Update: Heatwave Continues, But For How Long?
Just a quick post today. By now we are all well aware that the rain showers and temps of 60-65 are long gone and have been replaced with temps in the 90’s which was pretty much as modeled / forecasted. Now the big question is, how hot will it get today, Monday and Tuesday? Models are now in nearly complete agreement that Portland / Vancouver will NOT reach 100 degrees this week. In fact, models are showing Sunday, Monday and Tuesday will all top out around 95 degrees in the Portland metro area before cooling back down into the 80’s for the 4th of July. As the soil continues to dry out from last weeks rain, the relative humidity will also begin to lower which will make it feel more like Las Vegas heat instead of Florida heat this coming week. Speaking of Vegas, it is forecasted to be 115 there for the next three days, with lows of about 95. Now that is hot! Anyone want to take a walk down the Vegas strip? Your shoes may just melt. Just for fun I thought I would toss out a few of my forecasted high temps for the coming few days in Portland / Vancouver, for those who are interested;
Sunday – 94
Monday – 95
Tuesday – 90
Wednesday – 87
Thursday (4th of July) – 81
Any way you slice it, five or so days at or above 90 degrees before the 4th of July certainly constitutes a heatwave by Portland standards. Several news media outlets called me this past week wanting to talk about our heatwave. The big question most of them asked was, does this early season heat spell mean that we will be hotter than normal for the entire summer? Also, does this mean that we could be even hotter later on in July. My answer = not necessarily. However, what it does mean is that we have more time to do it all over again as we enter what I call the “window of opportunity” for 100 degree heat in Portland which begins about July 15th and rolls through about Aug 20th each year. After that it starts to slide downhill. Speaking of slide, the days are getting shorter already.
Looking even further down the road this week, longer range forecast models are wanting to push the ridge of high pressure back over the Pac NW once again, bumping temps back into the 90’s by the end of the week and into next weekend, but that is a long ways out for now. Bottom line = No 100 degree high temps at any of the official reporting stations around the Portland metro area this week followed by a cool down over the 4th of July holiday. No precip in sight for the next 5+ days locally. Get outside and enjoy summer!
Steve Pierce, President
Oregon Chapter of the American Meteorological Society (AMS)
Don’t forget — you can get my latest weather and climate updates via Facebook. Send me a friend request at http://facebook.com/stevepiercevancouver and I will add you in. Don’t forget to also bookmark this blog at http://blogs.columbian.com/weather. Are you an amateur simply interested in weather? Maybe you are a professional meteorologist? Why not join the single largest chapter of the American Meteorological Society (AMS) in the country with 180 fellow members? The Oregon chapter hosts eight monthly meetings from September through June. All of these meetings are free and open to the public. We are always looking for new members. Dues are just $10 a year! For Oregon AMS meeting details and a membership application, please see http://ametsoc.o
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