Summer 2019 Is Over; Should Feel Like Early October Next Three Days

7pm Saturday…

What a change today! A thick marine layer kept us cloudy & gloomy west of the Cascades and then a cold front has passed over the top of that marine layer.  Instead of the 81 we saw Friday, today we only hit 69 in Portland.  A nearly two week period of very warm weather ended today.

High Temp Last 13 Days


Taking a look at the weather maps today it’s obvious that “summer is over”.

What does that statement mean?

  1. The seemingly endless & dependable days of (mainly) dry weather and warm sunshine are finished for this season.  That’s perfectly normal for early-mid September.
  2. The chance of hitting 85-90 again is slim, but still possible
  3. The very warm nights we’ve seen much of this summer will soon be coming to an end.
  4. Expect at least 1″ rain for most of us in the lowlands by the time we get to Tuesday evening, with up to 3″ in some Cascade and Coast Range spots.  Fire Season 2019 will continue to limp along on life support; good news!
  5. Temperatures at pass elevations and Cascade mountain lakes go from 70s yesterday/today to 50s the next few days…that’s chilly camping!

What could we still see?

  1. A briefly hot afternoon.  We can hit 90 even in early October, although it’s rare
  2. Several nice periods of sunny & warm weather; remember those two weeks of sunshine the middle of last October?  Lows in the 40s and highs in 70s were wonderful.

By the way, officially summer ends August 31st according to NOAA; meteorologists consider summer the three month period June-August.  Traditionally of course summer ends at the equinox the third week of September.

The next three days will feature a cool upper-level trough moving over the Pacific Northwest.  This is a classic setup for showers, downpours, thunderstorms, and maybe a funnel cloud or two as well.  All models are showing an unstable atmosphere each of the next three afternoons as the “warm” air bubbles up into the colder airmass overhead.  Ready for some lightning numbers?  Here’s a neat chart showing lightning strike frequency in the metro area for each hour of the day and each week of the year.  You can see two maximums in frequency; late spring & early summer and again in September or very early October (now).  In this situation it’s rare to see it anytime other than afternoons/evenings.  I think it’s interesting that for fall lightning it has a quicker cutoff in the evening, likely due to much earlier sunset than May/June.


That upper-level low is right over us Tuesday on the ECMWF ensemble 500mb height chart:


Then east of here Thursday; that may be the best day of the week weatherwise.


Next weekend another upper-level low moves by, but may stay just far enough north to spare us a wet weekend; tough call at this point.


There are strong hints that we return to drier/warmer weather next week.  See the ridging over the western USA in 10 days?


As for rain, check out the ECMWF ensembles again for Salem.  Just about every member puts down 1″ of rain, with most of that in the next few days.


So hopefully everything you want to stay dry is now indoors or under cover.  Your yard/garden and our woods will get a much-needed soaking!  This growing season has been drier than average across the NW corner of Oregon and SW Washington.  The six month precipitation anomaly:


Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

14 Responses to Summer 2019 Is Over; Should Feel Like Early October Next Three Days

  1. ERIKA ARAIZA says:

    Yes! Finally! That nasty summer is gone! Looking forward to rain and cold weather!!! So excited!!

  2. Larry says:

    Woooo!! What a washout it has been. Not including tonights and tomorrows rain still coming our way. A great typical fall/spring rain event to REALLY kick off fall 2019. A few more of these events and we would eradicate our spring and summer drought (finally!!).
    This morning felt refreshing with clean air and wet roads; what you would typically think of an Oregon morning, hehe. The afternoon, however, had a combo of downpours and sun breaks, all in 10 minutes (spot-on, Mark)! Heavy rain showers should persist into the evening tonight and into the morning.
    Since it is fall, I think we should pick up on our winter talks! I’m down to talk about winter again like everyone does on the post every October.

  3. JERAT416 says:

    Tornado warning as of 6:46pm for Multnomah county.

  4. Woohoo! Its the rainy season!

  5. Anonymous says:

    Such a lack luster summer that gets abruptly kicked out and now it’s 9 months of gloom. Talk about boring.

  6. Pat says:

    Fall weather

  7. oldwxwatcher says:

    Too many 60°+ overnight lows this summer for me. I’m ready for the cooler nights.

  8. Tyler Mode in Battle Ground says:

    I’m certainly excited summer was much more typical around here not the blast furnace of the previous two years.

  9. ShelleyKM says:

    Does this explain why my water bill for August this year was higher than last year, even though last year was hotter?

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