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Scientists: 2015 Officially Warmest on Record for Oregon, the Coast

Published 01/10/2016 at 5:33 PM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff


(Oregon Coast) – Scientists from Oregon State University in Corvallis have officially declared 2015 as the warmest year on record in Oregon – and along the coastline. Records have been kept since 1895, and this year beat the previous warmest on record: 49.9 degrees, set in 1934. 2015 clocked in at 50.4 degrees. (Photo above: Cannon Beach in February).

The findings come from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Centers for Environmental Information and from Philip Mote, who directs the Oregon Climate Change Research Institute at OSU – both of which are connected to the central Oregon coast's Hatfield Marine Science Center.

Mote said 1934 was at the height of the Dust Bowl, when the entire country was besieged by hot, dry weather. While this past year ended with a run of icy temperatures, all those pleasant coastal winter days of early 2015 and the summer's raging heatwaves caused it to top the yearly average for the 20th century by more than three degrees.

That average was 47.8.

To top it off, Kathie Dello, deputy director of the Oregon Climate Service at OSU, said this year was another record for average global temperature, and the second highest for the United States.

It all started with the early spring Oregon experienced, even culminating in a 72-degree day on the Oregon coast in February. Later, two records were broken when Portland had a run of 90-degree weather for 24 days, then another that lasted 28 days.

Mote said the record-setting 2015 weather was a combination of meteorological phenomena and the Earth gradually getting warmer because of human activities.

“We had a ridge of high pressure that set up and kept the weather warm and dry throughout most of the summer and fall,” Mote said. “That followed a winter in which we got nearly average precipitation, but much of it came from the south and it fell as rain instead of snow.”

Mote said 2015 would have been warm year anyway because of meteorological conditions, but greenhouse gasses added another one or two degrees.

OSU researchers are expecting more of the same in the coming year.

“With El Niño and the remnants of The Blob (a huge warm patch of water in the North Pacific Ocean), it should be another warm year for the Earth, and for Oregon,” Dello said. Where to stay in this area - Where to eat - Maps and Virtual Tours. See updated Oregon Coast Weather.








 

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