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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San Francisco Minimum Temperature Records – Downtown vs Airport

There seems to have been some strange climate change at work across San Francisco since 2000.  Daily minimum temperature records are very difficult to achieve at the airport in this the 21st century but still quite common in downtown San Francisco over the past 15 years.

Number of Daily Temperature Records since 2000 in San Francisco using 70-year period of record from 1945-2015:
                    # Min Records     # Max Records
Downtown            104                       102
Airport                      9                         108

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Whidbey Island Naval Air Station warm anomaly

In western Washington we have an ASOS site at Whidbey Island Naval Air Station (KNUW) whose temperature often runs considerably higher than surrounding sites.

For example, the high temperature today about 2 miles south of KNUW ASOS on Whidbey Island was 52 F at OAKH2.  Similarly, the AgWeatherNet site on northern Whidbey Island near Coupeville had a high temperature of 52.4 F.  But at KNUW ASOS the high temperature was 5 deg F warmer at 57 F.

At 2 PM PDT today (22 Sept 2015) the temperature at KNUW was running about +3 to +4 deg F warmer than surrounding sites as shown by this map.

It would be interesting to understand why the temperature at Whidbey Island NAS often runs so much higher than at surrounding sites.

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Record warm February 2015 at Hanford WA

The Hanford climate station in eastern Washington reports February 2015 to have been their warmest February in the 71 year historical record from 1945 – 2015.  The mean of 45.3 F exceeded the previous record in February 1958 by +0.8 F.  More detailed information can be found here.

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