Portland and much of the Northwest will melt under above normal temperatures this June, July and August, if the National Weather Service summer outlook is correct.
The metro valley could experience its first hot summer since the record-hot 2009. This map shows our region with above-normal temperatures this coming summer season, displayed with the shaded orange and brown colors:
Normally, Portland experiences 55 days each year with 80-degree heat and 11 days reaching 90 or hotter. While outlooks are not specific to high temperatures, one would conclude Portland will see a likelihood of 12 to 20 days with 90-degree heat in the coming months.
My research shows this summer's projected Enso pattern is consistent with past years of record heat here in the Willamette Valley. The so-called Enso outlooks show a neutral pattern this spring, developing into an El Niño this summer and possibly strengthening this fall.
This described pattern mirrors conditions in play during 2009, when the Portland International Airport set the all-time record for 90 degree days, with 24. The extreme heat summers of 2006 and 2003 had similar oceanic temperatures in play.
As our region braces for a hot summer, June rainfall will be a key factor in shortening or extending this year's wildfire season. The number of lightning strikes is unpredictable, and a it's a key factor in the number of fire starts.
If an El Niño continues to build, outlook maps showing above normal temperatures for the Northwest this coming fall and winter may be correct. The map below shows the Northwest seeing warm temperatures this fall and the 2nd map shows warm winter temperatures. Notice the 3rd map below shows, in green, above-normal winter precipitation across the southern United States, a pattern consistent with past El Niños.
Meteorologist Rod Hill, follow me @