PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – If we were to gauge our winter off of the week we have coming, you would think we’ve been running warm.
This week is a bit of an abnormal winter week. Temperatures are expected to reach near-record highs by Friday. It’s just one slice of the long winter months, but we’ve actually had plenty of cold winter air so far. Both the average temperature for December (-0.5) and January (-0.1) ended up cooler than the average by a small margin.
We went back to the official start of winter to take a tally of the afternoon high temperatures over at the Portland Airport. You can say that we spent most of the winter in the 40s and 50s, with a few afternoon highs only hitting the 30s and one special record-breaking afternoon in January that hit 60 degrees. That warm 60-degree day was due to a mild air mass from the atmospheric river that brought in moisture from the tropics. Most of the days that we had snow in December, topped off in the 30s. Looking at the forecast this week, it is more likely that we add more 60 degree days than 30 degree days to the winter cold count.
Although it has been dry for the last two weeks, we haven’t been all that warm in the Willamette Valley. Most of those dry days have come with morning fog, preventing our temperatures from accelerating into the high 50s or lower 60s. The warmest afternoon temperature that we have had over the last 10 days was 58 degrees (February 6, 2022). After the incursion of clouds that are moving through this Monday afternoon, we are going to bring back sunshine. The difference from the other dry days in late January is that sunshine may lead to some actual warmth later this week.
The average high temperature is now 50 degrees in Portland. Temperatures are expected to top off around the lower 60s by Friday. The first three days this week will probably be closer to average if not a degree below. We will add about 10 degrees to the afternoon high come Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. That is the type of weather that we usually have in early April. It is safe to say that we are going to be running above average this week. After back-to-back cool winter months, February may finish running above average due to this week.
What’s the deal? We have another expansive ridge coming our direction later this week. That high pressure is going to cover a lot of territory. This will take the storm track and it will usher that straight to the north. High pressure will keep us dry and likely warmer than average. This may lead to an inversion, trapping some pollutants near the surface. Air stagnation and morning fog may be part of the forecast later this week too. As the sun angle changes and the day light extends, the temperature inversion is more difficult to hold. This should lead to warmer afternoon high temperatures compared to what occurred in a similar weather setup in January.
Will we actually reach record-high temperatures this week? It will be close on Friday and then again on Saturday. Friday will have the aid of an east wind to help boost our temperatures around Portland. It sure looks like Friday will be the day that we keep an eye on that record that was set back in 1971. Saturday will be a tough task, but the ceiling isn’t very far from the forecast high.
If you’re looking for a few nice days to be outside, they’re coming.