What A Change! Feels Like Fall

8pm Sunday

Weather forecast models did a great job showing our “endless summer” was about to…end last week.  Or at least summer will be taking a prolonged break.  Look at the last two weeks and you see the big change Thursday.

High Temp Last 13 Days

That high of 68 in Portland is the coolest day since June 13th.  And that continuously gray sky has been spitting a few light showers or drizzle at times…mainly central & east metro areas.  As of 6pm PDX has only received .01″ (Saturday evening) out of this big change

Rain Metro Today Databound

Of course what we REALLY need is a huge soaking.  It would be nice to see 2″ of rain followed by sunshine and 80 degree weather (personal opinion of course).

This is an incredible number that shows you how dry we’ve been.  The past 4 months…since May 1st.

Mark Dry Spell Summer

Only a little over 1″ of rain in Portland during an entire third of the year!

Mark Dry Spell Summer2

This dry spell (late spring through all of summer) is unprecedented in Portland, Salem, Olympia, & Seattle.  In all these locations it’s never been drier from late spring through the entire summer season.  In most years we get some sort of soaking rains in May, June, or later in August.  But not this year.  Records at Salem go back 126 years!

This is likely killing some native shrubs/bushes and has to be extremely rough on our native trees as well.  Let’s hope for some sort of soaking in September…

The ECMWF model is not encouraging for a soaking.  Here’s the 15 day 24 hour rainfall forecast from all its ensemble members.  Note the showers tonight, then hints of a shower or marine drizzle Thursday.  Af

ter that only a few members show some showers in the first week of the month, but just real light stuff.


While I was taking a few days off we broke the 90 degree record of course, but other than a close call Tuesday I don’t see any 90 degree weather in sight

90 Degree Days Summer Heat

The ECMWF ensembles shows temperature about as normal as it gets for the last few days of August and early September


The big pattern change?  Of course we have seen a hot upper-level ridge across much of the western USA through July and August.  Or at least upper-level heights have been higher than normal during this period.  But now it looks more like this:


Higher than normal heights cover the Gulf of Alaska and cooler air is down over the Rockies, a pattern many of us would love to see in January!  Then see the forecast for this Friday:


A similar setup with lower than normal heights over much of the western USA.  Nothing too unusual here; just that the hot ridge and high heights are gone for the next 7-10 days.

So enjoy the early taste of fall…in some years we plunge right into this weather from this point forward.  Other years the heat returns at times in September.  We’ll see.

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen


44 Responses to What A Change! Feels Like Fall

  1. Joshua Lake Oswego says:

    Big busteroo on the forecast today. Way warmer than expected.

  2. Ken in Wood Village says:

    Well, the 12Z EURO just got a little more interesting. The Lows down South that were either Tropical Storms or Hurricane want to move up North and push the High pressure up North and out of our area. I know it’s a long ways out there but thought it was worth mentioning.

  3. Roland Derksen says:

    Light showers this morning here. This August is likely to end up either 5th or 6th driest in my records since 1975. Keep discussing the possible “tropical storm” – I’m interested in that kind of thing. We CAN get some heavy rain at this time of year: I’ll always recall the last week of August 1991: 7.3 inches in the last 6 days of that month.

  4. Ken in Wood Village says:

    This is a test because for some reason I have been trying to post something but it hasn’t posted 😦

  5. JohnD says:

    As always, Marks’s overviews soooooo thorough; and soooooo compelling….AND sooooo appreciated!

  6. Paul D says:

    Will it be another 90 degree day? Just looked at NOAA and the official 6 hour max at 4:53pm is 89, but a couple 90’s snuck in at 4:55 and 5:10. Will that make 90 the official high? I have no idea….

    • JohnD says:

      Yeah it does look like 89′ did it for today. So glad that we did, indeed, already break the record earlier! And if this year isn’t different than a lot of them (whew, it sure may be); we will likely tack on another 90’+–(or 2 or 3) over the next few weeks as well!

  7. Ken in Wood Village says:

    Just looked at the EURO. A little interesting on were what looks like a tropical storm/hurricane could move North but by then it would just be a low. One thing I do know is sub-tropical lows have some good bunch to them. I didn’t see this in the GFS though.

    • Roland Derksen says:

      The last time I can recall a tropical storm moving up into my area in late August was way back in 1993:”Typhoon Fernanda’ (or rather the remnants of it) came through southern BC. Not a lot of rain left with it (I measured about 0.25inches) but some pretty good wind gusts and fairly low barometric reading.

      • Ken in Wood Village says:

        I know it’s way out there on the model but I just thought I would say something. There appears to be some moisture with it but like you said, it could have some windy conditions (that’s if it even comes up this way). I still don’t see it on the GFS and the 12Z EURO will be coming out soon and it could not even be on that run. I still think the GFS is a little drunk because of the tropical/hurricane storms. The models have problem with figure out were they are going to go.

