6pm…Windstorm Tonight?

January 16, 2006

Wow…I didn’t think this could happen twice in one winter.  One or two forecasters in town (including me) don’t think a storm is coming, but apparently everybody else does.  This time it’s wind, not snow.

The NWS has issued a High Wind Warning for the interior of SW Washington and NW Oregon.  That includes the Portland Metro Area.

The NWS criteria for a High Wind Warning for the metro area says winds must be sustained at 40mph or have frequent gusts to 58 mph.  They are forecasting gusts to 50 mph tonight.  They also figure they can lower the criteria since soils are so saturated from the rain lately and it’s easier for trees to fall (that part we HAVE seen the last few weeks).

KOIN & KGW are following suit and calling for a windstorm too.  Keep in mind the wind hasn’t gusted above 50 mph at PDX for 6 years!

I have no idea why they think winds will be this strong tonight.

Low pressure is moving onshore way too far north for high winds here (north of Vancouver Island).  No models show strong winds with the actual cold front passage tonight.  My reliable MM5 says gusts to 35 or so at best.

So I think southerly gusts 35 mph or so is the best we’ll do across most of the area…MAYBE 40 mph.

We’ll find out within the next 6 hours or so right?  The warning went into effect at 6pm.