Record High Temperatures

August 20, 2016

7am Saturday…

What a scorcher yesterday, as expected.  The highlights (thanks to Portland National Weather Service):


Click on these for the full image…

A few notes:

  1.  Friday was the first time we’ve reached 100 in late August (or September) since 1988!  It’s rare to get to 100 this late in the summer season as the sun angle gets lower and nights longer
  2. Astoria just experienced its hottest day in 55 years!  2nd hottest on record at Astoria airport since records began there in 1953.  It hit 100 in 1961 at that location.  Other locations in the Astoria climate record show temps warmer than 98…that was a cause of some self-induced Twitter drama on my part yesterday.
  3. Notice some spots in the north Willamette Valley and Clark County were slightly cooler today?  That was due to the east wind being a little “too strong”.  Slightly cooler air coming in from Eastern OR/WA.  That’s a really tough call in the forecast.  The areas that already had the NE wind Thursday were slightly cooler Friday. Interesting that some models picked up on it.  I think the WRF-GFS and ECMWF had hinted at the possibility.  A very fine nuance to the forecast, but interesting for geeks like me.
  4. 850mb temp over Salem hit +23.4 degrees yesterday afternoon, down just a degree from Thursday afternoon.  Yet some temps warmer in the valley/coast shows what the offshore wind flow can do.  Now image if we would have reached +27 degrees instead!  That’s what happened in mid-August 1977 when PDX hit 105 and some valley locations even warmer.

Here’s an interesting tidbit of hardcore PDX climate info, from Chris Callais over on both weather Facebook groups…yesterday appears to have seen the 2nd warmest noon temp we’ve seen at PDX:



We’ve got one more scorcher today and then Sunday looks wonderful with strong onshore flow.  Troutdale profiler at 6am shows (weaker) offshore flow still going:


It is slightly cooler in the lowest 1,500′.  Hmmm, might just be a 97-99 degree day instead.  That’s quite possible.  We’ll see.  Either way, one more hot day.  Stay cool!

The lengthening nights sure make a difference on our low temperatures this time of year.  I see some 50s in the outlying areas even under this hot airmass.  And PDX made it down into the lower 60s once the wind disappeared.  Yet in a few breezy spots in the hills (West Hills and Eola Hills near Salem) it only got down into the lower 70s.  Feels like Hawaii!

I see low clouds have returned to the coast so it will be MUCH cooler out there.  If you head out there (along with masses of others), it’ll be in the 60s and 70s…very nice.

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen