July 08, 2020

A Cold Start for the Summer Season

OK....we need a new name.

Julanuary?

Julember?

Whatever the name, the last week has been mainly cloudy and well below normal in our area.

According the maximum temperature anomaly map (difference from normal ) for Washington for the first seven days of July, the high temperatures in most of western Washington have been 6-12F below normal.    Even eastern WA has been generally cool.


At SeaTac Airport, not a single day had the high temperature reached the normal values (low to mid-70s)--see below.

Sunshine?     Much less than normal!  To illustrate, here is the solar radiation observed at the WSU AgWeather site in Seattle. We should be hitting a peak of about 950 this time of the year, but many days have been warmed by half or less (like yesterday and June 27th).   Just depressing.


Normally, our region dries out rapidly after July 4th, with lots of sun each day.  Not this year.  Tomorrow?  Don't get your hopes up.  Another wet weather system is now approaching and the latest forecast of 24-h precipitation ending 5 PM tomorrow (Thursday) has a good wetting from the WA coast, NW Washington, and southern BC.  Not many wildfires this year so far.


And do I dare show you the National Weather Service OFFICIAL 6-10 day temperature forecast?
Are you strong? Here it is...blue (cooler than normal) over our part of the U.S.


Can we depend on the BLOB, that area of warm water off our coast to provide a warm solace?  Unfortunately not....the temperatures are near normal off our coast, with some areas even below normal.


What is the cause of this cool, cloudy affliction?   We have been stuck in a pattern with higher than normal pressure offshore, but lower than normal pressure over the Northwest, resulting in enhanced onshore flow of cool, cloudy marine air.   The pressure anomaly for June 25-July 1 below illustrates the problem (purple is below normal pressure, red is above normal).


I notice that there is a movie about our situation (see below).  With a guy with a gun, this does not sound like it is a flick with a happy ending.


27 comments:

  1. I am enjoying the coolness, for admittedly selfish reasons...my allergies seem less irritating this summer, not as many bees hovering around (a phobia of mine, for sure!)...and being born here, I can remember heading out, after school closed for the summer, to West Green Lake beach, any day that it was not actually raining in June/July...kids are tough, and I would gratefully shiver on a mid-60s temperature day, just to be able to go swimming!

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  2. I love our fresh summers. Free air conditioning!

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  3. Is the cooler weather being caused, in part, by the lower Solar activity?

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    Replies
    1. Most of the continent is actually roasting right now.

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  4. Enjoy it! I've been out in Michigan the past few weeks. Highs in the 90's and atrocious humidity. Can't wait to get back to the chill NW.

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  5. Tough for my Western Washington vinifera grape crop. Powdery mildew loves this weather.

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  6. it's 2020. Of course it's going to be cold and cloudy all year long. 😉

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  7. I'm tired of you talking about the weather. When are you going to actually do something about it? :)

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    Replies
    1. We are doing something about it! We are burning fossil fuels and raising the carbon dioxide level, which will warm things up!

      Not that we should...

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  8. This is all my fault. I bought a jet ski this year. My apologies to everyone :-(

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  9. Overall, the vegetable garden has been doing well. Even though highs have been below normal so far in July, average lows have not been below normal. For June, average lows were above average and average highs were about average. So, it really is not as cool as people may perceive.

    One of the features of global warming in some locations is increased cloud cover and moisture in the atmosphere, which traps heat and reduces heat loss. May 2020 was either the hottest or second hottest May on record (depending on how it is measured), globally-speaking.

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  10. I've lived here for 31 years. I've noticed July weather like this before -- in 1999 it didn't start warming up until July 15, for example.

    I would say that timing changes up to 2 weeks should not be considered out of range of normal climate variation.

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    1. You mentioned 1999 but also 1993,1997, 2011 and even 2012 for that matter. Last summer was wet too. I know in the case of 1993 and 2012 once the dry and warm pattern developed (around late July in 1993) it stuck around as there was warm and dry weather through September and well into October in both 1993 and 2012. And in 2011 the hottest days of that year were in early September. Mother nature has a way of levelling the playing field in these parts.

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  11. Great blog Cliff! I'll take this fresh cool weather over being stuck inside a tiny apartment during a heatwave with no AC and unable to open the windows due to thick wildfire smoke outside. I recall in 2018 when the atmosphere bottomed out and ash was falling out of the sky. This weather seems the one glimmer of hope in 2020, i have many coworkers miserable in the south, stuck inside with temps well over 100 degrees.

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  12. OK. Any word on lowland snow? Just kidding. It would be interesting though to hear about the el niño/la niña forecast for this coming winter. Then, of course the question is about whether ski resorts will re-open. Can anyone lobby that they are essential? :)

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    1. The July update was just released today.La Nina chances are slowly creeping up;a La Nina Watch is now in effect.

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    2. Go LOOK! Zone 3-4 off Equador is quite cool...Thus La Nina...I like it...Historically wet and mild for the Northwest...get your ski pass locked in!?!

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  13. May I submit "Januly" for consideration?

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  14. Cliff,

    Funny opening! I don't mind being cooler than usual, but I would like some sunshine too. I suppose I'm less attached to norms given all the factors in life that are different now--stay open-minded and flexible. Truly, I'm glad to not be sick. It's my big priority.

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  15. I'm not a huge fan of weather that causes the long early summer twilight to get stunted. Clouds obscure the orange/yellow/red phase of astronomical twilight that's at its longest and most impressive around the summer solstice. Also, I like the dichotomy of more extreme Mediterranean climates and that contrast between wet winter and dry summer isn't quite as stark or pleasing to me if the summer weather insists on keeping things green.

    I just weeded the garden last week and I guess I have a little tomato plant that decided to sprout up in the garden and I can't ever remember seeing that before. I normally place all the tomato plants inside a greenhouse to keep them safe from blight. At this point, I'm afraid of digging the little guy up but there's a couple zucchini plants nearby that will most likely crowd out the tomato from getting enough sun. At least the plants inside the greenhouse are doing well.

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  16. Any chance at all the cooler weather is related to the air clearing up worldwide due to Covid-19?

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    1. No. Most of the continent has been in a heat wave for weeks. Record breaking hot temperatures have occurred in Siberia recently. We are in the cooler side of a rather amplified pattern that's kept us under a trough with ridging out in the north Pacific and also in eastern and southern North America. But one thing that the covid 19 halt to the tourism and travel industry has brought is cleaner air and water. Also wildlife and marine life coming back to formerly crowded tourist areas. For example the endangered species the Dugong (similar to a manatee) have been seen in parts of Thailand for the first time in decades.

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  17. It's been about perfect here in the Rogue Valley of southern Oregon for the past two weeks. Sunny and highs in the upper 70s to mid 80s. The garden is thriving.

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  18. Since something like the last six or seven summers in Portland have been above or way above average (2018's June - July was especially brutal), can we assume that some kind of average to the mean was to be expected? This was the first summer that I experienced the infamous "June Gloom" that natives were always talking about, but even then we still had a few 90's in May.

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  19. Interesting that we're entering what looks to be a Grand Solar Minimum, which will doubtless have a profound effect on temperatures, coupled with the fact that, according to the Antarctic ice core temperature record, we're at the bitter end of the latest cyclic inter-glacial period, so in other words, don't toss out your Winter coat as "Winter is coming."

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