This has been a terrible summer in the Pacific northwest region of the country. Just this week Seattle broke a streak for the longest period without rain, which goes all the way back to June. This lack of rainfall, coupled with the extremely warm temperatures which are again concentrating on that region are making it almost unbearable for residents. In fact, without the rainfall which acts to disperse pollutants in the air, Seattle has had a smog problem for one of the first times in its history. Seattle experienced a dry month of July, one of only two dry months in the history of weather observations in the region.
Now the region is gripping for another heat wave which is expected to take temperatures from northern California to Washington into the 100s!
The summer isn’t the only season to have these types of problems. The winter saw record snowfall. According to NWS records which go back into the 1940s for the region Portland, Oregon usually experiences about two days a year with 1-inch snowfall accumulations. Take a look at some mind boggling statistics from this winter:
- 29 days (Jan. 13 – Feb. 10, 1950)
- 20 days (Jan. 20 – Feb. 8, 1949)
- 13 days (Jan. 20 – Feb. 1, 1943)
- 12 days (Jan. 27 – Feb. 7, 1956)
- 10 days (Dec. 29, 1968 – Jan. 7, 1969)
- 9 days (Dec. 19-27, 2008)
The winter was followed by a cloudy and rainy spring pattern which produced over 9 inches of rainfall in Seattle.
So why should we be worried or concerned about the Pacific northwest weather patterns? Well, the heat wave they are experiencing this weekend will drive Great Lakes temperatures down into the upper 70s! This abnormal pattern causes extremes in other places like our region where it is relatively rare to have 70-degree temperatures during August. In fact, 4 of the first 9 days this month have seen temperatures below 80-degrees. If the forecast is correct you can add 3 more to the total, (Saturday, Sunday and Monday).