Meteorological summer starts with high temperatures

Weather

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – It’s June 1 and we are well on our way to the warmest day that we’ve had all year.

These high temps also come roaring in on our first day of meteorological summer (June, July and August). How about that timing?

Meteorological summer is not the same as the astronomical summer, which starts on June 20. We use the meteorological summer to keep stats and it’s useful for agriculture and research. Tuesday’s temperatures are going to feel like July or August around here.

Before we talk about the heat, you can see some of the information for the next three months in the graphic below. Notice that the rain really falls off once July and August show up. The average temperature is a representation of the high and the low together. Our high temperatures by July and August are consistently in the 80s.

That is just about where we are right now if you take a look at the observations around our region Tuesday shortly after 11 a.m.. The Dalles is nearly 90 degrees and we haven’t even close to our peak heating hours of the day. Many in the valley in the upper 70s to lower 80s. Even Astoria is coming in at 75 degrees and we have plenty of time left to warm up. I believe we will have some record high temperatures to work with today as the high temperatures continue to build this afternoon.

Speaking of record temperatures, the record high today is 94 degrees. That is exactly what the forecast is calling for and there is a strong possibility that we find our way to the mid-90s on Tuesday. The following two days may fall short of a record, but that is not the case for our first day of meteorological summer. We’ve had three straight days of 80 or above, so this is going to extend our stretch of warm temperatures for at least three more. It’s piping hot out there today for some areas in the lower Columbia Basin as temperatures push the triple-digits today. Meteorological summer doesn’t always start off like this. Last year we had a high temperature of 72 degrees, which was just about right for the first day of June. We are going to be 22 degrees warmer than that!

Which may be a reason to bring you to some of the river beaches around the region today. You can see this beautiful shot coming out of Kalama, where the sky is blue and the water is chilly. We have yet to get the river temperatures up, which takes more time than you would expect. Additionally, some of the side streams and rivers may be fairly aggressive right now.

Columbia River, Kalama, Washington

The river temperatures are around the 55 to 63 degree range. The Willamette river in Portland is going to be the warmest, with the Columbia around Vancouver and Portland recording in the lower 60s. When the water is in the 50s, it is just too cold to be spending time in. Even the lower 60s is very much cold. It’s more reasonable when the river temperatures reach closer to 70 in July and August.

Now that we are discussing summer weather, let me show you the June outlook that the Climate Prediction Center released. A large portion of the United States expected to have a warmer than normal month (higher probability that it occurs). However, the coasts of Washington, Oregon and California, have an equal chance for below, average, or above average temperatures. Will we have just enough of an onshore influence to keep the temperatures from warming too much? We know the first few days of June are definitely going to be above average as the heat grows.

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