Cooler Late Week, Then Warmer; Dry Summer Pattern Here To Stay

9pm Tuesday…

In the past week we’ve seen warmer than normal temperatures persist west of the Cascades, although no real hot days in the metro area. Lots of 80s, before & after the marine push last Wednesday/Thursday. Yet just one day at 90 degrees.

Meanwhile Salem has seen 8 days at/above 90 so far this month. Why? We are in a classic “northwesterly flow” regime. The setup has been very stable for over a week. Wind is coming in off the Pacific each afternoon/evening to replace hot air rising over the interior of the Pacific Northwest. The Columbia River gap allows lots of that cooler marine air to come up through Longview, Kalama, Clark County, and into the Portland metro area. This morning’s satellite image (8am) shows enough cool air and moisture for low clouds in a good chunk of this area. Clouds tend to form central & eastern metro first because the marine air is bottled up against the the western Gorge. This is why west metro tends to be sunnier more often summer mornings than the east side.

Farther south, in the Willamette Valley, no morning clouds = warmer. The layer of cool air is thinner there. Look at the effect on high temperatures today. 77 at Longview to 90 at Salem.

Strong westerly wind through the Gorge keeps Hood River comfortable, but by the time you get to The Dalles the airmass has warmed. Way out in Hermiston, today is the 25th day at/above 90 degrees. They haven’t seen a cooler than average day since June 16th!

There are 4-5 significant fires burning across Oregon this evening. This is an amazing visible satellite image considering it’s only July 12th. You can see a new fire south of Detroit Lake (Bruler), Grandview fire NE of Sisters, Jack fire NW of Diamond Lake, and the massive Bootleg fire north of Bly

That Bootleg fire exploded in size Saturday, becoming a “mega-fire”. That’s a fire over 100,000 acres in size. It didn’t change much through this morning, then you can see it has exploded again this evening. I estimate a 25-30 mile long “fire-front” based on GOES-17 fire detection

Oregon has seen 22 megafires since 1980, most of them in the eastern half of the state. Of course 5 of those just occurred over/on the slopes of the Cascades last September. You can find a recap of that event here:

What’s Ahead?

  1. Dry weather continues across the region through at least the next 10-15 days.
  2. A cooldown arrives Wednesday and spreads east of the Cascades Thursday-Saturday
  3. Then we warm up again early next week
  4. There’s no sign of a heat wave west of the Cascades through at least the 20th

Check out the 500mb anomaly map (from the GEM model) for right now. In general we’ve got higher than normal (warm colors) heights overhead

By Friday, a cool trough is sitting just offshore. But notice heights have only come down to around normal for this time of year. The hot ridge has weakened and moved back to the “Four Corners” region. This pattern gives us widespread morning clouds west of the Cascades. High temperatures drop back into the 70s…a refreshing mid-summer weather pattern.

But by Monday the hot ridge is back, just to our east.

It’s still there NEXT Thursday, the 22nd, 10 days from now. This says above normal temps, but not extreme. Especially west of the Cascades.

You can probably guess there’s very little chance for rain in this pattern. No organized weather systems come close to us. Look at a bone-dry ECMWF model forecast the next two weeks: Just a spot of drizzle out of low clouds. Not a single one of 51 ensemble members produces even a tenth of an inch through the 27th!

Let’s hope for very little lightning and no human-caused fires. 3/4 of last year’s fires in the Pacific Northwest were started by people.

Enjoy the rest of the week! Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

85 Responses to Cooler Late Week, Then Warmer; Dry Summer Pattern Here To Stay

  1. Paul D says:

    I’m calling a forecast bust today! Looks like PDX is topping out at 75.

    No complaints from me!

