Marine Air Cools NW OR & SW WA; Drizzle Spots Thursday AM

June 30, 2021

9pm Wednesday…

That was quite a change today wasn’t it? For the first time in a couple weeks we totally busted the forecast. The marine layer was thicker than I expected…up around 4,000′ deep. That meant we never saw a total breakout into sunshine. Sure, a few sunbreaks here and there but that’s about it. After 14 days of 80+ weather, we finally saw a cooler day, only reaching 79 in Portland. That 14 consecutive day stretch was a new record for June in Portland; one of many records set this month.

June ends as the hottest on record, just edging out the very hot June 2015. Final monthly temperature is 70.7, August 2015 was 70.3. That month was consistently hot, but this year was more extreme for a shorter period. 9 days at/above 90 ties the all-time June record as well. The 30 year average for an ENTIRE summer is 14 in Portland

The marine layer thickens slightly tonight and by sunrise tomorrow the view from space should look like this afternoon’s view…all gray west of the Cascades.

There has been a lot of thunderstorm action over central/eastern Oregon this afternoon/evening. Very active and hopefully we don’t get a bunch of new/large fires going. The dry conditions, temperatures, and thunderstorms make it seem more like early August. It’s going to be a long summer.

Very sad news today from the heatwave; dozens of people have died. At least 45 in Multnomah county alone. I think it’s safe to assume more will be found alone in homes/apartments over the next few days. It really got me down for a few hours earlier in the day. My mother came over to our house for a couple nights Saturday-Monday, just in case the electricity went out at her assisted living facility. It didn’t and she was fine of course. But I keep thinking of people dying in their homes, especially the elderly…all alone with no friends or family to help. You might be surprised to find more people die from heat in the USA than any other weather event

In Oregon it’s a bit different, the #2 killer after taking the ocean into account. In general, weather doesn’t directly kill people very often here. If you take away the ocean-related deaths, less than 10 a year. That changed dramatically with this heat wave.

It’ll probably take some time to process all the temperature reports from the big heat wave. We know Hermiston officially reached 118 in Oregon Tuesday. The Dalles and Richland also hit 118 in Washington. The Dalles airport, where readings are taken, is in Washington.

But did some location hit 119, or 120, or 121? Most likely one of the cooperative observing stations in the two states did. We will see. Our local (Oregon) AMS chapter is hoping to plan a meeting just for this historic heat wave. Maybe in September.

We are in the summer dry spell now with no rain in sight, other than some marine drizzle Thursday morning. 12z ECWMWF 24hr QPF forecast shows 2 out of 51 members produced a tenth or two…in the next two weeks! That’s about the driest it gets

That’s it for now; I won’t be blogging as regularly over the next month or so…it’s summer vacation time.

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen