Weather

Pacific Northwest Heatwave Likely

 

Steve Pierce weather blog update mug

The Pacific Northwest is going to feel the heat for the next week as mother nature opens up the oven door in what has the potential to be the longest stretch of hot weather in several years. Models are coming into agreement today that a strong ridge of high pressure will build across the region Friday and hold through most of next week. Low level winds at the surface will switch from onshore to offshore beginning on Friday. This coupled with a strong ridge of high pressure at the upper levels of the atmosphere will allow the heat to build over the weekend and last into next week. There is also the potential for some moisture over the weekend which could trigger thunderstorms over the Cascades and eastside. Most residents consider three or more days at or above 90 degrees in Portland as the benchmark for a Pacific Northwest heat wave. At the present time, forecast models are indicating the potential for as many as 5-6 consecutive days at or above 90 degrees between Friday and next Wednesday. Although models are still finalizing the exact details of the upcoming heat wave, it will most certainly be the hottest weather of the summer so far. Depending on the exact location of the building ridge of high pressure, we may have the potential for seeing temperatures reaching 100 degrees in Portland.

For historical perspective, Portland averages approximately 12 days at or above 90 degrees each year. So far this year, Portland has reached 90 degrees or higher twice. In 2009 Portland met or exceeded 90 degrees 24 times, setting a new record for number of 90 degree or higher days in a given year. In July and early August of that year Portland reached or exceeded 90 degrees 10 “consecutive” days in a row with three of those days at or above 100 degrees. During that heat wave Portland fell one degree short of its all-time high temperature of 107 degrees set in August of 1981. Vancouver, Washington set its all-time record high of 108 during that heat wave. Records in Vancouver date back approximately 125 years. The upcoming heat wave does not appear to be as hot as the 2009 heat wave, but will most likely be noted for its duration. Overnight low temperatures will also remain quite warm which will make it uncomfortable for those without air conditioning. Utilities will also see power demands increase as the heat sets in.

Stay tuned!

Steve Pierce
Columbian Newspaper Weather Blogger
Owner, Northwest Weather Consultants (NWC)
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/northwestweatherconsultants
Website: http://www.piercevideo.com/weather.shtml
E-mail: stevejpierce@comcast.net
Phone: 503-504-2075

 

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Steve Pierce

Steve Pierce is widely known as Oregon and Washington's "go-to-guy" when it comes to fast, accurate historical meteorological research and forecasts. Steve is currently the President of the Oregon Chapter of the American Meteorological Society (AMS). Steve is also recognized as a regional weather commentator and blogger who can be heard on local radio stations and seen in print media outlets across the Pacific Northwest. His Weather Blog is hosted by the Columbian Newspaper in Vancouver. Check it out! He is a third generation resident of Vancouver, Washington and holds a degree in Communications. Both sets of Steve's grandparents migrated to Vancouver during World War II. One set traveled from Lenox, Iowa to work in the Kaiser Shipyards supporting the war effort. The other set came to Vancouver from Olympia, Washington to work as educators for the rapidly expanding Vancouver School District. When the war was over, both sets of grandparents decided to stay in Vancouver and continue raising their families, as did thousands of other families at the time. Those who are most familiar with Steve can attest to the fact that weather is his true passion. His love for "all things weather" began at the age of 7 when Mt. St. Helens erupted in 1980. He was fascinated with which direction the ash plumes were headed. Then came the very powerful windstorm of Friday, November 13, 1981, also referred to as the "Friday the 13th" storm. This was the strongest storm to hit the Portland / Vancouver area since the great Columbus Day Storm of 1962! At age 11, he was asked to publish an extended weather forecast for his elementary school's weekly newsletter. In the 1980's, at age 14, Steve was the youngest of KGW-TV's local "weather watchers" and would phone in his daily Vancouver weather stats to then television meteorologist Jim Little for use on-air. Steve has lived through all of the major Pacific Northwest weather events of the past 30 years, and then some. The most notable events include; the bitterly cold winter of 1978-1979, the record setting snow storms of January 1980, the summer heat wave of August 1981, the windstorms of November 1981 and December 1995, the severe arctic blast of February 1989, the record flood of February 1996, the historic ice storm of January 2004, the Vancouver tornado of January 2008 and the record setting snow storm of Christmas 2008. Not to mention every Mt. St. Helens volcanic eruption in between. With access to the most extensive set of historical weather records available to date, Steve has personally designed and integrated a proprietary system that gives him the ability to quickly locate and manipulate weather data as far back as the 1800's. As one local Meteorologist put it, "Steve has fast access to historical weather data that is needed for media, agriculture, business, personal, historical and other climatological needs. He can quickly manipulate the data in many different ways. His forecasts are also quite accurate, especially at longer lead times." Steve also provides local storm assessments, narratives and weather presentations to the general public, as requested. In his spare time, Steve enjoys spending time with his family, the outdoors, vacationing at his family's coastal cabin and just relaxing! By the way, do you like your weather on the "extreme" side? So does Steve! Whether it is collecting damage assessment data & photos after record setting 125 mph winds at the coast in December 2007, being one of the first on the scene after the January 2008 Vancouver tornado, or feeling (literally) the awesome power of 100 mph wind gusts at Oregon's Crown Point in January 2010, Steve has experienced it all! As Steve says, "don't just love weather, live weather!" Check out Steve's personal weather website at: http://www.piercevideo.com/weather.shtml

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