A Very Different July & A Nice Weekend Ahead

9pm Friday…

What a spectacular summer day, not hot, humid, or cloudy & cool. The comments I keep getting are that this is “just right”.  Today we hit 84 in Portland, above the average high of 80.  Warmest day so far this month.  We’ve also seen a string of warm nights recently, this morning was our 4th staying above 60 degrees.   The humid weather from Wednesday is long gone too, dewpoints briefly even dropped into the 40s late this afternoon.

This July has been…NORMAL temperature-wise, but cloudier than average.  Out of 12 days we’ve seen NO clear days, 8 partly cloudy days, and 4 cloudy.  I suspect that’s the reason I’ve been seeing some complaining online.  If you want to hit the local lake/river/pool, it’s much chillier to do it under cloud cover.  In fact yesterday/today was the first time I’ve made good use of my Craigslist-special pool this season.  I was out of town for that heat wave in early June.

Todays Observed Highs OrWa 2017

As mentioned in the previous post, we are overdue for an “average” summer instead of another blazing hot one.  Even with a warming globe, that doesn’t mean every year turns warmer and warmer in a steady line.  There will still be the usual ups/downs and cyclical periods; but the GENERAL movement will be uphill over time.  Also, we’ve had many summers that are about average in July and then August/September turn hot.  We’ll see.  Last year the blazing hot summer kicked into high gear on this date.  The following 19 days were crazy, all except 4 above 90 degrees:

July 2018 Historic Heat Wave Stats

I know some of us want more sun and hot temps, but the 84 today was sure nice in comparison.

This weekend looks pleasant again with a relatively thin marine layer leading to plenty of afternoon sunshine each day.  On Monday that layer thickens a bit so expect more cloud cover for the start of the work week.  850mb temps (temperature in celsius around 4,000′) drop a little Monday as well as a weak upper-level trough moves overhead.

As I mentioned in the post early this week, an unusual (for mid-summer) setup is on the way for later next week.  A highly anomalous deep trough cruises across the Gulf of Alaska midweek and drops into the Pacific Northwest late next week or the weekend of the 20th.  Check out the 500mb anomaly chart for Wednesday and again Friday

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That’s what we might see in June, but unusual for July.  At this point it appear most of the significant rain may be headed for Washington and BC.   Oregon would see far less.

How much rain down here?  Initial look, remember it’s 5-7 days away, but a tenth of an inch in the western valleys and less than 1″ in the northern Oregon Cascades seems like a good guess.  Here’s the 12z ECMWF model forecast:

ECMWF Precipitation Accumulation

Enjoy your weekend and keep in mind that we MIGHT see showery/cool weather about a week from now.

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

11 Responses to A Very Different July & A Nice Weekend Ahead

  1. Gene says:

    Now THIS is a really beautiful summer day! More of these would be nice.

  2. Roland Derksen says:

    So far, the outlook for next Wednesday & Thursday here in BC is just calling for showers- not steady rain. But if you’re correct, this might be the heaviest rain coming to us that I’ve seen in late July since 2007.

  3. Evan Wehbe says:

    Low to mid 80s is perfect.

  4. Donaleen Kohn says:

    It’s lovely to have a summer like they used to be. So mild. So wonderful. If you want more heat, move away.

    • PAUL D says:


    • Anonymous says:

      I’m sorry, but I’ve lived here my whole life, and summers in this area have always been sunny, dry and warm/hot. Not for very long — July/August, and occasionally parts of June and September — but this idea that metro-area summers used to be consistently cloudy, wet and “mild” just isn’t true. The summer of ‘67, when I was in grade school, featured 71 days in a row without measurable rain, a record that still holds today. We had many summers back then (and since then) that were like that. I will grant that the past few summers have been unusually hot and dry — too much so for many people — and that we were due for a cooler summer like this one, but to say that “if you want more heat, move away” is unfair to the vast majority of Portlanders who like their very short summer season to be sunny, warm and dry

      • Kyle says:

        How did you survive the 81 heatwave? I think Portland eclipsed their record and got to 107F that year.

  5. Tim says:

    This July is just like July 2016 average so really it’s hasn’t been several of years of back to back hot July as some say. long overdue?, no but perhaps a little,.

  6. runrain says:

    Here’s a fun oddity: based on the latest 7 day forecast from the NWS, Portland’s HIGH temperatures will fail to reach Phoenix’s LOW temperatures.

  7. JERAT416 says:

    Today was great!

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