Summer is cranking inland, but coastal upwelling cools the coast


PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – Our hottest temperatures of July have arrived inland; meanwhile, temperatures may be about 30 degrees cooler for some areas of the coast.

The dewpoint is cranking for the summer and we haven’t really hit that many 90-degree days. Let’s start with that topic first: heat! We hit our first 90-degree day this weekend for July and we have another on tap for our Monday. Temperatures likely in the lower 90s for the Willamette Valley and possibly some triple digits around The Dalles. On average, we have around 12 90-degree days in the year for Portland, with typically four in July and four in August. We are now in the entering our warmest part of the year (well yeah, it’s summer). With just one 90-degree day for July, we have some making up to do. That shouldn’t be a problem for our Monday.

However, the Washington and Oregon coast are receiving some cool air from the Pacific Ocean. A strong north wind is keeping areas of the coast cool. Newport had a high in the 50s on Sunday with likely another day that is pretty similar. A strong summer marine layer is keeping the community under clouds. This isn’t out of the ordinary, but it is pretty drastic compared to the rest of the state.

What is going on? That answer is coastal upwelling. That northerly stress of the wind is allowing for warmer surface water to move offshore and then colder water from below replaces that water that was moved. Below is a gauge of the sea surface temperatures for the coast right now.

There is still a warm channel in areas of Washington; meanwhile, temperatures about 50 degrees outside Newport and communities south. This is definitely playing into the factor for such cool summer weather around that area of the coast. Factor that in with the marine clouds and you have yourself a day that is a lot cooler than the rest of the state.

I want to show you the temperatures from Sunday afternoon, so you have an idea of the impact from the Pacific Ocean. That cool water drives the forecast for those communities and right now it feels more like a winter day? However, if you’re from the coast, you’re well aware of a day like this in the summer.

For those of you that are in the Willamette Valley or areas east of the coast, enjoy the heat. We cool down to the lower 80s by Wednesday, but summer is here and it’s feeling nice and warm.

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