The Great 2021 Heat Wave: Sunday Updates

I’ve changed the format for the weekend…come back to this same link regularly throughout each day for quick updates as we go through the rest of this incredible heat wave.  Newest information FIRST. Remember you can follow me on Twitter: @marknelsenKPTV and Facebook @marknelsenweather

9pm Final Sunday Update


Alright folks, we’ve got Portland’s warmest (hottest) night on record ahead, then slightly hotter tomorrow. Take a look at the all-time records set today. Pretty much every spot west of the Cascades in SW Washington and NW Oregon saw the hottest temp on record. Longview and Hood River numbers come in at a later time

Portland’s downtown observing location recorded a 110, which is also an all-time record. Those go back to 1874!

What’s ahead?

  1. Calm areas drop into the mid-upper 70s tonight. Windy spots only drop to 80-85 degree range…as if we’re in Arizona
  2. All model data tells us that tomorrow should be hotter than today, which is hard to believe. But it’s going to happen
  3. 850mb temps right now are around +28 to +29, and they go up to a record-breaking +31 to +32. This has never been seen in our area. Easterly flow INCREASES through mid afternoon Monday overhead, skies stay sunny. This all says several degrees of warming. I’ll stick with 114 for a high. That’ll be astounding if someone in the metro area gets within 2-3 degrees of Oregon’s all-time high (119 – Pendleton).
  4. Onshore flow sweeps up the coastline overnight = heatwave over. Then that cool air surges into the central/south Willamette Valley after noon. This should make for a cooler day south of the metro area. “Only” 95-105 south of Wilsonville-McMinnville line. Longview will also see a cooler day due to the onshore flow after about 1pm.
  5. The onshore flow will be some of the strongest we’ve seen in our area. A very shallow layer of chilly marine air surging inland trapped under a strong inversion (hot air overhead). Gusts 30-40 mph are possible 3-6pm from Sheridan to West Salem and north to Dayton. Yes, there could be a 40 degree drop from early afternoon to sunset for many of us! The cooler air arrives after 6pm in the Portland metro area, dropping us from 110+ to mid-70s by 11pm. It’s going to feel amazing…

Take a look at the WRF-GFS 5pm temperatures…112+ over a good chunk of the metro area Monday afternoon

Notice at 3pm we’ve got westerly wind beginning to pour into the central Willamette Valley. Salem is beginning to cool. Hot east/southeast wind from Longview down into the metro area

Then at 6pm things have turned VERY windy. Forecasting 8 millibars pressure difference between Lincoln City and Wilsonville! West wind gusting over 40 mph from Sheridan to Amity. Hot east wind still just barely going in the metro area. This is more of a “southwest push”; we’re not getting the real strong northwest wind coming up the Columbia River

Then at 9pm the southwesterly push has arrived in the metro area and hot east wind is gone. Gusts 20-30 mph will be ringing chimes in the southern half of the metro.

It will be a very shallow push, which means warm air overhead will mix down again Tuesday, just no extreme heat. We’ll like bounce back into the low-mid 90s Tuesday afternoon. Much better…

5pm Portland Makes It To At Least 112

High temperatures come in every six hours from the regular official reporting stations and here they are

Lots of 112s, but that’s also the current temperature at PDX. It’s possible we go a degree higher…we’ll see. Obviously that’s a new all-time record for Portland, well above the previous 108 record (yesterday) and long-standing 107 degree record. But look at the valley! Salem just blew past the 120+ year old record, by 5 degrees!

Astoria tied the 101 degree record, and Eugene set an all-time record too. I’ll have more with a detailed post about tomorrow and beyond by 8-9pm. The big message: 24 HOURS OF EXTREME HEAT STILL TO GO

3pm All-Time Record Heat, No Big Power Outages Yet

It’s 111 at PDX, the hottest temperature many of us have ever felt, including me. The same temperature as Phoenix at this hour…though at least relative humidity has fallen to 16%…it’s a dry heat. 3pm observations, notice all official stations are 108 to 111

All-time records have now fallen at PDX (again), Troutdale (again), Vancouver, Salem, and possibly Astoria where it hit at least 100. Eugene is only a couple degrees away. The Dalles at 114 is the highest I’ve seen at the airport sensor in my 30 years forecasting. The official record, I think those observations are downtown, is 115 degrees.

