Three Warm Days Ahead, Then A Saturday Soaking

10pm Tuesday…

A shorter blog post tonight since we have a very straightforward weather setup the next 5 days.

Skies are mainly clear this evening and should remain that way through Friday. Maybe not totally blue sky; we’ll likely see thin high clouds at times Thursday and Friday.

The atmosphere overhead warms tomorrow through Friday as strong upper-level high pressure builds over the western USA. Stockton and Sacramento (California) were 105 & 103 today; both records for the date.

The combination of a much warmer atmosphere overhead, then a switch to (very weak) offshore flow Thursday, means we get close to 90 both Thursday and Friday. That’s very warm, but definitely not hot. Notice we won’t be near record levels except Friday

That 100 degree record for May 28th is the first day PDX has ever hit 100 and also the only 100 degree record in May.

Saturday is beginning to look interesting. A cool upper-level trough suddenly scoots north along the West Coast Friday night and Saturday. There is a LOT of subtropical moisture with this one, check out the precipitable water image for Saturday. Anything over 1.0″ is juicy for us. Up around 1.5″ is really wet. This isn’t precipitation, but a good indicator of total column moisture through the atmosphere.

How much rain could we be looking at Saturday? It seems clear that SOMEWHERE in western Oregon will get nailed with an inch or more. Each model is a bit different with the rain bullseye. Plus it’s still four days away. Check out the GFS, GEM, & ECMWF

Will we get thunderstorms with the rain Saturday? Possibly…TBD. It depends on how things line up. The general pattern is correct, but models don’t seem too excited about widespread thunder west of the Cascades Saturday. We’ll see.

Sunday through Tuesday look quieter and mainly dry. Expect typical early June weather as we head into early next week.

Enjoy the warm sunshine these next three days, and be prepared for some downpours at some point Saturday. I’ll be back at work Sunday. A few extra days off this summer.

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

75 Responses to Three Warm Days Ahead, Then A Saturday Soaking

  1. JohnD says:

    There will always be disparity in weather stats one area to another—which is why all of us—no matter our specific area—are collective “weather watchers”!
    It has, however, always been frustrating to me that the official Portland weather recording site has moved a number of times through history—most significantly from downtown to—in recent decades—the NWS location in Parkrose.
    Totally envious of places—like Salem—where there has been only one official recording site for 125+ years!

  2. Joshua Lake Oswego says:

    Seattle: .90”
    PDX: .29”

    A couple of claps of thunder and two hours of moderate rain here in the weather vacuum. Maybe not a total bust, but an under-performer for rain.

    • EY (Oak Grove) says:

      I live right across the river from Lake Oswego and it wasn’t just a couple claps of thunder, it seemed like it was constant. Starting at 5am and going on until after 7am (when I finally went to sleep); I saw lightning bolts a couple times and saw flashes numerous times and I gave up counting the rumbles of thunder I heard in those two hours after two dozen.

      The rain has been a bit underwhelming (though a really random shower just popped up a bit ago and it poured pretty good for a few minutes) but it wasn’t guaranteed to be a monster drencher. I’d say this was pretty darned good and frankly, incredible. I can’t recall the last time so many cells erupted that early in the morning.

      The only things that were really missing (from my perspective and area) was a bit heavier rainfall, hail and winds. But while we had a very marginal chance for severe thunderstorms, that doesn’t mean we were going to get them. Haven’t had a day with this much thunder activity for as long as we did (usually we get just a few hours, this was at least half a day where the threat and potential was there) in a while.

      • W7ENK says:

        Agreed. Thunder was near constant from 5:40am until just after 7am. At one point, the lightning was flashing and next rolling booms would start before the previous was finished. Got some really loud booms from 1:30pm to 2:30pm, then near constant thunder again, much of it distant, but some of it crackling directly overhead. This lasted until the thunderstorm activity came to an abrupt halt around 4:30pm as the surface layer cooled (2m temp dropped to 53F) which stabilized the atmosphere and ended convection. After a brief break, stratiform rain fell for the entirety of the evening as the West edge of everything pushed back through. All told, I received just shy of a half inch of rain by the end of it. I’m exactly 3.20 miles directly across the river to the NE of Lake O.

    • Dru says:

      You act as if none of the other metro area (or the PNW rainfall) positively affects Portland. East Portland got well more then .29 inches. All this rain that has been falling for months in places to the north of us like Olympia… that positively impacts us too – that does end up in waterways in Portland. Selective reporting isn’t an accurate indication of truth…

      • Joshua Lake Oswego says:

        It isn’t selective reporting. PDX is THE official station for Portland. Yes, other locations are wetter, cooler, less windy, etc. so what? Same could be said about SEA.

        Rain in Troutdale doesn’t water Douglas Firs in SW Portland. Yes, it is overall beneficial when the region gets rainfall, but my personal “selfish” reason for caring about rainfall is to keep our natural beauty in place.

        I see so many dying or dead native trees, shrubs, and plants driving around. It is depressing. We can’t sustain our native natural beauty on 20” rain a year and ever-increasing temperatures. Weak mountain snowpacks is another issue.

