It’s The Hottest Summer Ever Recorded In Portland

August 31, 2015

You just survived the hottest summer (by far) we’ve seen here in Portland.  The numbers:

BMAC Summer Wrap

BMAC Summer Wrap2

Here is one more graphic NWS just put on their Facebook page…looks like you folks in Salem and Eugene saw your hottest too!

Capture

We’ve only got a few hours left in our…

11951495_713132288830384_136979736679658633_o

Of course we still get lots of warm weather most Septembers, just like we still get some winter weather in March (most years), but the heat of summer is gone now and this year the timing of the weather change is just about perfect.

By the way, the 1st, 2nd, 3rd in the first graphic refer to June as the hottest June on record, July is 2nd hottest, and August was 3rd warmest.

In about 10 days we should get the official NCDC stats for the entire USA.   It’ll be interesting to see how much of Oregon/Washington was in record territory for the summer.

The ECMWF weekly maps came out this afternoon and seem to show the same thing they have for a week or so…that after 7-10 days of this cooler weather, we go back into ridging and warmer weather again for a couple of weeks.  That should be a nice wrap-up to summer with more comfortable mid-September “heat”.  I doubt we’ve seen our last 90.  But if we’re lucky we’ve seen our last 95!

Week1

500za_week1_bg_NA

Week2

500za_week2_bg_NA

Week3

500za_week3_bg_NA

Week4

500za_week4_bg_NA

One more note, it appears we set (or tied) 8 record highs, 9 (warm) record lows, and of course a new record for days above 90 degrees.

Mark_SummerWrapEarly

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen


Storm Wrapping Up: 40mph Gusts In Valley and 70-90 Coastal Mountains

August 29, 2015

11:45am…

Highest gust in our viewing area was 90 mph on Meares Hill (around 1400′) just west of Tillamook.  Is it really August?  This is crazy to see gusts 40+ all over the place here in the valleys in late August.

Updated numbers…increased speeds this hour are in bold.

COAST

  • Cape Disappointment 61 70
  • Astoria 45  62
  • Cannon Beach 60
  • Garibaldi 61  74
  • Tillamook 38 46 48
  • Oceanside 77
  • Pacific City 65 68
  • Lincoln City 52
  • Gleneden Beach 53  56
  • Newport 58
  • Waldport 59
  • Yachats 56

COASTAL HILLS & OTHER MTNS (1,000’+)

  • Naselle Ridge (SW WA) 85
  • Megler Hill (SW WA) 78
  • Meares Hill 90
  • Mt. Hebo 76
  • Rockhouse RAWS 59
  • 3 Corner Rock (Gorge) 68

METRO AREA

  • Portland Airport 37 41 43 at 11:08am (39 mph was previous all-time August gust)
  • Troutdale 35  36 38 44
  • Corbett 34 43
  • Scappoose 30 33
  • Ridgefield 37 41
  • Vancouver 25 37
  • Forest Grove 31  36 38
  • Hillsboro 35 39
  • McMinnville 32 35 38
  • Aurora 32 45
  • Scotts Mills 36 40
  • Estacada 35 38
  • Salem 35  36 39
  • Happy Valley 33  39
  • Chehalem Mtn 48

For the weather geeks like me, a few thoughts for future forecasting:

  • Peak pressure gradients were around 9 millibars EUG-OLM, 10.0 OTH-AST, & 18.3 OTH-UIL.  That last one is very strong even in mid winter!
  • Lowest pressure of the low center appeared to be around 986 millibars, a bit stronger than models (even mesoscale models) forecast.
  • 12 hour forecast from GFS & ECMWF seemed to be a bit too far offshore and a little weak too.  Low came onshore just north of Forks, or at least just passed over the extreme NW tip of Washington.  Mesoscale models were better on placement on depth.  Surprisingly, even the NAM did pretty well.
  • For a storm that was totally out of season, models and forecasts turned out really well!
  • PGE says 27,000 were out of power at the height at the peak of the wind.
  • It was an unusually long recovery period power-wise.  Some folks didn’t get power back for 36+ hours.  Not sure if that was due to lack of manpower or too many small outages slowing things down?

10am: All-Time August Wind Gust At PDX

August 29, 2015

PDX just had a gust to 41 mph at 9:52am, the strongest ever recorded in the month of August.  I see about 150 power outages in PGE territory.  Actual number of customers out isn’t very high (just a few thousand), but lots of small outages

Updated numbers…increased speeds this hour are in bold.

  • Cape Disappointment 61 70
  • Astoria 45  62
  • Cannon Beach 60
  • Garibaldi 61  74
  • Tillamook 38 46
  • Oceanside 77
  • Pacific City 65 68
  • Lincoln City 52
  • Gleneden Beach 53  56
  • Newport 58
  • Waldport 59
  • Yachats 56

Wind gusts now right where we have been expecting in the metro area:

  • Portland 37 41 (39 mph is all-time August peak wind gust)
  • Troutdale 35  36 38
  • Corbett 34
  • Scappoose 30 33
  • Ridgefield 37 41
  • Vancouver 25
  • Forest Grove 31  36 38
  • Hillsboro 35
  • McMinnville 32 35
  • Aurora 32 45
  • Scotts Mills 36
  • Estacada 35
  • Salem 35  36 39
  • Happy Valley 33  39
  • Chehalem Mtn 48

Here’s a pic of a 77 mph Maximum anemometer peak gust at Oceanside.  Thanks to Adella MacDonald

11893729_952659144792972_7736405694998475294_o (1)


9am Update: Ramping Up in Metro Area

August 29, 2015

Strongest wind gust on the coast is 74 mph at Barview Jetty CG station near Garibaldi.  Speeds have picked up in the valleys over the past hour, and a few stronger gusts along the northern coast of Oregon too.

  • Cape Disappointment 61
  • Astoria 45  62
  • Cannon Beach 60
  • Garibaldi 61  74
  • Tillamook 38
  • Pacific City 65
  • Lincoln City 52
  • Gleneden Beach 53  56
  • Newport 58
  • Waldport 59
  • Yachats 56

Wind gusts now close to the speeds we have been expecting in the metro area:

  • Portland 37  (39 mph is all-time August peak wind gust)
  • Troutdale 35  36
  • Scappoose 30
  • Ridgefield 37
  • Vancouver 25
  • Forest Grove 31  36
  • Hillsboro 35
  • McMinnville 32
  • Aurora 32
  • Scotts Mills 36
  • Estacada 35
  • Salem 35  36
  • Happy Valley 33  39
  • Chehalem Mtn 48

We should be near the peak wind now; definitely after 10am the speeds should drop off in all locations as the low zooms off to the northeast.

Fire News This Morning:

A decent part of the city of Prairie City (just east of John Day) has been evacuated due to the Canyon Creek Complex surging down the north slopes of the Strawberry Mountains.  I see wind gusts over 50 mph right now over there from the south.  Not a good situation with no rain to help out.  You can see a nice progression map of the fire over the past few days:

2015_08_29-08.34.28.976-CDT

And the latest on the incident http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/article/4495/28442/

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

 


8:15 am Saturday: Storm Arriving

August 29, 2015

This storm has not disappointed along the coast…note the peak wind gusts as of 8am.  Many of these just occurred so we might see a few go a bit higher.  I see the HTC Relay folks moved the finish line off the beach as tents/equipment started moving around:

  • Astoria 45
  • Cannon Beach 60
  • Garibaldi 61
  • Pacific City 65
  • Lincoln City 52
  • Gleneden Beach 53
  • Newport 58
  • Yachats 56

Inland, where we have been expecting wind gusts 35-45 mph, wind is just getting going.

  • Forest Grove 31
  • Aurora 32
  • Salem 35
  • Happy Valley 33
  • Chehalem Mtn 48

Those are strong wind gusts for August!

Check out the satellite image from earlier this morning, a heck of surface low:

and the Ocean Shores radar shows the low moving quickly up the coastline.  Appears to already be west of Long Beach.

codnexlab.NEXRAD.LGX.N0Q.20150829.1520.012ani

I have to admit, I like having a wind event (or storm) with some sunshine and temperatures in the 70s.  You can clean up the yard in shorts and t-shirt afterwards!

A few of the overnight showers contained lightning.  I woke up to a couple flashes (but no thunder) and I see 2-3 strikes in the metro area.  Must have been quite a bit of cloud-to-cloud action since some of you say you saw lots of flashes:

lightning3

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen


10pm Update: Storm Arrival Speeds Up a Bit

August 28, 2015

Batten down the hatches (as they say) along the coastline.  The strongest storm I’ve ever seen in the summer is still developing this evening and will be just offshore Tillamook/Astoria by sunrise.  At that point winds will ramp up rapidly.

What’s new this evening?

  1. GFS model (not always a stellar performer) has the low slightly farther offshore.  That would imply lighter wind than what I forecast in the previous post.
  2. Other models (WRF-GFS, RPM, HRRR, & NAM)are deeper (stronger) and closer with the low pressure center skimming by just offshore Astoria.  These show a huge windstorm for August along the central/north coast by 8-10am.
  3. NWS in their evening discussion notes the central pressure is a bit deeper than expected so far…that’s not good if you want to avoid a big windstorm.
  4. All are a bit faster on the low movement.  Strong wind arrives at the beaches by 7-8am and shortly after in the valleys.

Here is the 00z RPM

RPM_12KM_Wind_NWOR_Strong

and HRRR:

HRRR_WindGusts

So the forecast stays the same, although I did bump up north coast wind speeds.  Gusts 65-75 mph Pacific City to Long Beach.  I would strongly suggest getting any object that isn’t permanently embedded in concrete off the beach tonight.

If the stronger solutions are correct and we get gusts in the 40-50 mph range in the metro area, there is going to be quite a bit of damage.  We’ll hope it says in the 35-40 mph range.

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen


Rare August Storm On the Way Saturday Morning

August 28, 2015

4pm Friday…

A storm is developing as expected off the Northern California coastline and will sweep northward off the Oregon and Washington coast tomorrow morning.  This setup appears to be just about unprecedented in our area at this time of year.  I could only find one example back in 1972.  Mid-August that year a sudden windstorm arrived with very little warning along the Oregon/California border.  Southerly wind gusts in the 60+ mph range sunk many boats and 12 fishermen died.  Luckily nowadays we have much better satellite/radar and numerical modeling of storms.  Yet, this may be the one “out of season” storm we talk about for years to come.  We’ll see.

The Latest Highlights

High Wind Warning on the Oregon and southern Washington coast for Saturday morning:

MarkWarnings_Wind_Coast_Valleys2

Wind Advisory for the Willamette Valley and lowlands of SW Washington for Saturday morning”

MarkWarnings_Wind_Coast_Valleys

Expect the wind to arrive in Salem/Portland sometime between 8am-10am.  Note those peak gusts…I’ve never seen/forecast gusts over 30mph at the beaches in August!  I can’t believe Hood-To-Coast relay has all those tents/tables set up along with a very high stage/backdrop too out in Seaside right now.  If our forecasts are correct, I can see quite a bit of damage tomorrow morning out there when gusts 50+ arrive.  I’m also concerned for the safety of runners moving through the North Coast Range after 8am.   Many of those roads have trees overhead and even just a breeze and rain combined can bring down an old alder tree.  We haven’t seen a gusty south wind since March.  Be careful out there!

Meteorological thoughts…

There is still a chance we don’t get gusts over 50 at the coast and over 30 in the valleys…models could still back off with the last runs this evening.  That said, satellite imagery sure looks impressive off the California coastline.

I did notice on this morning’s runs the ECMWF has the low tracking slightly farther offshore, which could help to reduce the wind in the valleys.  Yet this time of year the airmass is well mixed so stronger wind above will surface easily, counteracting weakness in pressure gradient or low location.

12z WRF/NAM/RPM all show a closed (or mainly closed) low coming right up against the Washington coastline by midday, around 990-993 millibars.  They all indicate gusts 60-75 mph at the coast.  Hard to believe that will happen in August, but we sure wouldn’t argue with that modeling in winter.

We’ll see what the 00z models show.

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen


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