature of 79F. I couldn’t ask for better summer weather than that.

  12. Paul D says:

    Of course the heat wave is coming as I return to Oregon. Glad my A/C works in the house because that’s where I’ll be in the afternoons.

    Come on fall!

  13. Anonymous says:

    IN YOUR FACES!! (sorry, just super hyped for the heat!)

  14. W7ENK says:


    Warm weather has been such a rare occurrence this Summer, even the NWS is acknowledging this by issuing a Heat Advisory for temperatures in the “middle 90s” into this weekend! An advisory for temperatures below 100? Really?? That’s virtually unheard of for this time of year in our area, and in any other Summer it would seem ridiculous… but not this Summer, apparently! HAHA

    945 AM PDT THU AUG 11 2016


  15. W7ENK says:

    As compared to recent years, this Summer has certainly been cool(-er), cloudy(-er) and wet(-er), regardless of where that lies against “normal.” When we look back on it in the years to come, I think those details will definitely stand out. It’s the same thing that happens when we get one decent snow event over a weekend in January, for example. We all look back on that whole Winter, remember that one or two snowy days, and muse over what a great Winter it was. Looking back, this Summer sucked.

    FWIW, 2011 was absolutely a “green tomato” Summer. It took until mid September for my tomatoes to ripen that year, and I had to force more than half of them in a paper bag on top of my refrigerator after the rainy season kicked back in full swing. This year isn’t shaping up much different, either. Between 6 plants, my tomatoes are all still green, save for the ONE I’ve had turn red, and the handful of Sungold cherry tomatoes that’ve managed to ripen already. In recent years, that variety has yielded into the hundreds by mid August. No mistake, they’re definitely behind where they should be by now!

    All that aside, I’m seriously looking forward to this upcoming warm to HOT spell!! I survive our crappy winters for the hot sunshine in the Summer months, and after such a great and early start, it’s something that has undoubtedly been lacking through the bulk of this Summer, and I’ve been missing it. I welcome this coming stretch with open arms!

    • JERAT416 says:

      This summer isn’t bad so far. The only issue I’ve had is that I’ve had to reschedule a couple of river floating days due to weather that was too cool and wet.

      I second the part about averages. For me, I enjoy the 77-84 degree days with morning clouds. This is what “average” means to me. I prefer a few hot ones but not a lot. 2009 stands out to me as way too hot. The last 2 summers had a lot of 90’s.

      All in all, this isn’t bad at all. Now here’s to hoping and praying that my meteor watching tonight is completely clear……

  16. Looking forward to the warm/hot spell- I just hope it doesn’t last longer than about a week. I do recall August 1981. We didn’t reach into the 100’s here, but after a cool and cloudy June and July, it was nice to get some real summer weather at last.

  17. Garron 1/3 of a mile from Hillsboro Airport says:

    …And Mark “warm bias” Nelsen is back from an extended summer vacation! I’m beginning to think that Mark is responsible for global whining, I mean warming, and the sheer lack of snow events we get here. Doesn’t it seem odd that we’ve seen our hottest summers’ and snow events waning since he started forecasting in our area? Conspiracy theory time….He lives at the mouth of the Gorge, so he “COULD” be controlling our winter weather with greenhouse gas releases from the chickens at his house, forcing those marginal east wind/snow events into chunky rain events for the PDX area while he gets to enjoy winter wonderland at his house?

  18. Joshua Downtown PDX says:

    The writing has been on the wall for days. Time to hibernate until Halloween.

  19. MasterNate says:

    Say it isn’t sooooo!!!!!

  20. High Desert Mat says:

    Oh boy, here it comes. I love this weather since we are in the warmest part of the year but to listen to a broken is like nails on a chalkboard. Where are my ear muffs? And blinders?

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