A Warm Week, Then Wet & Cool 1st Weekend of June

10pm Monday…

The warm weather showed up as expected last week, and we saw our first 90 degree day of the season on Thursday. As expected, a fast-moving upper-level low moved north along the West Coast, setting off a round of thunderstorms. Saturday morning was crazy in east metro with hundreds of lightning strikes. That was the 1st/2nd most intense thunderstorm I’ve seen at my home. I’ve lived there 16 years!

Then the main event; the Storm Prediction Center had north-central Oregon in the “enhanced risk” zone for Saturday afternoon evening. Lots of lifting and some super-cell thunderstorms were expected. The weather pattern delivered! Lots of videos of heavy rain, damaging wind, hail, and beautiful thunderstorm cloud structures. From central Oregon over into NE Oregon and then into eastern Washington. Check out the storm reports for Saturday:

One particularly intense super-cell storm passed over Jefferson county. Parts of Crooked River Range to Culver and Metolius were hit the hardest. It appears extremely strong “straight-line” wind brought 70-100 mph gusts to this area. Pendleton NWS folks drove down to see if it could have been a tornado. They could not find enough evidence to support calling it a tornado:

There were two reports of huge hail as well. 2.00″ hail was seen in Tumalo, near Bend. Also near Helix, north of Pendleton. That’s the size of a pool cue ball! Or an average size chicken egg. West of the Cascades anything golf ball size or larger is almost unheard of, but a bit more common east of the mountains. There was one bizarre 2″ hail event in Seaside one January morning in 2018, otherwise you have to go back many years to find anything close to golfballs west of the Cascades. I remember that massive storm in July 1995 that moved from central Oregon northeast to Hermiston. Grapefruit size hail…amazing.

What’s Ahead?

June is here and this is the beginning of summer in the Northern Hemisphere; just four weeks from now days start getting shorter and the sun angle begins to lower.

We have some very nice early June weather through Friday. It’s weak westerly flow in the upper-atmosphere, which in summer doesn’t tend to produce rain. This is the 500mb chart for Wednesday evening. That’s around 18,000′ overhead.

Expect Just enough onshore flow the next few days to keep temperatures below 80 degrees, but plenty of sunshine.

By Friday things are changing; a cool upper-level trough is approaching

That unusually cold trough (for early June) should be overhead Saturday through Monday.

This is the classic “Rose Festival Low”; clouds, showers, and chilly temps. In fact snow levels will go below Timberline Lodge, possibly a mix at Government Camp…here’s our 7 day forecast. Thinking of some early season camping up at Trillium, Timothy, Olallie, or Lost lake? Don’t, unless you have a cozy RV. Temps only in the 40s during the daytime and mixed snow/rain showers at those lakes.

How much rain? I figure we should get at least .50″ from Friday evening to next Monday/Tuesday. The WRF-GFS gives even the driest parts of the valley a decent soaking

So how long will the cool/wet weather stick around? The ECMWF ensembles think it’s just for a few days. This morning’s run ensemble members show the big surge of wet weather this weekend through early next week, then much drier. Or at least more reasonable for early-mid June.

Last night’s monthly run of the ECMWF implied we’ll be near normal next week and then much warmer beyond about 15 days (summer temps) with upper-level ridging over the West Coast. We’ll see, accuracy goes way down after two weeks.

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

24 Responses to A Warm Week, Then Wet & Cool 1st Weekend of June

  1. Randy says:

    We had a few great spring/summer runs in a row – people here thought it was “hot!” Then last year happened. Spring was decently dry and then summer never really arrived. Cool with showers often…

    I was hoping April being so dry wasn’t going to be beating bad news for the summer. Well, May was pretty poor and June has started off pretty horrifically…

    My only hope is that since this L has finally dis-lodged itself out of the gulf and moved through, a solid blocking ridge can get into place and start shoving everything north like a “good” summer would give us… hmmm…

  2. JohnD says:

    Someone may have already duly noted this; but I noticed while reading a recent “Portland Tribune” edition today that long time weather icon George Miller died recently at the age of 82. His formidable meteorology career included many years with the then Weather Bureau (NWS).

