PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Thursday’s high at PDX was 98. Not a record by any means but certainly well above the climate normal of 84 this time of year.
Thanks to the heat island effect Portland stayed much warmer overnight than surrounding areas in the Willamette Valley. We might break the max low temps Friday and Saturday. The record max low is 65° for July 30th and 66° for July 31.
While we were baking in the upper 90s in the valley, thunderstorms were zipping along southern and central Oregon. 500 cloud to ground strikes were recorded in a 24-hour period Thursday across Oregon, mostly in central and south-central Oregon.
There’s evidence of new fire starts captured on the Alert Wildfire camera network. I captured a timelapse video from two mountain cams; Timberline cam looking south at what is likely the new Cooper Creek fire, and Dead Mountain (in the video below). This is roughly east of Oakridge and Hwy 58 in the Willamette Natnl Forest looking at what I believe is the KWIS fire.
Friday forecast: A Heat Advisory is in effect for Portland and the entire Willamette Valley through Saturday for scorching daytime highs in the upper 90s to 100 Friday. Lows may only drop to the upper 60s to low 70s.
No measurable rain in Portland for 44 days! Thunderstorms could develop over the Oregon Cascades and move north towards Mt. Hood Friday evening.
There is a slight chance thunderstorms emerge over Portland and the valley by late Friday night and continue through early Saturday morning. If model depictions verify, this would be our chance to finally get some measurable rain. The downside is fuels are so dry that any lightning strike will easily cause a fire.
Thursday’s thunderstorms willfully unloaded buckets of rain over Chiloquin, measuring 0.48″. Unfortunately, other areas in the line of rumblers did not get a fair share of the bounty, measuring less than a tenth of an inch.
The remainder of the weekend gets progressively ‘less hot’ but fire danger will be at the top of the list of weather concerns beyond this heatwave.