Some more beautiful weather for your Labor Day


PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – Let’s make it three days in a row of superb weather.

This Labor Day, a southwest flow will mostly keep the valley clear of wildfire smoke and very few clouds. We are expecting plenty of sunshine out there this afternoon from the Oregon coast to Madras and Pendleton. There will be a bit of a haze around Madras, but the wildfire smoke is going to shift to the south by afternoon (before it returns north).

If you’re going to spend the day outdoors, you can expect the sun to come down all day. There may be a few clouds for the coast in the morning and the northern Oregon coast may be dealing with clouds on and off for the whole day. Meanwhile, river activities around the valley should be sunny and warm. Be prepared for low river levels if you’re doing some boating.

Temperatures in the afternoon should reach the lower to mid-80s. The Dalles is expected to reach the lower 90s today. It will be cooler if you start heading west into the Gorge, eventually reaching the northern Willamette Valley where highs are going to be around 84.

I mentioned that we will stay away from the wildfire smoke today. Some of the local wildfires start to flare up in the afternoon, which will shuttle some smoke around central Oregon and the Cascade foothills. I do believe most of the afternoon should steer clear of that smoke, until later in the day. If you’re doing a day trip into the Gorge, you may have a bit of a haze by dinnertime.

It should be noted that areas of the Santiam Canyon, will have lower air quality and also a smoky sky because of the complex nearby. This is going to be vulnerable for most of September. It is the closest wildfire complex, which is going to be the delivery unit to our local smoke problems.

All of that wildfire smoke that you see in the graphic below will start to shift north into the valley overnight Monday into Tuesday. This is when we may pick up that haze in Portland — but I wouldn’t expect that to be a problem for Monday.

Some of those spots that I mentioned above are going to be dealing with on and off air quality problems through Labor Day and early in the week. There are at least two Air Quality Warnings that we have to be looking out for and those are in the counties painted in gray below.

I wouldn’t be surprised if they are extended into midweek, because of that wind shift that is coming our direction Tuesday. Take it easy out there if you are near or from these areas.

This is what the wind shift will start to look like as that ridge of high pressure builds tomorrow and Tuesday. This is the reason for the warming temperatures coming Tuesday and also the haze in the valley. That ridge will reach its peak performance on Tuesday. Until then, you can see it forming in the weather pattern graphic below. It is that dark orange area that is representing high pressure and ultimately, warmer temperatures.

You can see how the wind is running from the south to the north, eventually pulling the wildfire smoke from California straight up into areas of the Cascades.

Here is one last look at those temperatures around the state this morning and in the afternoon. You can see that the wind is running out of the north around the surface, which is helping guide the low surface smoke to the south today.

Although we are not seeing any 90-degree temperatures on the weather graphic, I would expect a few out there. Stay cool and enjoy your Labor Day.

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