11:40 AM PDT THU SEP 21, 2017




Recommended times for agricultural burning are from now until 5 p.m.


Prep burning is not allowed.




A weakening upper-level trough will maintain unseasonably cool weather today but with far less shower activity.  Additional rainfall totals should be less than a tenth of an inch.




Mostly cloudy and cool with scattered light showers.


Salem's high temperature today will be near 62°F (average is 76°F).

Relative humidity:  Dropping to near 60% by 5 p.m.

Surface winds: S 10-15 mph; becoming SW 10-15 mph later this afternoon.

Transport winds: SW 15 mph; becoming W 15 mph later this afternoon.

Mixing height: Rising to 5000 feet by 5 p.m.

Salem’s sunset tonight: 7:11 p.m.


(Salem Airport data for Wednesday, September 20th: High 59°F; Rainfall: .66”)

(Maximum Ventilation Index expected today: 75)




A more stable northerly flow aloft will bring drier weather and more sunshine on Friday, but temperatures will remain about 10 degrees below average.  A slight chance showers will persist, especially along the Cascade foothills.


A building upper-level ridge will bring partly to mostly sunny skies, after areas of morning fog, over the weekend.  That will allow fields to begin the drying process.  Temperatures will progressively warm back to near average, by Monday, with light NW winds turning northerly.


As the upper-level ridge strengthens, winds should turn offshore Tuesday and Wednesday, which will promote further drying of fields and help temperatures climb to near 80°F.


The thermal trough is expected to shift east of the Cascades on Thursday, with increasing SW flow aloft and onshore flow at the surface likely creating an afternoon burning opportunity.  There may be another burning opportunity Friday afternoon, just ahead of a weak cold front.


The National Weather Service’s digital forecast is available at:




     1.  Mixing height, as used here, is the lowest height at which the

         potential temperature exceeds the potential temperature at the

         surface.  As a practical matter it is the approximate height to

         which a smoke plume will rise assuming good ignition, dry fuels,

         and winds less than about 15 mph.


     2.  Transport winds are a layer average through the mixing height,

         weighted slightly toward the winds at the top of the layer.


     3.  Ventilation Index is the height of the mixing layer (ft) times

         the transport wind speed (mph) divided by 1000.


     4.  Surface wind direction is the general expected wind direction. 

         At a specific point surface winds are highly dependent on local

         terrain conditions.


     5. In accordance with OAR 837-110-0090, all field burning shall be

         banned when any two of the following criteria are present:

         A. Temperature of 95 degrees Fahrenheit or above

         B. Relative humidity of 30 percent or below                

         C. Wind speed of 15 miles per hour or higher


This forecast is provided under an agreement between the Oregon Department

of Agriculture (ODA) and the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF).  For

information contact ODA at 503-986-4701.


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Pete Parsons

ODF Meteorologist