Spring Storms

There were just a few scattered lightning strikes today, mainly offshore, but we are entering the season now where it’s quite a bit easier to hear a rumble of thunder west of the Cascades. The reason is that the land is beginning to warm up, yet we still have chilly air overhead to give us unstable conditions (depending on the weather pattern at the time of course).  Lightning2_3 Click on the image to see it full-sized.

This brings up a question a viewer emailed me today.  George from Tigard asks where he can find a link to live lightning information.  Here’s the deal.  There is national lightning detection network (the U.S. NLDN®) that  constantly detects lightning discharges to ground. Each lightning event, called a flash, is recorded at the NLDN Network Control Center at Vaisala’s Tucson Operations. Each plus sign on the map represents one recorded flash.  Since one company runs all the sensors, you have to pay for the data.  Because of that we can not redistribute the information (oops, hopefully the lightning police won’t be showing up at my door tomorrow!).

So there isn’t any "live" lightning strike information on the internet.  You have to pay for it, and it isn’t cheap.  Go here if you are interested: https://thunderstorm.vaisala.com/

In the future lightning could be detectable from space (NOAA is working on it now).  If so, that means cloud-cloud strikes would be detected too.  Most likely that would be free information if the government is the one collecting the data at that point.

Enjoy the weekend, it’ll be a bit chilly, but some dryness hopefully early Saturday and late Sunday…Mark

65 Responses to Spring Storms

  1. Josh"The Snowman" says:

    Looks to me like tonight’s low pressure center is weakening and actually heading west/northwest, away from the coast. The next system should give it a “kick” by tomorrow though so we could get some pop ups tomorrow afternoon. I’m actually thinking more towards the evening, looks like it will take a while for this thing to move over us. Once it does the door should be wide open to a more progressive pattern, with systems moving in quicker(not getting stretched out at the coast). This should give us some better chance for rain/Tstorms but also could get us in a little bit of a rain shadow too.

  2. Derek Hodges says:

    Yeah, you never know. But I’m hoping for something good.

  3. Derek Hodges says:

    Yeah, you never know. But I’m hoping for something good.

  4. Sean says:

    It looks like a decent chance of some build up tomorrow. Looking at the current LI (Lift Index) for tomorrow, that it will max about at about 0 to -1 tomorrow afternoon. I would expect a few isolated storms to popup during the afternoon.
    But according to the SPC discussion outlook that alot of the action will be down in California goes regarding thunderstorms. Most of Oregon is covered by (General Thunderstorm) expectation. But as we all know that Mother Nature can do what she wants to do.

  5. Derek Hodges says:

    Anybody else have a similar or different opinion? I want to discuss to get the best feel of what will happen but nobody is on.

  6. Derek Hodges says:

    I have a life lol. sorta. If you ask me the low is to far off shore to cause any real wind. But I do see a good t-storm track tomorrow. The low looks to put us in a good southerly flow. Moisture is also wrapping around so with good sunbreaks could produce some intense t-storms. I don’t know where the second low behind the main one is going but looks very interesting if you ask me.

  7. Travis says:

    Hmm, I want rain but checking over I don’t see to much. I guess I was wrong. All of us weather geeks just hang on all day. We don’t have a life, do we?

  8. Travis says:

    I think T-Storms are a possibility. Though we will need moisture. According to this link:

    there will be rain tomorrow. We will see. What are your guys opinions on this. I love the rain and lightning and all that so I am getting ready. I am going to keep watching. I think this will be interesting. So Mark, did the lightning police come? We need a new update Mark. How about it?

  9. Travis says:

    I think T-Storms are a possibility. Though we will need moisture. According to this link:

    there will be rain tomorrow. We will see. What are your guys opinions on this. I love the rain and lightning and all that so I am getting ready. I am going to keep watching. I think this will be interesting. So Mark, did the lightning police come? We need a new update Mark. How about it?

  10. Droppin says:

    Hey guys. Hmmm I’m a little surprised they aren’t talking about the deepening low pressure off the southwest Oregon coast. It’s tracking due north right towards southern Vancouver island. Appears to be a fairly favorable track. I know that in the past a similar track as this has given us some wind events. I think it could be something worth noting or atleast looking at. Check the water vapor loop on this guy.
    http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/pqr/w4kmP.php
    Also some nice energy rotating behind it, so I’d say we have a “chance” of t-storms tomorrow.
    -Rob

  11. