If you liked the warm, dry start to our Northwest summer, you’ll probably like the rest of it. There’s no change to the dominant weather pattern in sight.
The National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center released newly extended forecasts on Thursday for one month and three months out. For the Pacific Northwest, the outlook includes a good chance of above normal temperatures in August and it stays dry.
Weather Service Meteorologist Ted Buehner in Seattle said the rest of summer and early fall look much the same.
“Really good odds on warmer than average temperatures during this 90 day period,” he said. “It doesn’t mean that it will always be warm, but the overall average will tend to be warmer.”
A persistent high-pressure ridge offshore should steer rain clouds away from most of Washington and northwest Oregon. That doesn’t bode well for the second half of wildfire season.
And it keeps Seattle, Portland and some other Northwest cities on track toward possibly setting new records for their longest dry spells.
The record dry streak for Seattle is 51 days of dryness, set in 1951. As of Friday, the 2017 dry streak stood at 34 days and counting. There have been six Julys with no measurable rain in Seattle: 1896, 1922, 1930, 1958, 1960 and 2013.
Portland has not received rain in 34 days either. But the race toward the record is a longer one. The Rose City’s record for consecutive days without measurable rain is 71 days, set in 1967.
A weak frontal system dropped scattered rain Thursday along the Pacific Northwest coast, in Olympia, Bellingham, McMinnville and Cascade Mountain rain gauges.
“The onshore flow moving from the Pacific to the interior of Western Washington and east of the Cascades looks like it is going to continue, some days a little stronger than others.” Buehner said. “That can result in days with some morning clouds and then afternoon sunshine.”
”East of the Cascades it looks like it will continue to be warmer than the west side and as a result of the onshore flow also windy at times,” Buehner added.