More Wind Ahead

February 9, 2006

We are in the middle of a minor "downslope windstorm" tonight.  Strong Canadian high pressure is moving down out of Alberta.  It’s not excessively cold, but it’s dry and covers a huge area.  Plus the easterly flow is so deep that strong winds are going right up and over the Cascades instead of just through the Gorge.  In this situation wind is as strong or even stronger out over the valley and metro area than in the Columbia River Gorge.  I notice at 8pm the wind is gusting over 40 mph at Vancouver and Portland, but only about 35 in the west end of the Gorge at Rooster Rock.  PDX-DLS gradients are rapidly increasing tonight (9mb around 9pm) and should peak out around 12 mb by daybreak.  So widespread easterly gusts 45-50 in town are likely through midday Friday before things die down.  Eastern Clark County (specifically Battleground & Hockinson) tend to get hit hard in this setup so I expect a few gusts to 60 mph there.

The NWS has a high wind warning out for the metro area and western Gorge.  I think those Clark county spots may verify with higher gusts, but the Gorge definitely won’t get that strong.  They really get nailed during those long spells of cold temps and continuous east wind, not in this pattern

Much calmer again this weekend and Monday.

Finally (at least in my opinion) models seem to be settling down some for the Tuesday-Thursday period.  No model after 12z this morning has shown arctic air moving south, just cooler temps and some moisture.  The 12z ECMWF, 00z GEM, 00z GFS all try to dig more energy offshore and close off a low the middle of next week.  That would give us SOME wet weather but no snow levels below 1500′ or so.  Of course the 00z GFS has much colder air JUST BEYOND the 7 day forecast.  Notice how it does that all winter?  What is it with that model?  So for now I’m keeping the 7 Day forecast pretty tame.