  3. Andrew says:

    Seeing a few sun breaks which should be favorable for afternoon thunderstorms.

    • Ken in Wood Village says:

      I was thinking the same thing. I’m looking at the radar and I’m seeing some of the showers getting really strong. I expect these showers to get bigger and stronger. I wouldn’t be surprised to see hail and rain rates to the point of some street flooding. Last night it rained so hard the parking lot was like a river. Just as I’m speaking, there was a lightning strike West of Kalama. I expect this to increase. Let’s hope for an exciting afternoon. 🙂

  4. Joshua Lake Oswego says:

    PDX officially has .33’’ of rain today thanks to the heavy shower that just passed over. Right in the sweet spot. The heavy shower earlier over Sherwood strongly weakened before hitting me. Let’s see what the weekend brings. Similar to this evening, there will be big winners and big losers.

    • Ken in Wood Village says:

      I was just going to say that my area got hit hard by a shower. It’s still raining really good. It will be interesting to see how this weekend plays out. We could be hit by some heavy showers and maybe thunderstorms. Let’s hope we see some excitement 🙂

    • Ken in Wood Village says:

      Another heavy shower is forming just behind the first heavy shower. We are going to get another hamming!!!

    • Joshua Lake Oswego says:

      I see totals ranging from about .10’’ to over 1’’ in the metro area today. My neck of the woods was on the low side at about .25’’. PDX scored two days in a row.

      • Ken in Wood Village says:

        It’s funny, around the same time on Friday and Saturday, we got hit hard with rain. It came down in buckets. The parking lot was a river. Not sure how much rain we had but I’m guessing we had around .30 inches of rain in about 15 minutes.

  5. Ken in Wood Village says:

    Wow, the storm NE of Newberg is intense 😳

    • Tanis Leach says:

      Peak of it just went over my head, I live in Sherwood.

      • Ken in Wood Village says:

        Looks like you got hammered. At least that’s what it looked like on radar. It’s not as intense as it was earlier. It could be a interesting weekend. There is a chance of thunderstorms but not as good as last weekend. We’ll see how things go 🤗😉🌩⛈

  6. Ken in Wood Village says:

    Interesting, some instability North of Portland. Hmmm 🤔

  7. Paul D says:

    The rain has started in Hillsboro. Now we’ll see how much it ends up being…

  8. Kyle says:

    Not a SINGLE comment about the upper low coming yet everyone being babies about Trump/Cvoid and riots. Sad sad dad. 😦

    This should be the talk of the day. In 2010 era this would’ve been a BIG deal having mountain snow in June!!!!!!!! Yet it’s being overshadowed. More comments on that cold period then there is now when we do have a shot of cooler then normal weather after a period of above normal.

    The other weather forum is a bunch of name calling and maybe one person mentioning this WTF is wrong with these websites?

    • Andy says:

      I agree…Lots of weather action possible this weekend with snow above 4500 ft…Maybe thunderstorms thrown in also. I have been trying to focus on hobbies and weather lately as the current events have created a volatile atmosphere on social media…I have stopped going on most social media recently with current events. Plenty of other news with the Grand solar minimum and many other volcanic and weather news around our planet. We are living in historic times according to some experts our weather is not going to be normal. Just putting that out there.

  9. W7ENK says:

    In other words, after a beautiful week this week, welcome to Juneuary. 😦

    • Joshua Lake Oswego says:

      Probably not a bad bet. Eugene looks to be the big winner right now. Lots of time for that to change. If I knew how to post photos, I would show the huge difference in the 12z WRF-GFS that Mark posted yesterday and today’s 12z.

  10. Paul D says:

    Sounds like all the fun was on the east side. Hillsboro was boring 😦

    I bet we get 0.1″ rain or less this weekend.

  11. Ken in Wood Village says:

    Thank you for the update Mark. Yes, Saturday was really crazy!! I woke up to my lightning detector going off at 5am. I woke up and said to myself, why is it going off…lol. When I opened the app, I was very surprised to see hundreds of lightning strikes further South of Wood Village. I got up and got ready for a nice show. It was an amazing and loud show. I hope we get more!!!


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