I attended the A.M.S. meeting at OMSI last Saturday, which is a discussion about the up-coming winter. El Nino is still strengthening in the Pacific waters, which gives the Northwest a winter forecast of below average rain and snow, along with mild temperatures. If the El Nino becomes moderate in nature, the forecast confidence improves. This winter's wildcard is the fact we are increasingly due for a powerful inland windstorm. (The last big blow was 1995) I do want to mention that global warming or climate change - which ever you prefer - is continuing to alter our weather. Longer lasting blocking high pressure ridges can mean days of cold, dry east winds and increasing cut-off low pressure areas can bring longer lasting and more powerful storm centers. It will be interesting to see in the coming decades if the above is impacted by El Nino's and La Nino's or not? Only time will tell.
I also want to mention a meteor shower tomorrow morning, Wednesday the 21st before sunrise. Skies will likely be cloudy, but just in case of surprise clearing, be on the look out for up to 60 meteors an hour!
Here is the summer temperature report for the United States - courtesy of NOAA
For the 2009 summer, the average temperature of 71.7 degrees F was 0.4 degree F below the 20th Century average. The 2008 average summer temperature was 72.7 degrees F.
A recurring upper level trough held the June-August temperatures down in the central states, where Michigan experienced its fifth, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and South Dakota their seventh, Nebraska its eighth, and Iowa its ninth coolest summer. By contrast, Florida had its fourth warmest summer, while Washington and Texas experienced their eighth and ninth warmest, respectively.
The Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa and Minnesota region experienced its sixth coolest summer on record. Only the Northwest averaged above normal temperatures
Interesting to note that the warmest states in terms of departure from normal were Florida, Texas and Washington. My parents live in Missouri and like I always tell them, "if you are cold, the Northwest is almost always warm."
To date PDX has recorded 23 days of 90 degrees or hotter. The number 23 is tied with 1987 for the most in one year.
Nitrous oxide has now become the largest ozone-depleting substance emitted through human activities, and is expected to remain the largest throughout the 21st century, NOAA scientists say in a new study.
For the first time, this study has evaluated nitrous oxide emissions from human activities in terms of their potential impact on Earth’s ozone layer. As chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), which have been phased out by international agreement, ebb in the atmosphere, nitrous oxide will remain a significant ozone-destroyer, the study found. Today, nitrous oxide emissions from human activities are more than twice as high as the next leading ozone-depleting gas.
Nitrous oxide is emitted from natural sources and as a byproduct of agricultural fertilization and other industrial processes. Calculating the effect on the ozone layer now and in the future, NOAA researchers found that emissions of nitrous oxide from human activities erode the ozone layer and will continue to do so for many decades.
Thursday's high at PDX of 92 degrees becomes the 22nd day of the year - one shy of the 1987 record. Tough to say if any more 90 degree days are in our future this year. The latest we have seen 90 degrees is Oct. 5, 1980.
If you have plans to go camping or spend time outdoors this coming Labor Day weekend. Early indications call for cool temperatures near 70 degrees and possible showers the first part of the 3-day weekend. Of course, there is lots of time for the forecast to change! The first two weeks of September are expected to be near normal and mostly dry. Near normal indicates high temperatures in the 70s to near 80 degrees. Autumn begins this year, September 22nd. We have just over three more weeks of summer!
This weekend will kick-off what is expected to be warmer than normal temperatures through the rest of August. A weak, but strengthening El Nino began to develop in June across the equatorial waters of the Pacific. Near surface water temperatures are forecast to warm to 2 degrees celsius above normal in the coming months. The forecast outlook through October calls for the Northwest to see drier than normal weather. At this time, little confidence in the temperature forecast is available.
High praise to the National Weather Service. Their forecast outllooks have been SPOT-ON this summer! ( I hope I have not given them the "Forecast Jinx").