        • W7ENK says:

          Where do you see all these “dying or dead native trees, shrubs, and plants?” I most certainly do not see any such thing in my travels around the region. Granted, I almost never venture into Lake O, so maybe it’s just a local phenomenon?

        • Tanis Leach says:

          We haven’t had a year in the 20″ range since 2008-2009 (though this year may break that streak), and also, the only times we’ve been below 25″ are 1976-77, 1993-94, and 2000-01, and no time was below 22″.

        • Joshua Lake Oswego says:

          Say what? Last year was 26.67”.

          Look closely on I-5 though the Portland area. Tons of dead or dying conifers. I don’t believe that your neighborhood has avoided dieback, W7. It’s very widespread if you are paying attention.

          Yes, my bust forecast was a bit of a bust. Still, less than .33” is nowhere near what was forecasted up until even a day prior to the event.

          I don’t have a rain gauge. I rely on local reporting stations and official stations. I noticed that just north and east of me (Lake Grove, Milwaukie, etc) had quite a bit more rain than my neighborhood.

    • Doug in LO says:

      I live in Lake Oswego and we had maybe 20 minutes of significant steady rain yesterday morning, then nothing until around 1:30 at which point steady to intermittently heavy rain for several hours nonstop (actually, I think it was around 4 before it subsided) and multiple and lengthy thunder. The roads were soaked, Large pools of standing water all around, and our little creek, lately a mere barely-moving trickle was a roaring sliver of whitewater.

      Then I see in The Oregonian this morning that the official total for yesterday was 0.32”. This seems to happen often, airport totals being somewhat to way lower than nearly every other location.

      It had to be——no, was——a lot more than 1/3” here.


  3. Ken in Wood Village says:

    I’m glad I was right about the thunderstorms in the afternoon. The NAM was spot on this time. It’s been a very exciting day for everyone who loves thunderstorms 🤗😉🌩⛈

  4. runrain says:

    Lightning near Boring. But not boring at all!

  5. Andrew says:

    I’m currently in Central Oregon and that was by far one of strongest hailstorms i’ve ever seen. i’d say at least marble sized. Amazing mammatus clouds just twenty minutes before, a rare site in Oregon. A lot of thunder and lightning. Action has definitely arrived here.

  6. …with the amount of people heading to central/eastern oregon from all the splinters the blog has spawned over the years there could be a great reunion of sorts today 😉

  7. runrain says:

    ODOT cam in Crescent on 97 shows hail covered roadway.

  8. Andy says:

    Looks like active weather migrating north…could end up being a good soaking. Not sure if we will see a strong thunder storm with no sun breaks here in Albany. Woke up to thunder this morning with very little rain.

  9. runrain says:

    Amazing lightning near Happy Valley this morning. One bolt I’ve never seen before. Looked a regular bolt but it spread way out across the sky from its source to s point over my head. Also, saw some smoke later south of Damascus. Perhaps a hit.

  10. runrain says:

    Exciting day!

    • Ken in Wood Village says:

      It could get exciting again. There has been a few severe thunderstorms down South with 1.5 inch hail. It’s moving NNW. We’ll see what happens later. 🤗😉🌩⛈

  11. Joshua Lake Oswego says:

    Looking like the soaking rain is trending towards Tacoma/Seattle in a shocking turn of events.

    • Joshua Lake Oswego says:

      In fact, the Portland metro area might be completely dry or average less than .10” the entire rest of the day. What a joke. Epic bust if it comes to fruition.

      • Ken in Wood Village says:

        I actually think we will see some soaking rain later this afternoon. 🙂

        • Joshua Lake Oswego says:

          East metro has a better chance. I hope you’re right. I’m smelling a bust. I know the main wave was never supposed to be until this afternoon.

      • Ken in Wood Village says:

        I’m not sure if you have looked at the radar lately but there are thunderstorms to the right of my area but there are some big thunderstorms down South. One went severe. Also, the NAM showed thunderstorms in the morning then thunderstorms later today. The NWS posted on their Facebook page about a second round later today. They also said there is a chance some could be very strong. With some clearing skies, it should enhance the chance of thunderstorms. We’ll see 🤗😉🌩⛈

      • Anonymous says:

        Your forecast of a “bust” appears to be a “bust”

    • Tanis Leach says:

      Seattle was always expected to get hit from this, and possibly harder than Portland. Plus looking at Medford Radar, this is a 2 wave thing

  12. W7ENK says:

    Fairly close lightning strike, just about 1 mile to my East. Very loud thunder. Momentarily lost power.

    Now almost continuous deep thunder in the distance, seeing flashes to my East at 10-15 second intervals, despite it being light out. If this had happened when it was dark, it would’ve been a magnificent sight!

  13. Diana F. says:

    East Vancouver rumbled…. I sat straight up in bed, thinking literally a jetliner crashed in my front yard….and the multiple lightening strikes!! Incredible. Ground zero again and again! I won’t see my (indoor) cat FOR DAYS!!!

