July 11, 2016

Frost in July Hits the Pacific Northwest

Seems a little chilly for mid-July?    Amazingly, a number of locations east of the Cascade crest have experienced FROST during the last few days, stretching from Washington into northern California.  Here is the proof, a plot showing the low temperatures of 36F or below last night.  A few locations got down to 25F!

A number of the upper air locations around the region experienced record, or near record, cold temperatures in the lower atmosphere last night.  Here is an example of the temperature at 925 hPa (about 3000 ft) at Spokane, WA.  The silver dot is the observed temperature and the blue line is the daily records low....pretty much the same!
Particularly cold temperatures (down to 25F) were found east of Crater Lake, at locations such as Kirk, Oregon (4500 ft).   This map shows last night's temperatures in that region.

And here is the temperature plot at Kirk, Oregon.

Why so cold there?  The station is in a high valley, so cold air drains down from higher elevations.  The air was unusually cold aloft and skies were clear (thus, good radiational cooling to space).

And for snow lovers, good news!  Parts of the Rockies picked up snow during the last few days.  Here are the snow analysis for July 1st and today.  You will notice some new light snow over northeast Oregon, central Idaho and western Montana.


  1. What's the inside scoop on the utility of http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/ ? Their one-month outlook seems permanently stuck in El Nino mode, even as of the 6/30 update; are we truly going to bake in August and September, or is this just wishful thinking coupled with a model that's 90% weighted on the past six months?

  2. When do the oven temperatures begin?

  3. Bring it on! After last summer, I'll take all the cool and wet we can get!

  4. Brian: I saw an interesting graph put out by the Weather Channel about this summer. It was updated to show a wide swath from Washington through California and then moving to the east. That area indicated normal temps to slightly above for the area for summer. The interior of the country was indicated as well above normal temps. Take it for what it is, but I don't much believe NOAA these days. I agree with you that the graphs are permanently stuck in El Nino temp mode, which is massively incorrect for right now. Also NOAA still has the gall to say El Nino advisory on this link http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/analysis_monitoring/lanina/enso_evolution-status-fcsts-web.pdf, even though we have been in ENSO Neutral for almost 6 weeks now. And BTW, so far the models don't look like a strong La Nina, or even much of a La Nina if it happens, could be neutral this winter.

  5. MRT You did not read carefully if you think the tone of that report is focusing on the now dead El-Nino. Scroll down to the 0-300m heat anomaly chart, or the weekly heat content graphic--they both clearly show that the warm phase is over. Everybody knows that, the report is not deceptive. To use your own words, they even have "the gall to say" "La Nina Watch" on that headline that irked you. Everybody always has to come out with both sides blasting, it is just a report, a factual thing. Too many graphics probably, but we can all see the bottom line "there is a 75% chance of La Nina conditions this winter". I see no controversy whatsoever.

  6. MRT You have just given me one of the best examples of Confirmation Bias that I've seen in a while. And I see it all the time, just not usually so blatant.

    Yes, the longer-range NOAA climate predictions are totally wrong for the PNW this summer, although not so much so for the rest of the country. But nothing in the report you referenced says what you claim it says.

  7. Hi Cliff,

    You are mentioned by name on the Weather Underground site today in relation to the BLOB which they say never left but is currently 500 feet below the surface. I recommend that you read it and I am interested in your response.


    Lopez Island

  8. https://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/the-us-summer-is-off-to-a-recordhot-start

    The U.S. Summer is Off to a Record-Hot Start

    Last month was the warmest June in 122 years of U.S. recordkeeping, beating out June 1933, according to the monthly climate roundup released on Wednesday by NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI).

  9. Interestingly I just read this - and you are mentioned in it!

    The Pacific 'Blob' Is Back From the Dead; In Fact, It Never Left

  10. Zathras: Did you completely and utterly misread what I said? I did not say La Nina Watch, I said El Nino advisory, get your facts straight! Second, if you have followed the graphs for the last year they have barely changed at all, still stuck in El Nino mode which is crazy as El Nino is gone, dead and buried. Third, I have read more than a few reports that are stating La Nina is not even certain now, and if it does come it will be weak, like maybe not even -1.0 C below normal for that regions water. Again, read. In fact everything you said is bunk, and is not even a good answer to what I wrote. having a bad day? Trying to look smart on the internet? Sheesh!

    Cliff: What do you think of WU bashing on you and now saying the BLOB is back?

  11. NOAA marine weatherfax charts station Hawaii show a high establishing at 45 north now, so maybe warmer is a correct call.

  12. This was on the weather underground site for Seattle today.

    "Two climatological features that have loomed large over the Pacific Ocean for the past year have both been declared dead, but new research shows that one of them is still lurking in the ocean depths and still affecting marine ecosystems.

    Clifford Mass, an atmospheric scientist at the University of Washington, wrote off The Blob, a persistent patch of unusually warm water in the northern Pacific, back in December 2015.

    But now, new research indicates that The Blob lives again - in fact, it was never dead to begin with. According to measurements taken by the Canadian Coast Guard, it simply slipped quietly beneath the waves."

  13. Check out Weather Underground. They say new research indicates the " Blob" is back, it was just hiding. True?

  14. What a difference a year makes! Last year, Portland had 25 days above 80 degrees for July. This year, only 3 so far. Might end up with 6 at the current forecast and pace. It was just a matter of time before something began to balance us out albeit, balancing us to just nearer normal and not record heat. Will we rebound in August?

  15. Before folks jump on the Cliff-bashing WU bandwagon here, it'd be good to review the language of discourse. I went back and checked, and what Cliff said back when was that the "blob of warm sea surface temperatures has dissipated." What WU is saying is that the warm blob persists beneath the sea surface. WU agrees that there is not a blob of warm sea surface temperatures now, but apparently takes issue with the word "dissipated".

  16. I personally am not bashing on Cliff over the so-called blob. I really had thought it completely gone and extinct though, just like El Nino. At least WU acknowledged El Nino ended awhile ago and are not using NOAAs system of waiting for what average ENSO temps for 3 months are before declaring it gone. If you have been following NOAA weekly, the SSTs in the region were quite warm and then dramatically feel in April into May, going neutral towards the end of Mayl; in fact nino 3.4 is trending slightly negative at this point.

    This is actually quite strange coming from WU as they have a lot of thoughtful and intelligent blogs and writing on that site. They don't seem to go alarmist generally and their headline was extremely vague with very little details. If you see how the summer has been playing out so far, with near normal temps, it is doubtful the blob is going to have the impact from the last two summers on heat here.

  17. I'm not able to follow what it is you agree and disagree with at this point, MRT.
    Looking closer at my comment, the only thing I see is that I mixed the idiom 'with both barrels' and the one 'all guns blazing'. Otherwise, what I take from the ENSO discussion is that there is a 75% chance of La Nina this winter. That is most of what I take from the lengthy diagnostic bulletin. Clearly, you see other things and perhaps some contradictions and I am not able to follow your reasoning.


Please make sure your comments are civil. Name calling and personal attacks are not appropriate.

Is Global Warming Causing Aircraft Turbulence to Increase?

 After the turbulence encounter by a Singapore Airlines aircraft,  there has been a slew of articles claiming that severe turbulence inciden...