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Why so long and so often heat this summer?

 
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windfind



Joined: 18 Mar 1997
Posts: 1431

PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2018 3:55 pm    Post subject: Why so long and so often heat this summer? Reply with quote

Hi Gang,

The Gorge has had blazing heat much of the last several weeks. Northern California has seen very hot temps and Southern California has had 108 degrees just a few miles from the coast. And now the biggest wildfire in California's history is burning.

The cause of the heat is a nagging upper ridge at about 18,000 ft. over the entire western USA. Upper ridges bring warmer air from the south and also descending air which compresses near the surface creating more heat. But still....why is the heat lasting so long?

Looking at the animation below notice the heat producing upper trough over the western USA. Then note the upper Cut-Off Low over the Pacific. Notice how the Cut-Off Low is almost pinched off. Once this happens the Cut-Off Low is disconnected from the 500 mb. and jet stream winds so it just wobbles around rather than moving from west to east. This has allowed:

1. The heat making upper ridge to loiter over the USA.
2. It has held the surface storm below Cut-Off Low almost stationary for days.
3. Which has reduced the North Pacific High to a sliver along the west coast so milder N and NW coast winds.

So when does the heat wave end?

That Cut-Off Low becomes an upper trough in the next 2 days and moves towards the coast.

For the Gorge, Friday brings cooler air and a deeper air and higher pressure brings a blast of air all the way to the desert.

For the Bay Area, it also means a deeper marine layer Friday but also a ramp-up of NW ocean wind.

Looking at the long term it looks like, in theory, upper troughs and upper ridges on the average become more elongated N. and S. This means they move slower around the globe. Which in turn means longer periods when you have an upper ridge or upper trough over you. Hence, on the average, longer summer heat waves and longer spells of cold winter weather.

Mike Godsey
iwindsurf.com/ikitesurf.com
Weatheflow.com



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windfind



Joined: 18 Mar 1997
Posts: 1431

PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2018 10:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Gang,

Here is a great post by Weather West about the California heat waves that have also driven the Gorge heat waves:

http://weatherwest.com/archives/6411

July 2018 was the warmest month in the recorded history California. Also good stuff about the 143 mph fire vortex that went up to 39,000 feet!

Unfortunately, the European model has another huge heat producing upper ridge at about 18,000 ft. over the entire west USA and Canada by mid-August. So another Gorge bake in! Check out the image below!

Mike Godsey
iwindsurf.com/ikitesurf.com
Weatheflow.com



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2bluehawaiins



Joined: 07 Mar 2002
Posts: 189

PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2018 11:41 am    Post subject: More heat Reply with quote

Id like to get some input into the next couple of weeks as if the wind in the corridor will blow when the weather is in the low to mid 90's ?
I'm looking at the 17th thru 31 of Aug.
I know it usually doesn't blow out east when it's that hot but I have sailed the Hatch when it was 100 before.
Any input would be great.
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 18605

PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2018 7:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gorge wind forecasts for the next 12-18 hours are very often crapshoots debated among the many forecast services. There are just too many variables. In addition, there can be glass and triple digit heat at the Hatch while it's 80 degrees and 3.2 wind at Jones Beach, hot 3.7 east winds (sometimes with great swell) at Stevenson, or big winds out east if HR is cooling down ... and that's not even counting the coast. Unless it's hot as hell from Boise to Pistol River to Astoria, the payoff for real-time data, self-containment, and burning dead dinosaurs can be off the charts.

Two couples took two opposite options when the temps were bumping 110 degrees last week. One sat in the desert and (somehow) enjoyed the heat. The other sailed (i.e., planed) every day west of Hood River.

Large scale long-range forecasts imply a warm fall. I'm more excited about the extended sailing season than what it may do to the wind speeds in any given week or month, because the former macroforecasts seem to be a surer thing than most localized microforecasts. Heck, even micropostcasts ... i.e., summaries at the end of a day, week, or a month can be wrong ... in some conditions. So much depends on where the data are based, when the reporters got out of bed, and who's reporting them.