  2. Weatherdan says:

    78 and partly cloudy so far today. Has been partly cloudy all day long but far more sun than just an hour ago. Should top off at 80 or so. This would be the 36th consecutive day at or above 80. Over the next 16 days at least 10 look to be in the lower 90,s. If this verifies it would give Salem 31 days of at least 90. Our all time record is 38 back in 2017. Today is also our 36th consecutive day without measurable precipitation. Our record is 90 days set back in 2018. Peace

  3. Roland Derksen says:

    I have a copy (an old one from 1976) of ‘Dictionary of Geological Terms” prepared by the American Geological institute. They have an intresting definition of what constitutes a drought;
    1. An absolute drought is a period of at least 15 days where none of them has 0.254 mm. (that’s 0.01 inches) or more.
    2. A partial drought is a period of at least 29 consecutuve days where the mean daily rainfall does not exceed 0.254 mm.
    3. A dry spell is a period of at least 15 consecutive days where no day has more than 1.016 mm.(0.04 inches) or more.
    If that;s not up to date anymore, let me know.

  4. Paul D says:

    Major marine layer today!! Hoping for a BIG forecast bust!! Below 80 would be heavenly.

  5. Zach says:

    First time in quite a while that the GFS is actually playing with some real precip towards the end of the run. Granted it most likely won’t happen at all, but interesting none the less.

    • tim says:

      Climatology the last week of July and first week of August is the dryest time of year ,odd the models would show rain.

      • W7ENK says:

        Monsoonal thunderstorms that slide up the Valley off the Western slopes of the Cascades aren’t really that unusual (or “odd”) this time of year…

        • tim says:

          Yes, monsoon thunderstorms are more likely this time of year then systems coming in from the Pacific is what I’m referring too but in general that is the dryest time of year.

    • tim says:

      The 12z gfs removed the rain at the end of the run.

  6. Weatherdan says:

    87 at 3:25PM. Should hit about 91 today. Our 10th day at or above 90 in July, and our 21st this Summer. More than half have only reached the low 90,s. This is bearable. Next 16 days look to have quite a few more low 90,s. Oh well, to me the heat beats a rainy day in January any day of the week. Peace.

  7. tim says:

    Any see that are avg highs and lows are bumped up?, I think noaa update the info in May if I’m not mistaken.

    • tim says:

      I know we’re not supposed to talk about politics but I have family members that are blaming biden and democrats for the serve drought in the West and are saying if trump was president there wouldn’t be one, is that even possible or true?, sounds insane to me.

      • tim says:

        I’m sure Mr T will have something to say about that.

      • Anonymous says:

        Not possible and not true. It sounds insane because it is insane

      • Anonymous says:

        I’d say your family should move to North Korea where they can worship leaders (and I use that term loosely) as deities that can control the climate without fear of ridicule.

      • Roland Derksen says:

        Sounds oddly familiar to me: I can recall back in the late 60’s to early 70’s talk about the space program (the Apollo rocket missions going to the moon) being responsible for effecting the weather. When unexpected or unwanted changes happen, people will want to blame something (or someone) for it.

  8. tim says:

    It’s forecasted to be 82 today and people I know are complaining about it after that 108 in seattle in june, bunch of wimps.

    • Anonymous says:

      82 is more than pleasant, especially after the historic heatwave. I’ll happily take 80s now

  9. tim says:

    It wouldn’t be a summer without the warm blob in the central Pacific to keep us nice and balmy at night now would it.

    • Anonymous says:

      Are lows in the 50s balmy to you?

      • tim says:

        Upper 50’s for lows were I live and dew point around 60 is a bit balmy for me.

        • Anonymous says:

          Yeah, I can see how that would feel balmy! I prefer mid to low 50s at night this time of year

    • Andy says:

      The lows are going to be higher around Portland creating the urban heat island…down in my area {Albany} the lows have been pretty consistent around low to mid 50s.That is pretty normal for my area. The warmest lows down this way was during the heat wave.

  10. Weatherdan says:

    Bad as I suppose all these warmer Summers are for our world I will still take them over what we had in the Valley growing up. More rainy cloudy Summer days that remained in the 60,s. Or sunny days with the night time lows dropping to 40 degrees in July and August. Then again the weather will do it’s thing with or without my approval. Peace.

  11. Anonymous says:

    We definitely need some rain, so much.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Pete Parsons’ season outlook is calling for: above average temps/near average precipitation for August, near or slightly below temps/near or slightly above precip for September and slightly below temps/average precip for October.

  13. Weatherdan says:

    79 at 3:00PM on our way to 83. Was to have been cooler and cloudier today, but has been sunnier and warmer today.Next 16 days look sunny and warm. Know we need rain but I am enjoying the warm and sunny weather. So is my vegetable garden. Peace.

  14. Joshua Lake Oswego says:

    Driving into downtown early in the morning, I have noticed that almost every day the clouds magically begin right around downtown. Everywhere to the west, south, and southwest is as clear as a bell. To the north, east, northeast, and southeast is a wall of clouds.

    It is certainly not coincidental at this point. You can see what I’m talking about on the visible satellite. I would post a photo if I knew how.

    Anybody know why this is the case? It must have to do with the wind direction and topography. I don’t recall this consistent of a could gradient in previous summers.

    • Joshua Lake Oswego says:

      You can see what I’m talking about looking at a temperature map too. Low 50s on the west side and mid to upper 50s on the east side. Upper 40s and low 50s south of the Portland metro area and upper 50s in Vancouver and La Center.

    • Evan -- Cedar Mill says:

      Yes I am seeing that too.

    • W7ENK says:

      That’s weird, I’m not. I’m 8-1/2 miles to the South of Downtown, and I’ve been socked in solid with marine stratus every single morning this month (with the exception of 7/4 & 7/5) beginning at sunrise and lasting all the way until ~10am-Noon.

  15. tim says:

    Gavsweathervids on YouTube does a great job on monthly and seasonal outlook for UK and USA highly recommend please check him out.

  16. tim says:

    We’re being spoiled rotten with near normal temps in July which is unusual I suspect will make up for it in august with a blowtorch up our arse, were’s the summer heat?.

  17. snomanski says:

    Am I the only person who saw a bright meteor travel about 20 degrees left to right and then burn out dramatically in the southern sky last night about 1030?

  18. snomanski says:

    Just a question for all re Josh’s accusation that Tim is “trolling.” For our purposes on this here blogaroo, does trolling simply mean disagreement?

    • Joshua Lake Oswego says:

      No, it means trying to get a rise out of us Oregonians and SW Washingtonians. That’s his only purpose in posting here.

      • snomanski says:

        I reckon all you old vets know each others’ ways.

      • tim says:

        Again by saying what the models are showing. you must be a psychologist josh, it’s good to know there’s someone I can talk too.

    • Patrick B. says:

      No , I don’t think so.

  19. Roland Derksen says:

    Still a chance here for some light sprinkles of precipitation tomorrow- I doubt I’ll see anything, but who knows? Happy St.Swithin’s Day.

    • Roland Derksen says:

      I did get some light sprinkles here this morning- just enough to moisten the sidewalk. Recalling this day (July 17) back in 2001; It was the first of 7 straight rainy days in my hometown of Vancouver, BC. People were complaining- myself included!

  20. Zach says:

    And another gorgeous 00z GFS run last night.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Lots of 🔥 popping up. No relief in sight for at least the next 10 days but some of us know the soonest rain arrives is September and even then it’s not enough. Another year, another choker. It’s either this on the West Coast or hurricanes and flooding in the East. Pick your poison I guess

    • Paul D says:

      Not another smoke event! Get those replacement respirator cartridges ordered now!

  22. Weatherdan says:

    86 so far today. Low 80,s next two days then mid to high 80,s after that. So no 90,s for at least a week. Nights are comfortable as well. 55-60. For me this is perfect. The rain will come back this Fall. Then not stop for 5 or 6 months. So shine on. Peace

  23. tim says:

    Climate models are shifting the hot ridge that’s just to our east further west by august so enjoy the cool weather now before we heat up again.

    • Joshua Lake Oswego says:

      Eventually, you will probably be right, but not after being wrong over and over again. Just a couple of days ago you told us about the impending heatwave by the end of next week.

      I know you like to watch us Oregonians squirm about hot weather while you bask in endless perfect weather in your Cascade foothills dreamland in NW Washington, but nobody puts any stock into your la la land heatwave predictions.

      • tim says:

        I’m just saying what models were and are showing that doesn’t mean they are always right.

        • Joshua Lake Oswego says:

          Yes, but you only do so when they show heat or drought. You know you love to troll us. Nothing wrong with admitting it.

    • Anonymous says:

      I knew I could count on you to bring us news of yet another heat wave that most likely won’t materialize.

  24. Zach says:

    Todays 12z GFS run keeps us in mild temps for the remainder of July.

  25. Jason Hougak says:
    Great detective work Cliff Mass!

    • Anonymous says:

      Agree with what he said on the weather analysis. It was sloppy research and even sloppier media reporting.

      Scientists, in their professional roles, should never become advocates for politicized viewpoints or actions.

      This is rich though, considering Cliff’s increasingly aggressive political rants and constantly picking fights with the left-wing over the last two years.

      • Jake says:

        I really wish someone would challenge Prof. Mass to a debate’ about climate change.

        In the scientific field master degree students do research, most PhD scientists do not (such as Prof. Mass). In order to earn the PhD he had to do so. Don’t get me wrong, but once you reach tenure, you are reviewing and grading.

        Most such as Cliff Mass review the research of their masters students and go over other papers for lecture material.

        Most masters students, however, in research, after graduating go on to lead teams of bachelor degree employees at companies. They go into the workforce. The real world and provide insights, analysis and data outlook.

        People such as Cliff Mass with a PhD? Do not. They stay in academia and sometimes, like him, they refuse to see the truth with an agenda and bias because it is convenient to them.

        They don’t go to work for companies like Certified B Corporation, Ecosia, etc. His agenda of gathering likes and subscribers for being controversial pisses me off. I understand the move to stir the minds of his students; but he shouldn’t make it a celebrity case for himself in public.

        I’ve annexed him as an outlier in academic opinion and only look at his Winter analysis after seeing him do this crap for years. I wish I didn’t have too, his blog has become much like social media app networks. A mess.

        • Zach says:

          Well you haven’t provided any rebuttal to the points he made in that blog post, and seems as though he pointed out some valid criticisms of how irresponsible the media is at reporting the issue of global warming.

          It does appear that the “study” pushed by that international group of scientists was in fact very rushed and lacking in taking into account many factors related to the nuance of the PNW climate.

          Many say that Cliff Mass has an agenda, but I would argue that some of the IPCC scientists do as well, both ideologically and in a conflict of interest in getting funding for their profession.

          Don’t act as though Mass “denies” or doesn’t take global warming seriously. He just isn’t a disciple of Greta Thunberg nor does he accept the quasi-religious nature of environmentalism and how it has (in some instances) corrupted science with ideology.

        • Jake says:

          @Zach, no rebuttal to his post because I agree to his remarks on social media sensationalizing everything. They’ve done this for decades and it makes sense with only 4 corporations controlling all of them. I will not even go into how the CIA openly admitted to having agents working in all of them.

          What I have done, is put forward supporting documents, media toward supporting climate change as being a fact. Because it is a fact, and Professor Cliff Mass most certainly has an agenda. He is an author, blogger and podcaster apart from being a professor. To say he doesn’t have a fan base would be foolish on anyone’s part. Particularly if you enjoy his blog, as I do myself, to be frank.

          I own his book on PNW climate recommended to me actually from this blog when I first started posting here. I’m not coming from a vindictive standpoint. Only wanting to point out where flaws are in his argument because he’s largely avoiding debating in any serious fashion on the topic.

          Put another way, he’s entitled to his free speech but that’s all he’s doing. He’s not having open discourse with other scientists, not putting effort into a debate or even with going on another podcast to put forward his case in an interview.

          My point is people on here point to him for the reasoning to questioning climate change. Enough I say, everyone is biased in the climatology community to solutions and projections and every group needs the individual that plays the devil’s advocate perspective. Again, among scientists he is in the minority and that was before money came into green energy.

          Understand I don’t see climate change as necessarily negative as well. It means we’ve reached a dichotomy of finally reaching a power level that influences and controls the weather. But while at the same time meaning we must learn to do so responsibly and at the same time not allow corporations convince us that their old and “decried” machines that spew toxins should somehow be allowed to turn them a profit. That air is ours and the animals around us. Not their crap they try to sell us.

          Lastly, every person you meet should have pink lungs. That is healthy and a human right. Nobody does, because of air pollution we all have gray lungs. Second hand smoking outraged the public and was banned because it makes your lungs black.

      • Mr T says:

        Actually you got it backwards. Your all attacking him behind his back where he cannot defend himself and when he does you all get angry about it because it goes against your cushy world views.

        • Anonymous says:

          Cliff Mass curates the comments on his blog. They need pre-approval before they’re published unlike Mark’s blog, so this notion that you can freely post what you want on his platform and let him defend himself is bs. Maybe W7 is right about your meds

        • W7ENK says:

          Indeed, I don’t just make this stuff up.

          Without going into specific detail, Kyle is a documented and treated schizophrenic. But, as is common with most psychotropic drugs, dosage need to be continually monitored and adjusted. When Kyle starts to get out of whack — be it from a periodic change in brain chemistry requiring an adjustment, or simply having stopped with the meds altogether) Kyle’s first indication is that he comes to the weather blogs and dives headlong into these politically charged, conspiracy-laden rants.

          Having been a part of this blog for more than a decade now, I’ve seen his cycle many times, usually on order of every 6 to 9 months. Once his parents catch on and the necessary adjustments are made to his meds, Kyle typically disappears from these blogs until the next time things begin to slip, sometimes returning with a new alias, but frequently under one of his favored old ones (like Mr T). I usually find the new ones fairly easy to spot, as they all have a very recognizable tone, and typically run with one of a few familiar themes.

          Kyle (et. al.), I hope you understand that when I remind you to take your meds, I’m not picking on you or trying to be rude, I’m just concerned that you’re a bit off kilter and starting to spiral. No harm intended.

  26. JohnD says:

    Probably someone has posted similarly by now; but I see that Las Vegas recently tied—but did not break—their all time high @ 117’. The desert SW temps have blessedly backed off a bit in the last day or two.

  27. Zach says:

    LMAO weren’t they saying it could be 90 today a few days ago? Unlikely we will even hit 85…

    • Zach says:

      Seems like everyone underestimates the marine layer we have been having most AMs. It always seems to linger longer than predicted.

    • Anonymous says:

      Don’t forget the constant comments about how our next massive heatwave is incoming despite models showing mid-80s as the highs.

      • Zach says:

        Yup. This onshore flow is relentless and I’m not complaining. Granted it is wreaking havoc with the wildfires on the east side of the cascades.

  28. Weatherdan says:

    Record longest dry spell in Salem is 90 consecutive days set in 2018. 83 at 2.30PM, on our way to 90. 9th this month, and 20th so far this Summer. Virtually no morning low clouds this Summer. Everything is so dry a lone spark could be deadly. No rain in sight either. Well there will plenty of moaning about the rain by November. Peace.

  29. Roland Derksen says:

    It’s been 28 days since my last rainfall- that’s nowhere near the record for my location, but the sustained higher than normal temperatures make it seem longer than that.

    • K says:

      That certainly looks like a VERY reputable site full of decently unbiased scientific studies and hypotheses…

    • Opie says:

      A bit of misdirection supported by the Electroverse article:

      The folks who run the satellite database just moved the 30 year baseline forward by a decade. Originally 1981 – 2010, now 1991 – 2020.

      Going forward with the same trick –
      regardless of how much warming over the next 80 years, still very plausible for a monthly departure to be negative compared to a 2071 – 2100 average.

    • Anonymous says:

      Written by Cap Allon. A face-less author with zero credentials. Yeah let’s trust some internet rando that doesn’t even have an identity over thousands of certified scientists that bet their life on what they publish. Logic is not that hard people, you just need to put in some effort…

    • Opie says:

      I at least agree with the part about the media bias. The South America cold snap was remarkable, but little if any coverage from the major news sources.

      Read about it here:

  30. W7ENK says:

    My lord, Mark’s reporting from the future!

    Quick, tell us what last night’s MegaMillions numbers were!!

  31. Anonymous says:

    Did I miss a day, I thought it was Monday?

  32. Roman D says:

    Thank you Mark great explanation and summary. Very nice summer days for sure just phenomenal weather after that heat wave. Would love a good T-Storm with soaking rain but those are rare as diamonds here in the valley summer.

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