A moment to cool down on Thursday, with temperatures in the 70s


PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — We’re just about halfway through July and we have only topped 90 degrees one time this month.

We barely hit 90 on the nose for a short period of time then dipped back to the 80s. It’s been a warm but not sizzling July for us in Portland so far this month. It is going to cool a bit more as we wrap up the week.

Expect morning clouds around Portland, but they clear up by the afternoon. The morning clouds and the cooler air aloft will help prevent the temperatures from kicking into that next tier of heat. The afternoon will bring in a mostly clear sky.

Wildfire smoke will continue to impact the same areas as it has been the last few days. We may see some light smoke around the central or southern valley due to the Game Hog Creek Fire in the coast range. It will not be as thick as any of the smoke from the larger wildfires. I wouldn’t expect that around Portland.

Temperatures in the 50s to start the day with highs returning to the upper 70s to near average today. Many weather models are trying to keep the temperatures into the mid-70s, but there are still a few that believe we break into the upper 70s to lower 80s.

I would expect us to be somewhere around average or below average this afternoon. It should feel really nice, with great outdoor weather. If you have summer projects that you want to tackle, the next couple of days would be perfect for that.

Why hold back your summer with projects and chores though, when you can spend some time going for a scenic bike ride or go try some of the great eateries around Portland? It’s a wonderful time of the year and without the unusually high heat, we can really enjoy the outdoors.

The wind is going to be gentle around the valley, pushing the 5 to 10 mph range out of the north or northwest. It does intensify up as it moves through the Gorge, taking wind speeds into the 20 mph range and stronger around I-84 through the eastern Gorge.

When we look at the forecast, we tend to look to the west to see what is developing or working east towards the Pacific Northwest (PNW). We have two pronounced areas of low pressure: one in the Gulf of Alaska and the other well west of the Aleutian Islands. A fairly flat area of high pressure settled to the south of both, with no major obstructions.

We will continue to see that onshore flow around here, but mainly just west of the Cascades sweeping up the benefits. There is still a lot of heat building through the Rockies region, keeping summer temperatures cranking. As far as considering rain in the forecast? That doesn’t appear likely around here with just ongoing dry conditions. We may have some morning drizzle around the coast or in areas of morning clouds, but measurable rain seems unlikely today and through the weekend.

This is another view of the weather pattern with the wind speed from aloft. Around the PNW the wind is running out of the southwest to the northeast way up there in the sky. That means the wildfire smoke will continue to move to the east, away from the valley. Not only do the neighboring states have wildfires of their own, but they are also receiving the smoke from our wildfires. This is scheduled to continue through the weekend, with only a few minor wind shifts in the forecast.

We would need to bring that area of low pressure from the coast all the way south to the PNW to really create a change, but that looks to stay north, only impacting areas west of the Cascades for now (with cooler marine air). There are some signs of a pattern shift late in the month, leading to more heat and potentially a wind shift out of the east. That would change up our conditions in the valley. That is something we will focus on when we get closer to those dates.

For now, do not expect much of a dramatic change to the forecast.

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