To answer the questions:
It was around 55 degrees when I started the fire. It was a little windy, but nothing outrageous (I am in Pennsylvania and it is November!...LOL)
The cherry logs were actually 2 quarters of a 5" log about 12" long, and very dry. I put them on to burn down a little so I would get "blue smoke" and not heavy smoke- I put them on while it was getting up to heat.
A similar issue happened in August, and it was in the 90's. The temp stays up when I leave more than just the ball valve open. Maybe I have the air vents too high off the bottom? IDK...
KCBS CBJ # 66647 Meadowcreek PRS 60, Blue Weber OTG, Masterbuilt 7 in 1 smoker, UDS