I have, and decided to crunch some numbers. We are nearing the halfway point of August and the weekends have been unusually hot. Lets look at the supporting evidence.
Below are the high temperatures for the first two weekends in August at PDX:
August 4th: High: 102
Sunday August 5th: High 94
Saturday August 11th: High 87 degrees
Sunday August 12th: High 94 degrees
Contrast the weekend days to weekdays (Monday – Friday): The average high for these weekdays are 81 degrees – or 13.3 degrees cooler.
The Valley’s and Desert’s of SoCal are know to heat-up while LA typically enjoys the smoggy marine layer (sometimes you can even see the actual sun). But typically – even when the Santa Ana’s blow- the actual city of LA – I’m talking civic center, doesn’t get out of control hot.
113 degrees in Los Angeles not only breaks the record for the day, but it breaks the all-time record for any day since records have been kept (1877).
Santa Ana 101 (Not the freeway): Portlanders were indirectly affected by the California Santa Ana winds. Santa Ana winds are created when a strong area of high-pressure builds in the western states, and the clock-wise flow around this cell of high pressure blows easterly winds. That is the wind blows from the east. (east to west). The air blows up the mountains of SoCal and has to go somewhere. Four-hundred years ago Newton described gravity and it’s no wonder that this air, without any other force, has to go down the mountain. As air rushes down the mountains it accelerates, compresses and warms. Many other dynamic factors are at play, but this is the essence of how and why SoCal can get so hot.
Not limited to SoCal:
Even though Meteorologists classify such winds as a mesoscale phenomenon (on a medium scale), the broader circulation also brought very warm temperatures to Oregon yesterday. So while many Oregonians were complaining about the heat, please remember that it could be a lot worse.