9pm: 00z MM5-UW model runs just in are quite a bit stronger for the Wednesday system. Rapid deepening and moving in the preferred damaging windstorm track (well inside 130W) and a movement towards the tip of NW Washington definitely needs to be watched pretty closely. If the GFS version is right I’d expect gusts to 80+ mph on far north coast and gusts to 50 mph north of PDX (Kelso to Olympia). A slightly closer track would bring strong winds into the interior of Western Oregon. We’ll see…
6:00pm Very active weather pattern continues through the beginning of the New Year. Last few model runs seem to hone in on 4 more organized frontal systems from tonight-Saturday. As of this evening, I don’t see any one producing wind gusts stronger than 40 mph in the Western Valleys. BUT, this is the pattern that can produce surprises.
Hard to believe, but if this blog doesn’t satiate your weather geek needs, try this site:
Wolf Read has compiled an excellent of history of Northwest Windstorms over the years, including maps. Track maps show where our most dangerous winter storms have originated and what track they take. You could spend hours perusing all the storms with your favorite beverage in hand (I have!).
What I noticed most today was the continuing warmth. The steady stream of moist/mild air from the southwest keeps the 50s coming. Not the decade of course, but the temps. A week ago we were struggling to get much above 32 here in Portland, and now 50-55 seems very nice.
We ARE almost to what I call the "Portland Winter Halfway Point". Our chance for low elevation snow is really only from mid-November to late February. That means once we reach the first week of January (next week), we are halfway through our "danger period" for arctic air or significant snow. We’ve had it easy so far this year…only 1" of snow officially last week. I don’t see a single weather map that shows a return to anything close to snow or cold here in the next 7-10 days.