  14. Jake in Gresham says:

    I ran outside and fertilized the lawn. That was super dumb! I was almost done and the sky above started to light up like a Christmas tree! Threw everything in the shed and ran!

  15. EY (Oak Grove) says:

    And visual, potentially cloud to ground lightning approximately 2 miles to my east. Thunder is becoming semi-frequent.

  16. EY (Oak Grove) says:

    Lightning confirmed in the sky SSE of Milwaukie/Oak Grove

  17. Jake in Gresham says:

    Woah I didn’t think much of this potential event. The thunder to the South got me out of bed. Some very dark clouds are taking over the blue sky!

  18. EY (Oak Grove) says:

    I don’t know if it’s ambient rolling noises (like people moving their trash/recycle bins on an off day) or if I’m hearing very faint rumbles of thunder. I do know that radar is filling in not too far from here.

  19. Ken in Wood Village says:

    Wow, a lot of activity coming up from the South 🤗😉🌩⛈

    • EY (Oak Grove) says:

      And much of it just popped up within the last 20 or so minutes… This is going to be interesting. Also SPC has us within the range, but very close to deeper Marginal and Slight.

  20. Ken in Wood Village says:

    I just wanted to post about some major thunderstorm activity around Paulina, Oregon right now. I also see some activity around Brookings and a little South of the boarder of Oregon and California too. It will be interesting to see what happens on Saturday. I’m off to bed now…lol

  21. Andy says:

    I will probably sleep with the window open tonight hoping for thunder…like most of you a good thunder storm is right up there with a snow event. Both radar loops going for Southern and northern Oregon. Cross our fingers something will happens.

  22. Tanis Leach says:

    I just realized something re-reading this, the Mark Nelsen away from work severe weather curse (or reverse curse?) might be at play because he’s not working tomorrow.

  23. JERAT416 says:

    Now with the end of the warm spell, the 7 day looks average as can be. Not bad at all. Lets hope for some action tomorrow ….

  24. runrain says:

    There is very little, if any, convection over the mountains or to our south. I’m smelling a bust. And yes, I know the action is for late tonight but you’d think there’d be something going on somewhere.

  25. W7ENK says:

    NWS Curse!


  26. Ken in Wood Village says:

    I decided to look at the SPC for thunderstorms. Things could be very interesting now. I don’t know how to post pictures here so when you see this post, look at the SPC on the NWS’s website. Things could get real, really fast.

  27. Ken in Wood Village says:

    I was looking at the radar in the Medford area. Just NE of Medford, there are some really good thunderstorms building up. They are actually exploding into single cell thunderstorms. Tomorrow could be very interesting. I don’t think those thunderstorms will get to the Portland area. The flow is from SW to NE right now.

  28. Ken in Wood Village says:

    Ok, I thought I saw everything until the 00Z GFS came out. I know it’s so far out there that it won’t happen but it shows a big storm coming onshore around the 13th of June.

    I know it’s way out there but I guess we should keep an eye on it…lol.

  29. JohnD says:

    91’ officially @ PDX today! First of the year!
    Woo Hoo!

  30. Tanis Leach says:

    Another day, another bad reading by my weather station:

  31. Tanis Leach says:

    It has officially hit 90 degrees in Portland.

  32. runrain says:

    Buildups over Lane County Cascades.

  33. W7ENK says:

    Saturday still looking active…

    • Ken in Wood Village says:

      There is one of two things that will happen. One, this actually will happen and we have a really good light show. Two, it’s a complete bust…lol.

      I’m hoping for the first one. It’s looking more like we will see nocturnal thunderstorms Friday night too. I’m hoping for the best but I’m not holding my breath at this time. I’m going to be watching the Satellite picture tomorrow very closely.

      Keep your fingers and toes crossed…lol

  34. runrain says:

    We’re running 12 deg higher today vs. yesterday at 9:53am. A run at the mid 90’s today? Sure feels like it.

  35. Ziggy says:

    WKRP is trying to get the thunder gods awake. This Saturday will be as lame as winter was.

    • Tanis Leach says:

      Unlike last winters busts, the NWS is not calling for the thunderstorms. If the NWS curse is true, then there will be thunderstorms on Saturday.

  36. W7ENK says:

    So, apparently this is a thing….

  37. Tanis Leach says:

    Something’s not right, my weather station reported 110 today (Sherwood 195 ft). Thinking the temperature sensor got messed up after it got struck by lighting a few months ago. This is not its 1st offense.

  38. runrain says:

    I predict: a June-uary, and reaching 100 in August.

  39. Ziggy says:

    Flooding rains coming Saturday. This may be the end of times.

    Luckily thunderstorms will stay out of the metro area.

    • W7ENK says:

      It’s late Spring.
      It’s the PNW.
      It rains.

      Definitely not “end of times” material.

      Calm your tatas, son.

  40. W7ENK says:

    Sure, on the day I’ve obliged myself to move two brothers out of their current living situations and into an apartment together, of course it’s going to pour down rain. That makes perfect sense. I should have predicted this 6 weeks ago when I first made these plans!


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