Season’s end: Oregon Summer 2019 in review

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A soggy September wraps up a not-so-hot summer

Beautiful photos of Thursday’s lightning storm in Ridgefield, WA on Aug. 29, 2019. (Courtesy: Kieran Geehan)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – The last weekend of summer is officially upon us. Next Monday, September 23, marks the first day of fall and the unofficial start of sweater weather.

Summer ended early here in the Pacific Northwest. You may have noticed the giant bins full of pumpkins outside your local grocery store. And to no one’s surprise, Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice Latte had its earliest release date ever on August 27 this year.

Observed temperature and rainfall over the past 10 days clearly shows the premature transition into the new season. High temperatures at PDX have been cool and mainly in the 60s and 70s, and the region has clocked in excessive rainfall amounts from several large storms.

Looking over our 2019 summer weather, it was full of warm days, yet lacked the excessive heat we received last summer. However, some of our temperature stats from this summer may surprise you.

In total, PDX observed 11 days at or above 90 degrees from June to August. Normally, PDX gets nine days through that period. PDX also managed to run with warmer-than-normal high temperatures from June through August.

Our heat this summer was nothing compared to last summer’s record-breaking 31 days at or above 90 degrees. When comparing PDX summers over the last four years, all have seen a warmer-than-normal trend.

This summer was also a wet and active one. Both July and August produced above-normal rainfall totals. Large lightning outbreaks occurred near Portland and across the Willamette Valley, most notably on June 26, August 9, and August 29.

We also can’t forget the EF-0 tornado touch down in NE Portland on July 1 — and then a second confirmed EF-0 touchdown on September 8 at the Plumper Pumpkin Patch in NW Portland.

Much of the wet weather has been due to the onslaught of upper-level troughs over the Pacific Northwest. These patterns open the door for wet systems to arrive in the region.

They also bring in cooler air, which allows for instability and thunderstorm development.

Thunderstorm near Ridgefield, WA. August 29, 2019. Photo by Kieran Geehan.

This summer’s weather brings out an odd reaction in many folks. In fact, KOIN 6 News anchor Dan Tilkin exclaimed this was “the wettest September he’d ever seen,” as we chatted about weather. He then mentioned that September is usually one of the most beautiful months. (He’s not wrong.)

But, pair our soggy September with our not-so-hot summer and you have folks like Dan raising their eyebrows. Checking the records, there have been plenty of soggy Septembers in just this decade alone, especially 2010, 2013, and 2017.

Looking ahead to the start of fall, the Climate Prediction Center’s 8-14 day forecast shows cooler-than-normal temperatures and about normal precipitation.

Summer will go out like a lamb — but will there be potential that fall comes in like a lion? Check out our latest Your Weather Podacast about our Fall Weather Outlook.

CPC 8-14 Day Outlook

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