PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Portland starts Friday morning with a touch of coolness in the air and a few clouds. Morning temperatures sit in the upper 50s to low 60s.
Any low-lying clouds that sneak into the forecast should be departing by late morning. Afternoon highs will reach the mid to upper 80s across the valley. A northwesterly breeze also dominates the afternoon.
When it comes to fire danger, Friday’s conditions will not be the worst we’ve seen. In the Columbia River Gorge where the Tunnel 5 Fire is burning, that nice westerly breeze that keeps temperatures in the mid-80s (instead of the 90s) comes with a cost. Wind speeds could range from 15-25 mph at times.
This brings us to the drought situation. We haven’t had a drop of rain in 17 days. July is not exactly a rainy month, so nobody is surprised. Our drought status has worsened in the last week. The latest information from drought.gov shows that Oregon’s drought is expanding and increasing in the category of severe drought conditions. According to drought.gov, there are 10 counties in Oregon with USDA Disaster Designations. About 2.2 million Oregon residents live in areas of drought. This is up 22% compared to last week.