Temperature slump Wednesday, but wildfire conditions don’t ease up


Details for Wednesday, July 21, 2021

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – We have a midweek temperature slump coming our way. Temperatures in the 50s start our Wednesday, with only a marginal increase in temperatures by the afternoon. If you like a summer day in the 70s, today is the day.

It may not be the best beach day if you’re looking to stay warm even when the clouds come overhead to shade up the scene. It’s a wonderful day for golfing or going for that extended bike ride or run. You can cycle through the temperature graphics below, to get a good idea of how it’s looking in your neighborhood.

Temperatures in central Oregon are going to even be a bit cooler, with highs in the 80s. The airmass that is moving in is going to be more attached to that aforementioned area of low pressure we talked about earlier in the week. Temperatures a few degrees warmer closer to the central Willamette Valley, where the lower 80s is probably the final high for your day. Not too shabby for a summer that has felt right on the edge of extreme heat.

That feeling that it’s going to be a hot summer goes back to the heat wave and the extreme heat we had in June. If we look at the days we’ve had so far this July, we’ve only hit 90 degrees once. We’ve spent most of our days in the mid 80s. There have been three days in the 70s and Wednesday may be number four.

July has an average high temperature right now of 84.2 degrees and an average minimum temperature at 59.5 degrees. We have yet to find temperatures below 58 at the airport. We had a stretch of mornings (five to be exact), where we started the day at 58. That was July 11 through July 15. I wouldn’t expect your morning temperature around Portland to be cooler than that on Wednesday. The temperature slump only hangs around until Thursday, before we return back to the mid to upper 80s by Friday and the weekend.

Even though the temperatures are going to be cooling down a bit for central and eastern Oregon, there is still a Red Flag Warning on Wednesday. The graphic below is from the National Weather Service over in Pendleton. Expect gusty winds and low humidity through the afternoon until later at night. That warning is in place until 10 p.m., which means we have a full day to deal with these conditions east of the Cascades.

They make some good points about making sure to properly discard cigarettes and to avoid parking on dry grass because of the hot exhaust. These are a few things you just don’t think of until it’s too late sometimes.

There are a handful of active wildfires right now in Oregon. We’ve been tracking the Bootleg Fire and the other local fires that are scattered across portions of the Oregon Cascades. Right now, we do not have any large fires from The Dalles over to Pendleton, which is one of the areas that we have the Red Flag warning Wednesday. Just know the I-84 corridor is typically breezy and also busy. If you focus your attention to the graphic below, you can gauge how massive the Bootleg Fire is compared to the other nearby fires to the north. We at least eliminate the threat for dry lightning and thunderstorms heading into the forecast on Wednesday.

I also want to point out that the northeast corner of Oregon, near the border of Washington and Idaho, is also very active. Many wildfires are bordering the beautiful Snake River that cuts the state line, deep into the corner of Wallowa County and then into Columbia and Asotin counties of Washington. These fires are also emitting plenty of wildfire smoke that is diminishing the air quality for areas nearby. These wildfires are not gaining as much attention as the Bootleg Fire, but they have also been growing quickly and have been tough to battle. With the Red Flag warning extended through this section of the state Wednesday, conditions will again support extreme fire behavior.

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