Huge temperature variations continue along the coastline. Just a couple miles inland it can be 105 degrees, yet around 70-75 right ON the beaches. Live view from our Shilo Inns Seaside camera shows a westerly breeze on the sand, that tells me it’s likely under 80 degrees in this spot. A lot of people. We’ve got two more hours of heating…typically. East wind has been blowing a few hours at PDX, and when that happens the temperature rise levels of a bit. That said, there’s no reason it couldn’t go up another 3-4 degrees. Hang on folks, we’ve still got 20-28 hours to go…depending on your location. I see just a thousand or so PGE customers out, that’s no worse than yesterday. Fingers crossed…


Hot…PDX is just passing over the 100 degree mark this hour. Troutdale, where east wind has surfaced, jumped to 105…at noon.

Check out Astoria…97 with a light northeast wind. Hoquiam at 100 is an all-time high temperature record.

Farther south along the Oregon coast, the extreme heat is either on the beaches or just a couple of miles inland. Example: Pacific City…67 on the beach but 97 over in the estuary area

Easterly pressure gradients continue to rise through the Gorge and across the Cascades. That easterly flow continues through Monday morning. As easterly wind surfaces in more spots, expect temperature spikes, but humidity drops. It doesn’t matter; either 102 and humid or 110 and very dry. It’s blazing hot everywhere except the beaches. Even Government Camp has gone over 90 degrees this hour.

I see PDX officially dropped to 73 degrees last night, the 2nd warmest night on record and the warmest ever in June.


The heat is on big time this morning, as expected we are starting warmer and heating up much more quickly. Current temps

And regional temps

What grabs my attention right now:

  1. 850mb temp (about 4,000′) over Salem was measured at +26.4 degrees (C) this morning. About 2 degrees below all-time record. Expected to rise to a record +30 by afternoon
  2. Overnight low was bad, but we did not set an all-time record in Portland. Down into the lower 70s
  3. Easterly gradient and breezes have developed as expected. Gusts 25-35 mph at Vista House, and wherever that wind surfaces temperatures are skyrocketing
  4. It’s 100 (at two separate wx stations) in Yacolt…at 10:18am. Astounding
  5. It’s 92 already on the Long Beach Peninsula (Ocean Park). Blazing hot for some of you on the coastline the next 6 hours. Mainly north of Pacific City.
  6. PDX is 88 at 10am, already 6 degrees hotter than 10am Saturday

Hang on…it’s going to be a rough day…

62 Responses to The Great 2021 Heat Wave: Sunday Updates

  1. Jack says:

    111 degrees on digital and analog thermometer, both in shade. – Camas, WA, 600 ft. elev.

  2. Ken in Wood Village says:

    Lol, to funny. I looked at the Troutdale Airport for what the temperature says, it says 100 degrees but what’s funny, it says it’s raining 🤔🤣 yea, right 🤣🤣🤣

  3. Roman D. says:

    Absolutely devastating heat. Already 100F in central valley after cooling off to 84F last night at my house. Stay safe the high winds this evening will be amazing to feel the cooling air rushes in. Woulda been cool to get some T-Storms outta this especially if they had rain.

  4. Roland Derksen says:

    My all time record maximum temperature was reached yesterday at 102F. The all time Canadian record was established yesterday as well at 115F. (Lytton ). Now all we have to do is wait til this day is over and see if those readings are exceeded.

  5. Opie Dilldock says:

    Salem was 91 at noon on Saturday (according to the Weather Channel). 93 right now!

    • Hank says:

      Its so crazy, looks like the onshore flow is going to come late, Salem might luck out but anything north of it, even keizer, WILL Be HOT

  6. lurkingsince’14 says:

    So big push of marine air around 6-7pm? That will be something to behold.

  7. Evan -- Cedar Mill says:

    Weird, there is already onshore flow….

    • W7ENK says:

      Where? At Astoria yes, but 20 miles up river at Cathlamet the flow is still E-ly.

      Stop panicking.

