Two More Record Setting Days Ahead: Sunshine & Gusty Wind

March 18, 2019

6:30pm Monday…

Today felt more like Memorial Day than one day after St. Patrick’s didn’t it?  EVERYONE west of the Cascades made it into the 70s with numerous record highs set for March 18th.

Todays Observed Highs OrWa 2017

That’s everyone except the Portland metro area.  Portland sure sticks out doesn’t it?  More on that below.

At least three records were set or tied

Record Highs Cities2

Most likely a few additional records were set at cooperative observing stations, but those records don’t show up until after the month is over.

Here in Portland the strong offshore wind flow brought widespread gusts 30-45 mph.  PDX had a peak gust to 40 mph during the afternoon hours.  I drove from Amity all the way up through Forest Grove and then Beaverton this afternoon.  That was after a couple of school visits.  Gusty northeast wind was blowing the whole way.  When you see it widespread like today, that’s a good indication it’s coming right over the Cascades and not just through the Gorge.  That will be the case again tomorrow.  Notice how widespread the wind was at 4pm


In the metro area, strong easterly wind kept temperatures “down” a bit.   Mid-upper 60s closest to the Gorge to lower 70s farther away from that “cool” air.

PDX Observed High Today

That’s why PDX is always a tough forecast in this pattern both spring and fall.  Too much wind and temperatures don’t reach their full potential.

What’s ahead?  More of the same Tuesday.  The airmass warms slightly, and highs move uphill a bit east of the Cascades too.  That means we could have lots of mid 70s again tomorrow.  Portland will see just as much wind tomorrow so I figure maybe 2 degrees warming at PDX.  We should finally hit 70…just barely.

Wednesday will likely be Portland’s warmest day as east wind dies down in the afternoon, eastern Oregon temperatures warm further, and thick cloud cover stays to the south across southern Oregon.  We could get as warm as 75 Wednesday, but 73 seems like a safe call for now.

Thursday we’ll see partly cloudy skies with no offshore flow = back to more typical highs around 60.

Enjoy the warm sunshine!

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen