A scorcher; Portland hits 100 degrees for the 5th time this year

7:45pm Tuesday…

What a scorcher today! At the last moment (6pm) Portland International Airport made it to 100 degrees.

Notice Portland is slightly hotter than surrounding cities. But Scappoose and Troutdale (also official metro stations) did make it to 99. 100 degree temperatures reached through the Gorge too. Dodson, Bonneville, and east to The Dalles hit the century mark. The official Hood River station is up in the lower valley…a bit cooler than at river level. It’s also surprising that PDX made it to 100 with very light easterly (offshore) flow that never surfaced within the metro area.

This is the 5th time we hit 100 in Portland this summer. That has only happened 3 other times, most recently last year

Today is also the LATEST 100 degree reading since 1998. Hitting 100 at PDX is quite rare after mid-August. Back in 2016 we had two back to back days on the 19th and 20th. We haven’t seen a 100 degree day after August 20th since 1988

Hot Stats

Yes, Portland DOES see more 100 degree days than in the past. Although up until these past two years the trend wasn’t as clear over the last 50 years. Yes, 100 degree temperatures were VERY rare from the 1800s through the 1920s. But then from the 1970s to 2020 they became more common, but seemed to have “leveled out”. But now in just these first two years of the 2020s we’ve picked up 10 days at/above 100.

This really puts the icing on the cake for the month of August. For many of us, this is the warmest/hottest August and/or month on record. That includes: Portland, Astoria, & Redmond. Salem will probably end up as #2 warmest month on record; those records go back to the late 1800s! It’s the 4th hottest month in Pendleton. Regardless of exact placement…it’s been a blazing hot August inland from the beaches

Alright, that’s a lot of numbers. What’s ahead? A slight cooldown the rest of this workweek, then mainly 80s for Labor Day weekend. A strong ridge of hot high pressure is centered just to our east

The ridge slips just slightly east tomorrow and Thursday, giving us just some slight marine air cooling. On Friday, an upper-level system slides by, “denting” the hot ridge. That COULD give us significant morning clouds either day and highs well down into the 80s.

Then the ridge pops up behind that system again for the big holiday weekend. Sunday’s forecast of 500mb heights shows hottest air is east of us, but it’s still warmer than normal

Finally, sometime early-mid next week the ridge should flatten a bit, pushing temperatures down to more normal values…70s or lower 80s

Still, this is generally a dry pattern. In fact as of today, the 56 consecutive days without measurable rain is the 4th longest streak on record in Portland.

Portland Dry Spells

Summary

  • Tomorrow will not be as extreme as today…closer to 90 degrees in Portland metro area
  • Temperatures remain above normal through the first few days of September
  • There’s no sign of a soaking rain, or even cool/showery weather, in the next 10 days

That’s it for now, try to stay comfortable with a very warm night ahead!

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

67 Responses to A scorcher; Portland hits 100 degrees for the 5th time this year

  1. Ken in Wood Village says:

    Looks like PGE and Pacific Power could be turning off power during this upcoming wind event.

    Here is a link for the affected areas if they decide to shut off the power.

    https://www.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=8f2f6c2dc794415c87a87d4ce977fe92

  2. runrain says:

    The weather app on my iphone shows Redding, CA at 106° with DRIZZLE!!

  3. Roland Derksen says:

    We had 0.19 inches of rainfall here on Sunday, so there’s no chance of a new record dry spell for us. but we’ve been back to sunny skies for the past couple of days, and could see temperatures well into the 80’s by week’s end. I’m beginning to wonder if this September will be like the ones we had in the 90’s. (i.e. 1999,1998, 1995, 1993, 1991, 1990)

  4. JohnD says:

    Very, very impressive that we may set a new dry streak record!
    Obviously not from the moisture starved region standpoint.
    But so incredible—in and of themselves—when ALL TIME records are set!
    We keep saying that, in recent years!

  5. Snomanski says:

    I think we have a good shot at smashing the all-time skein of rainless days. We only need 8 more. Whoopee!

    • Joshua Lake Oswego says:

      I was just going to post that. Looks boooooone dry indefinitely. Really, really discouraging.

      • Bethany250ft says:

        And we’re going to have a decently strong east wind event on Friday/Saturday. I’m really hoping we can avoid major fires starting and spreading.

        • Snomanski says:

          I’m hoping PGE cuts the power up toward Mt. Hood. I don’t want my little cabin to turn to toast.

  6. Bethany250ft says:

    This weekend looks like it could bring some decently strong east winds. Not good for fires.

  7. Opie says:

    Some reassuring trivia (PDX):
    September to October boasts the biggest monthly change in average highs: – 12.3 F
    October to November is the next biggest: – 11.0 F

    Maybe this is why fall is my favorite season?

  8. Bethany250ft says:

    If the GFS is right then we’re not done with 100 degree temps.

  9. Bethany250ft says:

    I’m pretty sure it’s because the mesowest page takes the temperature recorded, and then converts it to the nearest degree Celsius. Then they round it to Fahrenheit on that page so it might say 90 but not actually be.
    Like if the actual temp at 4:30 was 89.1 degrees, converted to the nearest degree Celsius would be 32 and if you convert that back to Fahrenheit it would show 89.6 which would round to 90 I think.
    If this is wrong someone correct me though.

    • JohnD says:

      Thank you. Your analysis definitely sounds reasonable,
      A bit frustrating when viewing face value F temp statistics.

  10. JohnD says:

    I don’t understand how on the official—frequently updated—PDX NWS NOAA site, we hit 90’ at several points yesterday.
    Yet the “official” high temperature was only 89’.
    I’ve observed similarly many times.
    Does have thoughts about this?

  11. Bethany250ft says:

    July/August 2022:

  12. Joshua Lake Oswego says:

    Congrats, everybody. We hit 90 again. It d*mn well better be the last time until at least next June.

  13. Opie says:

    From a NOAA website –
    Portland has set 16 daily high records over the past 20 months, compared to just two daily lows.
    (Does not include highest lows or lowest highs)

    • Opie says:

      The website I referenced bundles observations from a location in downtown Portland (1875 – 1938) with observations at the airport (1939 – 2022). Not best practice but, OTOH, it’s an attempt to increase the period of record.

      NOAA would also get criticized If, for example, they excluded “dust bowl” temperature records because the station changes.

  14. Joshua Lake Oswego says:

    38 out of the last 40 days have been warmer than average. How is that even possible?

    • Tanis Leach says:

      In all fairness, 2019 had 36 days below average in a row.

      • Bethany250ft says:

        That was a kind of frustrating month here, with models showing multiple snowstorms but I only ended up with around 4″ of snow total.

        Unrelated but I think you’re the expert when it comes to Arctic blasts and I had a question, looking at this upper air map from NOAA for 00z 2/23/2022, it looks like the -12c line is right over Portland. Does that mean that for Portland and places farther north, February 2022 was an Arctic blast? Or does it have to be from the Salem sounding?

        • Tanis Leach says:

          Context: I use the Mark Nelsen definition with the 12°C (the other criteria are my own based on that baseline). It must be the Salem sounding, since its direct measurement vs Satellite estimations.

        • Bethany250ft says:

          Oh okay, that makes sense, thanks for answering. It did surprise me that the 850mb temp of -10.1 in Feb 2022 was colder than anything in December 2008, February 2011, February 2014 and the air mass in early January 2017. December 2016 was the same at -10.1 and February 2018 was -10.5 I think.

        • Bethany250ft says:

          I feel like we got kind of unlucky with the surface temps at PDX though, the wind wouldn’t let up on the coldest night and on the 22nd we had a midnight high of 38 because the cold air took a bit longer to arrive I think.

        • Opie says:

          In any case, drawing a sharp line between an Arctic blast or not, a heat wave or not, is really goofy.

      • Joshua Lake Oswego says:

        Wow. I didn’t know that. Even harder to believe that. A long streak of below average in the summer seems impossible at this point.

      • Opie says:

        Sorry if that sounded rude or overly critical. My point is that I think some terms are inherently subjective, in which case it doesn’t make sense to create a firm definition.

        • Bethany250ft says:

          I personally think that a firm definition is good in order to track arctic blasts, so that the term isn’t just used for any cold wave in the NW, and I feel like the -12c over Salem is reasonable enough to mostly gauge whether it was a regionwide event. However I do agree that 850mb temperatures to define an Arctic blast can be misleading sometimes as the 14/8 day PDX during the December 1968 event didn’t have 850mb temps below -12c surprisingly.

        • Opie says:

          I think most meteorologists/climate scientists would agree with you, but here’s a counter argument…

          let’s say you wanted to track how many wealthy people live in a particular area, so you come up with a firm definition for the term, “a person with a net worth of a million dollars or more is to be considered wealthy.” But then it follows that someone with a net worth of $999,000, a single dollar short, is to be considered not wealthy. Nutty, because in reality there is a spectrum between rich and poor rather than an arbitrary cutoff line.

          Same problem with the firm ENSO definitions,

          “ENSO is a spectrum yet we try to stuff it into a box with a positive and negative phase”
          – Mike Ventrice

        • Opie says:

          Whoops, meant to write $999,999

        • Bethany250ft says:

          That’s a completely valid point too. I feel like some sort of scale or classification in order to compare and contrast different events would be helpful, but as you said an arbitrary cutoff for what is or isn’t an Arctic blast can cause problems.
          Maybe the best solution would be to have some sort of a spectrum for cold waves based on many factors? I’m by no means an expert on the multitude of elements that you can rank a cold wave by but potentially some sort of system based on observations around the region instead of one station? The problem with that would be situations like December 2021 when it might be a severe arctic blast north of Olympia but just a pretty average wintertime cold wave south of that. On the other hand, if you just use one station, maybe a breeze or localized cloud cover could keep nighttime temps up, neutering the severity of the arctic blast on a scale.

        • Tanis Leach says:

          Your point is taken and did not sound overly critical. I actually agree that there is no clear line, and 0.1°F is so miniscule in effects, however the public doesn’t see it that way. If I could just call any reasonable event an arctic blast or heat wave, I would.

        • Bethany250ft says:

          I like the definition you came up with for minor/major/regionwide if there’s a set criteria for what is/isn’t an arctic blast, I think it makes sense.

        • Opie says:

          @Bethany, Tanis
          Thanks for the interesting comments.

  15. Opie says:

    Today was probably, hopefully, the last 90 degree day for the next 8 or 9 months!

    • Paul D says:

      I can almost guarantee no 90 degree days for the next ten days because I’ll be out of town 🙂

  16. Oasis says:

    The heat,warmth,the long term warmth/ heat the earth dies to Tim’s beliefs

  17. Oasis says:

    Tim I hate you!

  18. Tanis Leach says:

    PDX running -12 compared to yesterday. Not positive it will get into the 90s, but still possible.

    Also no August Tropical Storms for only the 2nd time in the satellite Era (since 1966) so our area isn’t the only one seeing unusual weather

  19. tim says:

    New Goes 18 preliminary is available on NOAA and cod nextlab website’s for anybody interested.

  20. tim says:

    The gfs is having a hard time it’s too aggressive with the pattern change to cooler/wetter were as the euro has more ridgeing aka accurate. It’s not often I agree with the euro but this time I do the gfs always breaks down the western ridge too soon.

  21. Roland Derksen says:

    I do recall September 1988- we didn’t reach 100F up here then, but we were about 92F , which is about the warmest I ever want to see it in that month.

  22. tim says:

    12z gfs is showing a series of troughs moving through but models have the tendency to break down the ridgeing to soon,well see.

  23. Bethany250ft says:

    Why is only the link to the other page showing up?

  24. OC550 says:

    So long August. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

  25. MasterNate says:

    I believe its Tuesday, not Wednesday.

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