    • Joshua Lake Oswego says:

      Every single model has us pegged at 114-118 today. The marine push won’t happen in the metro area until after the hottest part of the day. We are getting roasted today.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Weird shifts In the wind are happening. I’m sitting at 75% humidity in Toledo wa

  9. Tanis Leach says:

    2nd to last update on this heatwave from me:

    Technical info:
    My recording “studio” (my office) was 100 degrees, I was trying to rush this one, and the mic would pic up on fans. As such I feel like the quality is off.
    Even though I predicted 115 today, and overachieved, this was due to 850 mb temps were a little lower than I anticipated. Still, I kept 116 for tomorrow as the 12z Euro ensembles has the 850mb temps over Portland at 31.5°C. The 10% is 30.6°C and since todays was still above the 10%, a 31°C seems reasonable. That would equate to 117 if warmed adiabatically (it should). Went with 116 as that seems slightly too high. Didn’t want to go lower since many models are pushing higher, and are doing well for this event. Also, Euro ensembles were still too low today. Tuesday I’m sticking with my 97 for now, as Euro averages are higher than that, but seems high with the marine push. Part of me wanted to go lower to the TV consensus of 95 or so.

    As always seek more official information throughout the day from Mark Nelsen here, or whoever you trust.

    • Anonymous says:

      Thanks, Tanis! You do a great job with these videos and your breakdown of information is always very clear

  10. Anonymous says:

    It says a lot when you look at the low to mid-90 temperatures this week and think that looks pleasant.

  11. tim says:

    Well any cool ocean air is better then none even tho sst off the coast are above normal and will above normal in the central pacific aka the blob which means warm muggy nights.

  12. runrain says:

    Much more reasonable weather coming but we’ll still be in a heatwave later this week.

  13. W7ENK says:

    Absolutely ridiculous.

    After all this heat, 70 degrees is going to feel downright chilly!!

  14. runrain says:

    Yes, wonder what this is doing to the pinot noir crop.

  15. No triple digits in coastal areas up here (yet… that may well change tomorrow), but we are paying for it in humidity. Afternoon dew points mainly in the 70’s. Peaked at 76 today.

    I tried to print a document yesterday and had trouble because the paper was so limp it kept jamming the printer. I sure hope tomorrow’s forecast high busts low for you in Portland.

  16. Evan -- Cedar Mill says:

    Looks like 850mb temps underachieved big time. Would explain the stunt in heating.

    • W7ENK says:

      Underachieved? What the hell are you talking about, “underachieved?” It fell 1/10th of a degree short of an all-time record, to be surpassed today.

      Some of you folks have serious issues…

  17. Evan -- Cedar Mill says:

    Looks like 112F is the high temp. Wow. Can we beat it tomorrow?

  18. 5OClockCharlie says:

    The one year my vegetable garden does great and 90% of is either dying or dead right now. The soil isn’t even dry, the heat is just too much for the foliage. Brutal

  19. Cooper Mt. Phil says:

    Got home from a trip and came home to 1 dead chicken out of the 3. Tomato plants took some damage along with pretty much all vegetation. Suprising that the squash looked fine. Hit 108 degrees 350 feet up Cooper Mtn. Are we still on track to bump up a few more degrees tomorrow?

    • W7ENK says:

      Cover your plants with tarps, light colored if possible, suspended at least a foot above the tallest. I’ve done that over my corn and my tomatoes, also sheltered my beans, peas, cucumbers and squash with lean-to plywood. Watering heavily both early morning and after sunset. Best I can do.

      My peppers are absolutely LOVING this weather…

  20. I topped out at 110 at 3:45PM; down to 109.5 now. Incredible.

  21. Evan -- Cedar Mill says:

    Wow, too bad heating stopped. Would have hit 115F.

    • Anonymous says:

      Don’t worry, I’m sure we’ll get there tomorrow before the big drop starts.

  22. Jake says:

    My great grandfather planted a grape vine that produces these green grapes that are the sweetest I’ve ever had in my life. They make no seeds, ever, and it always makes tons of grapes if I spray against fungus during wet Springs.

    I built a castle-wall-level of dirt around its base to fill with an inch of water every morning.

    I cut back all the over-growth so no energy goes into that; yesterday made the choice to cut off 30% of the grapes too.

    I can only imagine what the wineries are going through right now.

    F$%K this weather!

  23. tim says:

    You just know people in the southern states are calling us wimps where there used to 120 every summer.

