Sunday, August 24, 2008

River Nose

At the request of numerous Columbia River water sports folks and the Columbia Riverkeeper group, the EPA is currently studying the mysterious (and rather freakishly named) set of ailments called "river nose". Some of the symptoms reported over the years include runny nose, sore throats, diarrhea, and cuts/scrapes that take longer than normal to heal.

So, for this week's Hood River Weather site poll, I'm asking what you think might be the primary cause. I'm thinking that it's probably multiple causes, but since my polling software doesn't allow multiple choices yet, just pick the cause you think is primary.

I am assuming that no other windsurfing area of the world reports these particular sets of symptoms, so I have left out my somewhat cynical theory of "just being out in the extreme wind and cold water and being smashed against waves and equipment and having water pushed forcibly into facial orifices and open cuts and scrapes". So my second theory is "pollen or algae", and I am leaning towards the algae.

We can only hope that the EPA studies help resolve the cause and can come up with a less visually disturbing name than "river nose".

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Another. Warm. Morning.

So warm, in fact, that it appears we broke another temperature record today. This morning's low of 71 beats the old "high low" record for the date of 66 (2004).

As noted previously, all these records need to be confirmed by the data at the MCAREC site, which is as close to an official Hood River site as there is.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Enough Heat Already

It's 6 pm now. The temperature has cooled down to a refreshing 104. At 5:10 pm, the temperature here at our weather station maxed out at 108. That not only shattered the old record of 100 for Aug 16 (1977), but it tied the all time highest temperature ever officially recorded for any date in Hood River.

At the peak I was actually trying to will the thermometer to hit 109, and make this the hottest day ever, but, no go. So much for the awesome outside-temperature-changing power of the human mind. On the other hand, there were probably way more people wishing the temperature down...

The wind has shifted to a slight west breeze, and this most likely marks the gradual end of this particular heat wave.

One Record Down

Yesterday's sweltering high of 106 easily surpassed the 75 year old previous record for Aug 15 (101 in 1933). This morning is starting off just as warm, so today's record of 100 (1977) is looking like ancient history also.

The official (OSU Ag Exp Station) record all time high for Hood River is 108 degrees (Aug 18 1977).

Temperatures should start to moderate Sunday with a returning west wind gradient, and next week looks much cooler with a possibility of some rain. Thunderstorms are a distinct possibilty in the next few days.

Click here for Temira's much more detailed (and more entertaining) forecast.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Heat Wave

Today is the first day of a 3 to 4 day heat wave in Hood River. Typically, the west wind dies down, gentle easterly breezes come and go, daytime temps soar, and nightly temps drop to a comfortable 60-70 degrees.

Today's high of 100 didn't break a record, but tomorrow's record high of 101 and Saturday's record of 100 are within reach. If this doesn't kick this year's late-ripening tomatoes, peppers, and corn into high gear, nothing will.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Zero Zip Nada

As mentioned by dbradway in a comment to the previous post, today is the only day of the year that has never received any measureable rainfall in Hood River. I didn't notice this myself until last year (see here), and it looks like the record is going to hold for another year.

Here's a screen shot from the Hood River Weather site today. Note the "Record Rain This Date" followed by "None Never". No Way, No How:

Friday, August 8, 2008

Now THAT Was Cool

I was blasted awake at 11 pm last night by the nearly simultaneous explosion of a million flashbulbs accompanied by a house shaking crack of thunder. This was immediately followed by the sound of pretty good sized hail falling on the roof and the outside vegetation. The temperature was a comfortable 78 degrees out, so most of the windows were open, and the light and sound show continued for another 15 minutes or so. Our rain gauge accumulated 0.06 inches within 5 minutes, a pretty good drenching, but way too brief to provide lasting relief from watering. Thankfully, the hail wasn't heavy enough to damage any of our plants.

As I've mentioned before, I love thunderstorms, and we don't get very many of them here. Maybe climate change will bring more summer thunderstorms into our area. Maybe I should be careful what I wish for...

Speaking of a possibly warming climate, this morning's low of 64 might have set a new record for the "highest low" for this date. The previous record was 63 in 1976.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Heat Index

On the Hood River Weather site, just under the current temperature, is something called "heat index", otherwise known as the "feels like" temperature. I put it there in the summer in place of "wind chill", which obviously is more of a cooler weather thing.

But, generally speaking, our heat index has been totally unimpressive. It always shows either the current temperature or lower. Some heat index THAT is...

Until the past two days...

A lingering heat wave combined with moisture streaming up from the Southwest has made for hot humid afternoons. Pretty unusual for Hood River. And, the heat index has actually been higher than the actual temperature!! Yes!!

At one point today, the outside temperature was 86, and the humidity was 50%, making for a heat index "feels like" temperature of 89.

Now, people who live in more humid areas of the world would laugh their butts off at this small Hood River heat index. In Florida, for example, try 95 degrees at 75% humidity for a heat index of 110 degrees.

It turns out that, in Hood River, the heat index hardly ever applies. It only takes effect at temperatures of 80 degrees or higher with a relative humidity of 40% or higher. These combined conditions, thankfully, are quite rare here.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

July Revisited

July in Hood River was pretty much average in temperature, less windy than average, and dry.

The average temperature was 0.9 degrees warmer than long term averages, but 1.0 degrees below more recent averages (2000-2007). Wind speeds were lower than average, with West winds predominating.

There were 2 local weather records set during the month. On July 24, the low of 41 broke the old record of 43 (1960). On July 31, the low of 41 broke the old record of 42 (1945).

High Low Average Historical Average
Temperature (F) 97

Wind (mph) 30


Rainfall (in) 0.00

0.00 (total)