Relentless wildfire smoke pours east but Portland steers clear

Weather

Details for Thursday, July 22, 2021

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – Wildfires continue to burn and wildfire smoke continues to pour out across the United States. It won’t be an issue when you’re stepping out the door Thursday morning in Portland, but you will have to plan your schedule around smoke if you’re east of the Cascades.

For those of you from Pendleton down through Baker City, the smoke will be noticeable. A haze is likely, too, for central Oregon communities and potentially up through parts of the Cascades. Nothing like the wildfire smoke that areas of Idaho and states to the east are now working with. Check out the high-level smoke forecast for Thursday night. Plenty of the wildfire smoke from out here is mixing through and getting transported to the east once again.

From Dakotas all the way to the Carolinas, smoke should be evident in the sky, most noticeable for sunrise and sunset. If you focus in on the graphic below, you will see that west of the Cascades, it is actually clear. That is because the wind is pushing everything away from us and we are receiving clean Pacific Ocean air.

Temperatures again cool in the morning, maybe even enough for long sleeves for the morning run or something else to keep you warmer.

I mentioned before that Portland was having a hard time bottoming out below 58 degrees this month, but we finally did it Wednesday morning. It’s possible that we have another round of mid 50s and lower 50s around the valley Thursday morning, too. Wait it out and the temperatures will be back near our average in the lower 80s by afternoon. There is likely going to be a few 40s out there in the morning as well!

The warmest temperatures will be in the central Willamette Valley and then out near The Dalles. Temperatures pushing the mid 80s with a nice blue sky from Salem to Corvallis. For those of you out along the Oregon coast, expect morning clouds and sun coming into the forecast through the day. I can’t stress enough that this is great weather to be outside. Temperatures do warm up a bit by the weekend.

How about rain? Not much out here over the next 3 days.

We may have another round of mid-level moisture sneaking in late week, which may produce some showers around areas of the southern Cascades and potentially into central Oregon. Hopefully this doesn’t lead to more lightning and additional fires. No shortage of rain for the Gulf of Mexico states, as they continue to see a very wet year. Another large hole over Washington and areas around Portland. This weather pattern is just not favorable for bringing in that rain. There is also a hole east of the Rockies, where temperatures are cranking under a dome of heat.

I do want to note the breezy conditions prompting red flag warnings Tuesday and Wednesday are going to settle down for Thursday. Wind will be rather tame around areas of the eastern Gorge and down through central Oregon.

It may be breezy at times down near the Bootleg Fire, but nothing to spark any weather alerts. This may lead to more surface smoke navigating north, but the wind is running out of the northwest, so it should be enough to keep that smoke away.

For those of you around Lincoln City or down to Newport, you may have a bit of a breeze in the afternoon and evening hours. We have a consistent north wind coming off the coast, which may lead to some cooler water temperatures around the coast down in southern Oregon if it keeps up enough.

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