Late August and early September have long been described as the Gorge's transition period, because it's often when strong east winds can begin to appear. Alert, informed, and flexible sailors can reap lots of sailing. My first winter in the Gorge stayed "warm" -- i.e., comfortable barehanded) -- until mid-January, so I thought I had found Nirvana. Alas, it was a fluke, but it was at least a windy fluke. YOUR concern is whether THIS transition season will be normal (i.e, fairly windy), great (very windy if you play close attention), or a bust (WHA, wahhhhh). I left the Gorge by mid-August one summer in the past because the late August forecast looked lame.

It fricking RIPPED.

I stayed home (1,300 miles away) one May because reports from friends were of very limited winds. Later I heard that May blew 26 days out east.

Get back to us by mid-Sept and we'll let you know how the 2018 transition went (or is going). Sad

And even then your answer will depend on whom you ask. You may get very different answers from squatters vs drivers.
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cgoudie1



Joined: 10 Apr 2006
Posts: 2143
Location: Killer Sturgeon Cove

PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2018 8:50 pm    Post subject: Re: More heat Reply with quote

Greetings 2Blue,

In general, mid 90s to 100s tends to mute the winds, that means probably not 3.2/3.7, but I just (ok last month) finished sailing a "hot week", and
I had a great time and sailed 8 of 9 days. Was on a 5.2 a lot, but the
Hatchery parking is much easier. I am a cheap date, and I'll sail Easterlies.
Watch the NPH, and if it gets close to the coast, you'll get wind even when
it's hot. That may be a little hard to predict more than a week out though
;*) ;*)

You can always mountain bike the Mornings if there's no wind, or SUP yourself crazy.

BTW I tend to find Doug's to be better in a typical "Battle of the Falling Barometers" heat thermal day, but you gotta have faith around 3 or 4 PM.;*)

I leave you with the immortal words of Gunars (a Gorge fixture of the last
20 years) "If you don't go, you won't sail"

-Craig


2bluehawaiins wrote:
Id like to get some input into the next couple of weeks as if the wind in the corridor will blow when the weather is in the low to mid 90's ?
I'm looking at the 17th thru 31 of Aug.
I know it usually doesn't blow out east when it's that hot but I have sailed the Hatch when it was 100 before.
Any input would be great.
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2bluehawaiins



Joined: 07 Mar 2002
Posts: 189

PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2018 2:06 pm    Post subject: Gorge forecast Reply with quote

Thanks for the input,
Yes if I don't go, I won't be sailing the Gorge!
This is exactly what I was looking for is different person's opinion.
I have been sailing in the Gorge since 86 for two weeks every summer and have found that if it gets to 100 it shuts the wind down.
Weather forecast two weeks out they were calling for mid to high 90's a week ago.
know five days later they are calling for low 90s with some high 80s scattered in there.
Thanks again for the input.
2 Bluehawaiins



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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 18605

PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2018 3:38 pm    Post subject: Re: Gorge forecast Reply with quote

2bluehawaiins wrote:
I have been sailing in the Gorge since 86 for two weeks every summer and have found that if it gets to 100 it shuts the wind down.

Alas, I've seen literally hundreds of windsurfers buy into that myth. Oh, well ... it reduces the crowds outside the corridor. Why, it's been dozens of years ... no, months ... no, make that hours since I was hammered on a 3.7 in nuthin but board shorts and a harness at 100 degrees out east. The week before, at 109 degrees, provided good sailing "out west". Any gradient, whether manifested in mm of mercury or in degrees, has the potential for generating wind. Consider how often it's ripping at Swellhatch and ripslog, if anything, at the Event Site, and how often Rowene goes off several hours before Doug's Beach. (Hint: often.) Ya can't do as Andreas Macke did many moons ago in sticking a wet finger in the Portland air and declaring it a no-wind day. That works no better for east winds than it does for west winds.
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