Lighter and Stronger Wind

December 8, 2005

It’s a very cold December night across the Northwest.  Some winters we don’t get colder weather than this…or is it a sign of things to come?  I have no idea, but I do know we have blocking ridge over us for the next 7-10 days.  Some models shove a weak system through the ridge early next week, but I’ll keep the forecast dry for now.  Seems like more often than not, later model runs kill the system.

East wind is increasing through the Gorge tonight, but decreasing elsewhere.  This is a common sequence of events as the air above us (2,000′ on up) begins to warm with a developing ridge and a strong inversion develops with cold air stuck below.  As all that cold air moving through the Gorge is forced to stay under the lowering inversion, speeds increase there.  That means temperatures in calm areas are dropping like a rock.  I expect some upper teens by morning in the usual cold spots (Forest Grove, Scappoose, Battle Ground, Orchards etc…)

My favorite for this evening is the wind forecast for the Gorge from the NWS.  "EAST WIND 15 TO 25 MPH WITH GUSTS 35  MPH WEST OF CASCADE LOCKS".  Ummm…in the last hour it has gusted to 39 outside of the Gorge at Troutdale, 47 at Rooster Rock, and 61 at Corbett MS.  I think that most bad forecasts are due to attention to detail or just not paying attention.   This would be one of those cases.  But hey, just one weather geek’s opinion.   Enjoy the cold clear weather…lots more coming!