        Let’s just see what happens the next few runs.

      • Ken in Wood Village says:

        Hey Roland, have you had a chance to look at the 12Z EURO yet? For the second time in a row it brings (either tropical storm or hurricane) up from the south toward our area.

        Very interesting indeed.

      • Ken in Wood Village says:

        I know this is way out there but I thought it was very interesting just because this is the second run the EURO has showed this.

        • K says:

          Just been looking at that, it’s very strange indeed.

        • Ken in Wood Village says:

          I agree K. I’m not sure if this will happen but it’s interesting to see. The EURO is the only one that is showing this. The GFS is totally different from the EURO. I wonder if the EURO will keep showing this the next few days.

        • W7ENK says:

          Okay guys, take a closer look. Central pressure of 1000mb, that ain’t no hurricane, nor is it even a tropical storm. That barely qualifies as a Low.

          Now, on the off chance it were to bomb out (1mb drop in pressure per hour for 24 hours or longer) before swinging North and skirting just 50 miles off the coastline, then it might give us a decently windy afternoon, but the chances of that happening are pretty slim.

        • Anonymous says:

          W7ENK, the only reason why I said tropical storm/hurricane was because before it was were the picture shows it was close or was a tropical storm/hurricane when it was in a lower latitude. I would think that it could have some wind with it still even though it’s not that strong but the 00Z EURO doesn’t show it there anymore anyway.

          Thanks for your opinion 🙂

        • Ken in Wood Village says:

          W7ENK, I posted that picture yesterday because it was interesting were this Low was going. When this Low was further South it was either a Tropical Storm or Hurricane. I wasn’t saying it was going to be that strong “if” it was going to come towards us. I didn’t think we would see really strong winds but thought we could see a breezy day “if” it came towards the PNW.

          The reason why I am saying “if” is because I looked at the 00Z EURO and now the storm doesn’t look like it will come toward us now. I just posted it because I thought it was interesting.

          Thank you for your opinion. I’m always looking for incite. 🙂

  8. 49˚F for an overnight low here. First sub-50˚F low since early July.

  9. .05″ last night. First measurable precipitation in all too long. Did a nice job of washing the smoke out of the air, too. Sky is a beautiful blue today. Alas, the smoke is forecast to return.

  10. Roland Derksen says:

    Quite a shock with the cool temperature and showers here over the weekend. Saturday was especially cool- a high of 58F Hadn’t seen a maximum that low since end of April!

    • WEATHERDAN says:

      Had only a Trace of precip all weekend including today at McNary field in Salem. Today is our 77th consecutive day without measurable precip. All time record is 79 set in 1967. So we should tie on Wednesday and break the record on Thursday. Only 1.00 inches of precip going back to April 17th. That’s over 1/3 of a year. Looks like another hot stretch coming back in about 10 days. Oh by the way. The Winter weather meeting at OMSI is Saturday October 27th at 10:00 AM. Peace.

      • Ken in Wood Village says:

        Thank you WeatherDan about the Winter Weather meeting 🙂

      • Joshua Lake Oswego says:

        I’m not seeing any hot stretch. Maybe a bit above average starting in about a week. Bone dry for the next couple of weeks. I’m with Mark… let’s hope we get a big soaking at some point relatively soon. We’re in desperation mode.

        • Ken in Wood Village says:

          Hey Joshua, I was wondering. Did you move? I thought you lived someplace else? Anyway, I agree, I don’t see any really warm weather coming up or any really good rain either. One thing that could change the pattern is what happens with tropical storms or hurricanes and were they go. I noticed the GFS and EURO are forecasting a few of them in the Pacific the next few days. They can really change a lot of things depending on were they go. It will be interesting to watch what happens. 🙂

        • Joshua Lake Oswego says:

          Hi, Ken. Yes, sir. I used to live in downtown Portland.

        • Ken in Wood Village says:

          That’s what I thought. Glad I know it’s the same person who I’m talking to 🙂

  11. W7ENK says:

    The worst part of this Summer was the complete and total lack of a monsoonal thunderstorm outbreak in the Valley. Not once, not even close.

    • Ken in Wood Village says:

      I thought the same thing. We kept getting North to NE flow. Not even a good south flow once. 😦

    • W7ENK says:

      No worries, we should get plenty of Southerly flow throughout the Winter, killing any chances of a decent snowfall until it’s too late in the season.

      Who really knows though, it looks like El Niño is having a bit of trouble getting started…

      • Ken in Wood Village says:

        I want to say because we kind of had an El Nino last winter we could either have a normal or La Nina winter. We were suppose to be in a minor La Nina winter last year but we didn’t have hardly any moisture.

