And all those cloudy and cool Grand Floral Parades where my wife and I had the kids (and ourselves) covered in blankets.
It’s the stuff Portland’s reputation is made of. But there are exceptions to every rule and this weekend it looks like we may break them all!
The Biggest Surprise About Portland’s Late Spring Heatwave
Before we talk about how it happens, take a look at something really rare that will happen in Portland, Vancouver and Salem this weekend: 70 by 7:30. 80 degrees by 9am. 90 before noon. And highs between 97-102 for most of the I-5 Corridor later in the afternoon.
It’s the kind of heat that catches us by surprise…this is not Palm Springs. And this is not August. It’s the first weekend of June 2016 in the Willamette Valley.
Why Portland Hits Triple Digits So Early This Year
When the Portland Trailblazers over-delivered this season, there was a reason for it in every single game: a number of the guys stepped up and brought some serious heat.
On “team weather” this weekend we have three key players:
- The Sun (absolutely a star): We are only two weeks from the longest days of the year. This means more direct and therefore more intense sun rays, shining down for a loooong time.
- Jet Stream Shift: this is a ‘heart of the summer’ type weather pattern where the warm and relatively dry air you often find in southern California shifts north into our skies.
As good as the intense ‘Sun’ and ‘Jet Stream Shift’ are, they cannot get to 100 (and get us free McDonald’s fries!) by themselves. They need a solid performance from our final key player:
- The East Wind: Air coming from the east or northeast this time of year actually heats up on the way down the mountains and into the valley. This generates extra heat and makes it possible to hit 100 degrees for Rose Festival!
Hitting 100 During Portland’s Rose Festival Is Rare
It has happened before—but almost never this early. In fact, if Portland cracks the century mark this first weekend of June 2016, it will be the earliest in the year with one exception: May 28, 1983. That was our earliest triple digit day, ever, in Portland, Salem and Hillsboro.
Now you know how this is possible—please share this story with friends on social media—so they will know, too. And read on if you want to see the records to beat this weekend.
Thanks to the National Weather Service in Portland, Oregon, for this list:
City/Record to Beat Saturday | Sunday
Astoria 89 (1989) | 90 (2003)
Portland Airport 91 (2003) | 96 (2003)
Downtown Portland 94 (1978) | 96 (1978)
Salem 93 (1978) | 96 (2003)
Hillsboro 93 (1978) | 95 (1978)
McMinnville 93 (1978) | 96 (1923)
Troutdale 95 (1978) | 95 (1978)
Vancouver, WA 90 (2003) | 95 (2003)