Freeze in eastern Oregon – 25 June 2016

The temperature dropped to freezing yesterday morning at 8 RAWS sites in eastern Oregon.  But by late yesterday afternoon the temperature had climbed all the way to 80 F at 4 of the 8 sites.  The temperature at Burns ASOS dropped to 31 F yesterday, the 5th morning to reach freezing this month (June 2016).  CPFO3, Crane Prairie RAWS, where the temperature dropped to 25 F, is located east of Seneca, a notoriously cold location in eastern Oregon.
Oregon RAWS Daily Summaries for 25 June 2016
—————————————————-
 Cnty Elev StnID  Tave Tmin Tmax   Prcp Tdave  Nt/Nd
—————————————————-
Grant 5500 CPFO3  52.2   25   75      0  31.9  24/24
Harne 5000 FLFO3  57.6   26   80      0  23.8  24/24
Harne 5172 CWFO3  54.8   28   76      0  29.0  24/24
Harne 5320 ALFO3  54.6   29   76      0  31.8  24/24
Desch 4735 TPEO3  57.3   29   77      0  33.2  24/24
Desch 3231 CGFO3  58.0   30   82      0  37.0  24/24
Klama 4531 KMRO3  58.0   30   80      0  39.3  24/24
Malhe 4460 RTFO3  59.4   31   80      0  27.2  24/24
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Climate of Olympia WA: number of hot days

For Olympia Airport, (1941-2015), I have compiled the number of “hot” days (>= 89 F) per decade.  The threshold temperature for a hot day was set to make an annual mean frequency of about 7 days per year.
1940s*    68 days
1950s     69
1960s     76
1970s     76
1980s     81
1990s     78
2000s     70
2010s*    77
* Normalized to 10 years
There was a slight uptick going from the 1950s into the 1960s, but there has been little change over the past 6 decades (since the 1960s) in the number of “hot” days per year.
Years with greatest number of “hot” days at Olympia Airport:
1) 1967   20 days
2) 1958   19
3) 2015   18
4) 1981   17
5) 1985   15
5) 1992   15
5) 2009   15
 
Years with least number of “hot” days at Olympia Airport:
1) 2011    0 days
1) 1976    0
1) 1964    0
1) 1954    0
2) 1983    1
2) 1966    1
2) 1957    1
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Late June hard freeze in eastern Oregon

Yesterday (19 June 2016) saw the temperature drop to 22 F at the Foster Flat RAWS site (elev 5000 ft) in the Harney Basin south of Burns .  This is the coldest temperature so far in the month of June 2016 at Foster Flat.  The  lowest temperature had been 26 F a week earlier on 12 June 2016. 

Picture of Foster Flat RAWS site in June 2006:
http://www.wrcc.dri.edu/wraws/pictures/ofos/200606/ofos.NW2.jpg

22 F was followed later in the day by a high of 76 F making for a diurnal range of 54 F just one day removed from the summer solstice.  Less than 36 hours after dropping to 22 F the temperature climbed all the way to 83 F the next day (20 June 2016).  A total of 11 RAWS sites in Oregon out of 132 total measured temperatures in the 20s yesterday morning at elevations ranging from 3231 to 5500 ft.

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Mid-June 2016 Cold Spell in Oregon

On 15 June 2016, 41 out of 132 RAWS sites in Oregon reported a minimum temperature at or below the freezing point (32 F) with 2 sites in Klamath and Deschutes Counties reporting 23 F.  The 850 hPa temperature at Salem Oregon reached a low of -0.1 C at 12 UTC 14 June 2016.  This was followed by +0.2 C the next morning at 12 UTC 15 June 2016.

Redmond Oregon reached 24 F on 15 June 2016 which tied the record low temperature for the month of June.  This was the third such occurrence over the past 69 years of record.

Lowest June temperatures at Redmond Oregon (1948-2016)
———————————————
1) 24 F on 15 June 2016
2) 24 F on  4 June 1962
3) 24 F on  2 June 1976
4) 25 F on  8 June 2002
5) 26 F on 25 June 2001
6) 26 F on  3 June 2001

 

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125 Years ago: Willamette Valley climate of 1891

Going back 125 years ago to the summer of 1891 we find some things just never change…note the Salem Statesman on 6 August 1891 was concerned about climate change, as quoted in the August 1891 monthly report of the Oregon State Climate Service.
Salem Statesman on 6 August 1891:

Yesterday afternoon the vicinity of Salem was again visited by a genuine down-East rain storm, with thunder and lightning accompaniments.  This is the second storm of this kind to visit this immediate section this season, and it is a remarkable fact that they are the first storms of this nature that ever made their presence know hereabouts.  The memory of the oldest inhabitant retains no recollection of like storms.  Many persons have seen it rain just as hard here as it did yesterday, but no such vivid flashes of lightning were ever seen here, nor was such loud and sharp thunder ever heard in the valley.
Can it be the climate is undergoing a change, or is this the exception that forms the rule?  But this season is a remarkably peculiar one, anyhow.  Winter held on unusually long, making a late spring, with rains well into summer.  And now, in the midst of harvest, to be treated to an electric storm–well, it is an attraction not down on the bills.

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Seattle Precipitation – Winter 2015-16

Seattle Sand Point (SEW) has seen measurable precipitation on each of the past 14 days (26 Feb – 10 Mar 2016).  This month, with 3.20 inches so far, is likely to be the 6th consecutive month with above normal precipitation at SEW, where March normal precipitation is 3.51 inches.  We may reach the annual normal of 36.1 inches before the end of this month, with 6 months still remaining in the 2016 water year.

Seattle Sand Point WFO
Oct 2015  3.83  +0.42
Nov 2015  7.16  +1.32
Dec 2015  9.41  +3.98
Jan 2016  7.19  +2.38
Feb 2016  4.07  +0.76
Mar 2016  3.20  through 10 March
———————
TOTAL    34.86
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From 106 F to 28 F in eastern Washington in 5 days

Eastern Washington has been a land of temperature extremes this past week.  Earlier this week the temperature reached 106 F at Benton City on 8 June 2015 and several sites reached 105 F, including the Hanford climate station.  Now just 5 days later, we are experiencing an unusually late freeze and frost near Spokane and Pullman.  The Turnbull NWR Climate Reference Network site is reporting a very unusual June temperature in the 20s with 28.3 F reported early this morning (13 June 2015).

 

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