        I wanted to ask Mark about our water year which started in October. How far below average are we from normal?

        I was wondering when The Weather Conference will be held (the date)? I didn’t stay long last year because it was my first time being there. I was a little shy…lol. I hope they will have more chairs for people…lol. I had to stand for awhile until someone left, I’m to old to stand for very long anymore…lol.

        Oh, I did look at the 00Z EURO and I’m liking the 850MB temps up North about 6 days out. It’s nice to see colder air starting to penetrate South. This is why I believe we could start seeing cooler weather. We may see a couple of days being warm but I don’t believe we will have 90+ degrees days, day after day.

      • W7ENK says:

        We very much did not have an El Niño last Winter. Take a closer look at the ENSO chart I posted above… ENSO 3.4 region SSTs were in the negatives from last August through this last June, with a sub −0.5 anomaly from October through April, which qualifies as a solid La Niña.

    • I’ll take an El Nino like the one we had during the winter of 1968-69…

  12. Paul D says:

    Four days below normal – WOOT!

    Not looking forward to Tuesday, but at least it’s not another 90+ heat wave.

  13. Kyle says:

    If the end of the world ever comes I will wait till all you global elites,family,friends.etc pile in there like sardines and find one to blow up or blow in whichever word is more appropriate. They won’t exactly go “up”

  14. Anonymous says:

    Okay guys which one is worse? 1967 or this year? Here is a newspaper image of the summary of 1967 from Corvallis Gazette Times Archives Benton Library. https://corvallisgazettetimes.newspapers.com/image/384080620 Jan 3rd 1968 Page 2. Warm Dry Weather Was Feature of 1967 though December had 1.8 inches of snow! Whoop de (beep) do!

    Not sure if the hot link works if not get to https://cbcpubliclibrary.net/collections/eresources/ and scroll all the way down to magazines and newspapers. Click on the blue link newspapers.com which for some reason connects without a PIN. It just goes straight to the Corvallis Times Gazette though you can only browse the Corvallis collection. Any others require a + subscription. However the library apparently subscribed to the + subscription just for Corvallis.

    Another odd note is Google News Archive Eugene Register Guard the entire 60s decade has suddenly gone missing. I am not sure how long it has been gone but a year ago you could view it.

    I saw a major snowstorm following heavy rain that buried Eugene and Roseburg with several inches but skipped the rest of the valley sometime in 1963 or 4.

    If it’s copyright strikes why is it not striking the entire content? Milwaukee Journal was missing for a long while then was brought back just a few months ago. https://www.jsonline.com/story/news/local/milwaukee/2017/12/20/milwaukee-journal-sentinel-newspaper-archives-back-web/970727001/

  15. boydo3 says:

    Relax my friends, the warm weather will return and the complaining about smoke and heat will start up again. We have a bit of a down turn for a bit, but before long the whining will be back in earnest.
    (my long range forecast) 😉

  16. K says:

    I looked at the GFS, and I hope it’s just a fluke. Then again, it’s 200+ hours out, but still, I hope the GFS doesn’t trend in this direction.

    • Ken in Wood Village says:

      If your talking about the 90+ degree weather, I don’t think that will happen. I believe the GFS is a little drunk when it comes to being way way out there. I’ve seen this before and wrote down what it said but when the date came up, it was way wrong and the temp was way lower. Like always, I could be wrong but I wasn’t wrong about last week.

      I looked at the pattern and where High pressure and Low pressure are and to me it looks a little funny the way the High pressure forms. I wouldn’t worry about it until it’s about 7 days away. Another factor that the GFS is having a hard time with are the possibility’s of Tropical Storms/Hurricane’s in the Pacific. They are very unpredictable and can change the whole atmosphere on where the highs and lows are going to set up.

      For now, just enjoy the cooler weather. We most likely will be around average for awhile with some cooler days mixed in.

      Sorry for the delay, was playing my online game…lol. 🙂

  17. K says:

    Wow, first, cool stuff. Hope for some real storms this year, I miss our good old windstorms.

    • Ken in Wood Village says:

      I liked what Mark said about “in some years we plunge right into this weather from this point forward.” I think we turned a corner and will start seeing cooler weather and maybe see some rain (or in your case, “real storms”). I’ve been seeing cooler temps up in Alaska and Canada. With the High pressure backing off and we getting a NW flow, that would give us cooler temps. Also, it looks like the jet stream is becoming more active. At least in my personal opinion. We’ll see if I’m right or wrong…lol.

      I hope you had a good weekend K. Let me know what you think the weather models say to you 🙂

      • K says:

        My weekend has been excellent Ken, hope yours was as well. Much better now that we are done with the horrible smoke and dry heat. Let’s hope for some strong storms up ahead, I’m going to check out the models right now.

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