    • Evan -- Cedar Mill says:

      Lol, no one is used to 120. Las Vegas all time record is only 117F.

    • ocpaul says:

      It’s a cliche, but it really is about the humidity back there.
      BTW, my hometown of Rockford, IL is 78 right now. This is bizzaro world.

    • K says:

      They really aren’t lmao

    • JohnD says:

      Absurd thinking which I have never agreed with—summer or winter. It is ALL relative!
      And if you insist on “comparisons”—112’ is HOT by ANY standard. It also happens to be the same as the all time high for Austin, TX, for example!

    • W7ENK says:

      Exaggeration much? 🤦🏼‍♂️

      You should feel embarrassed for that stupid comment.

  24. JJ78259 says:

    Looks like it will top 115 in Portland today wow!

  25. runrain says:

    New all time record at PDX: 109° at 1:53pm. I’d like 110° but maybe please stop there??

    • Joshua Lake Oswego says:

      PDX hit 111 briefly already and then dropped back to 109.

      My plants are extremely unhappy. Hydrangeas that are getting even a small amount of direct sunlight are wilting or browning. Between the ice storm and this heatwave, the poor flora is taking an absolute beating this year.

      • Anonymous says:

        My hydrangeas are getting hit the worst too. They look so droopy and sad.

        • Diana F. says:

          I had to cut my blooms…. They are only 1/2 grown!!! But they were bringing the plant down, even in shade even cooled with water throughout the day, I lost 1/4 of my balcony gardens (58 plants total)… I literally watched my lobelia crisp before my eyes! So many young buds on flowering plants are Crispy. Ain’t no coming back from crispy!

    • Tanis Leach says:

      2:05 PDX hit 111.

  26. W7ENK says:

  27. Weatherdan says:

    101 at 1:00PM. Have AC but don’t use it. I prefer hot weather to cold, but even so this is a bit much for me. Perfect day for me is 90/60. Peace.

  28. W7ENK says:

    Wenatchee is no longer with us. 🔥😢

  29. runrain says:

    107° now at Troutdale. This time yesterday: 94°. That would translate to 122° today…

  30. Ken in Wood Village says:

    Troutdale just hit 106 at 12:20pm. This heat is nuts 😫🥵😢

  31. Roman D says:

    I like to think of this record heat wave as the meteorological version of a Wall Street stock short squeeze!! Let’s go 115F+ for everyone more the better!

  32. runrain says:

    Hoquiam hit 100° at 10:40 am. This beats their all time temperature of 95°. At 10:40 am!!

  33. Roman D says:

    Bank thermometer downtown is incredible showing 135F. If this is verifiable from the NWS that would set the new world record incredible.

    • Evan -- Cedar Mill says:

      Lmao that is not at all official.

    • Ken in Wood Village says:

      I think I know which one your talking about, it normally doesn’t show the right temps. If it was that temp, I think people would be falling like flies…lol.

  34. Seth C Tucker says:

    Mark, any thoughts on the ammount by which we exceed the old record? Isn’t beating a 100+ year record by this ammount quite strange?

    • Evan -- Cedar Mill says:

      Especially after we tied it multiple times before. Something is changing….

  35. runrain says:

    Lots of people still out and about. Saw some joggers and bikers. Farmers markets are going on. Some will close early. I don’t think people are realizing what’s coming. One extreme day can be handled but three in a row? And with no overnight recovery. And there doesn’t seem to be a day below 85° in the next two weeks.

  36. Roman D says:

    Wow Estacada nearly 100F already insane

  37. ocpaul says:

    PLEASE, EVERYONE do nothing with fire or fireworks outside.
    Be aware that engines, big and small, can set fires too. Don’t forget last Labor Day.

  38. Diana F. says:

    I thank the Lord for central ac which means I won’t feel this abomination of a day, until I take the dog out, & she’s thank goodness she is QUICK about it! She seemed out of it yesterday once it got hot, even though she’s an indoor dog. #sympathyicecreamploy perhaps 🤔? It worked!
    We certainly won’t be going anywhere today, as my Acura decided the ac needs recharging & every single place that could do that is closed!
    Be careful out there fellow weather geeks! Thanks for the updates Mark! 👍🏽

%d bloggers like this: