Summer 2022 dry spell arrives, plus a brief heat wave this weekend

10pm Tuesday…

What a change today! On the summer solstice we popped up to 83 degrees this afternoon in Portland. That’s the warmest day of the year so far.

It’s so hard to believe we had only seen ONE 80 degree day this season, back on June 2nd

Now it appears the threat for significant rain is mainly gone for the next 10+ days. Just a quick glance at the next 15 days from both the ECMWF and GFS model ensembles shows less than .20″ rain from both

This is because the endless string of cool upper-level lows dipping down into the Pacific Northwest seems to have “dried up”. These are the disturbances that bring us showers, clouds, and cooler than normal temperatures. It isn’t too unusual to see the “rain faucet” suddenly turn off. I can think of many years in which we’ve gone from regular showers to totally dry. Some years it happens in early-mid June, other years not until early July. I’d say the timing is just about average this year. Soon the complaints about a cool/wet spring will be forgotten…until next spring. 

To summarize:

  • There is no sign of a soaking rain the next 10+ days
  • Unless we get a sprinkle out of the low clouds tomorrow morning, the next chance for measurable rain isn’t until next Tuesday or Wednesday
  • Get ready to start watering those yards and gardens…for the first time this year.
  • We have entered the warmest/driest time of the year in the Pacific Northwest.  It’s time to hit the rivers, mountain lakes, Gorge, & Coast. Time for hiking, camping, bicycling and anything else you wait all fall/winter/spring for…

A weak system IS passing by to our north in Canada tomorrow.

But it only pushes in morning clouds the next two days, plus cooler temps. After that we expect a strong upper-level ridge to build over the western USA. This is THE FIRST TIME we’ve seen this setup all spring and early summer!

Did you notice that we’ve had very few totally sunny days? That’s due to the lack of strong ridging; we’ve only seen brief breaks between organized weather systems and those breaks don’t tend to give us totally sunny days.


It’s been well-advertised (as all heat waves are around here) that we’ve got some hot weather coming this weekend. A combination of that warm ridge overhead, sunshine, and easterly (offshore) wind flow should make temperatures skyrocket. Temperatures up around 5,000′ (850 millibar level) are forecast up in the +21 to +23 range Saturday afternoon through Monday. Each model is slightly different, but their ensemble averages are generally +20 Saturday, +21 Sunday, and +18-19 Monday. That puts high temperatures between 90 and 100 degrees all three days. Heat waves are FAR easier to forecast than any other extreme weather in our area.  In fact I can’t remember screwing up a heat wave forecast in the past 25 years.  Sure maybe a 100 degree day became a 90 degree day because of high clouds. The easy forecasting is because we’re talking sunny skies. and it’s just a matter of HOW HOT IS IT GOING TO GET? And when all models agree, it’s pretty simple. Notice we don’t expect any records to be set this weekend because we saw a similar heat wave back in June 2017, then of course that all-time record heat last year

I don’t see a very humid heat wave this time around, and that should allow overnight temperatures to drop down to at least 65 degrees at night in the urban areas, cooler elsewhere.

That’s it for now…get your air conditioners ready!

12 Responses to Summer 2022 dry spell arrives, plus a brief heat wave this weekend

  1. Roland Derksen says:

    A year ago, the last 7 days of June 2021 here had a mean temperature of 82F- never saw anything close to that before in my life. And the town of Lytton in the Fraser Valley recorded the highest temperature of any location in the world at 50N latitude. (121F). no wonder the town burnt up! They ‘re still trying to clean up today.

    • OC550 says:

      One of the most remarkable (in a bad way) weather events I’ve witnessed. Blowing the all-time record high temp in PDX by 9 degrees is still hard to fathom. I hope to never experience extreme temperatures like that again. It’s interesting to go back and look at the blog during that stretch.

      • OC550 says:

        Reading through the blog on the days leading up to the heatwave last year, you can feel the astonishment by Mark looking at the weather models. He wrote on the Wednesday before, “It’s hard to believe that would hold with those extreme temps Sunday/Monday, it’s not going to be HOTTER than 110 or 114.” Incredibly, the temps turned out to do just that and end up at 112 and 116 on those days respectively. Amazing! Hopefully never again.

  2. tim says:

    Seattle’s first 80 and 90 this weekend it’s about time I’m expecting countless days in the 80s and 90s this summer we deserve it.

  3. West Linn 200 says:

    I brought this up back when people were excited to have such a lengthy wet season, but if we get minimal or no rain from this point on, we’re going to be in serious trouble come hellfire month.

    • Zach says:

      There will definitely be more tall grasses that could burn. On the flip side though, fire season will likely be 1-1.5 months shorter than last year. Unless we get a really warm/dry September and October.

  4. Roland Derksen says:

    A few very light drizzly showers yesterday afternoon, and that appears the last measurable precipitation for the month. June 2022 will end up having a near normal amount total for the month.

  5. Scott Reeves says:

    Home Depot get ready for all the idiots who have waited and just now feel it’s time to get that AC unit

    • Paul D says:

      You’d think after last June’s historic heat wave they’d have A/C, but some people never learn….

  6. JERAT416 says:

    Ahhhh the classic first heat wave; at least it’s nothing like last year. Enjoy summer everyone!

  7. tim says:

    A classic hot summer on the way and mark even knows it.

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