PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – If the weather could possess an emotion this week, it may be something along the lines of peeved. The weather pattern is amplified and parts of the United States are going to feel it. The west coast is going to experience extreme heat with wind and fire dangers, meanwhile, Colorado and states north are going to experience snow. Denver is going to go straight from Summer to Winter in just a few days! This is the hourly forecast graph for Denver, which is going to go from the 90s to the 30s in the span of 12 hours. Guess what, snow too!
Below is a mosaic of all the weather alerts issued from the National Weather Service (NWS) across the United States as of Monday morning. A majority of the action is occurring from the Rockies to the west. A very busy start to the week with some of the largest swings in weather conditions for the Rockies, displaying Winter Storm Warnings (light pink shade), with Red Flag Warnings (magenta shade).
We’ve been discussing the cold air that is moving in from the north which is going to be the cause of the wind event for Oregon Monday night into Tuesday. It’s also that shrill surge of cold air that is going to allow for snow for those cities like Denver and Cheyenne. These are the types of events that bring out the curiosity for learning weather. If you look at the graphic below, there is A LOT going on for early September. Just off the bat, you can see the clash between the cold air and the warm air to the southwest.
Meanwhile, locations like Illinois and Indiana are right on the border of this event but are capturing the warmer southwest flow, while miles to the north the wind is rushing out of the east or north. Locally, there will be a difference between the communities east of the Cascades versus the west. Just our state is going to have a pretty large temperature gradient Monday night into Tuesday. Pendleton is looking at a forecast low of 39 degrees come Tuesday night. The record low on September 9 is 37, so it may be pretty close.
Let’s visualize this with another image! How about we use the beautifully visible satellite to capture what is going on up there. Notice with that cold air we have a large bank of clouds coming south. I have labeled the satellite image below with a few elements so you can pinpoint them from your computer.
Wildfire smoke shrouding California, Nevada, Utah, and Colorado. The smoke doesn’t stop there, it continues to the east. You can see the current cutoff line of that cold air mass and the warmer clear conditions. The arrows represent our typical rush of cold air that finds a way to the Columbia Plateau.
You know what else is going on? Blowing dust! This is going to be an issue for those dry locations in Washington and possibly Oregon too. The NWS over in Pendleton put out a great tweet this morning about dust storm safety tips. The wind is going to be blowing dust and you may need to take a break if you’re caught driving in one.
Lastly, after such a jam-packed weather blog, let’s quickly talk about the max wind gust for the Portland International Airport. Last year we topped off at 31 mph, which happened on September 17, which was also the day we had a massive rain event. The highest gust on record? That happened on September 9, 1963, registering at 66 mph. Mother Nature is bringing out some tricks this week.
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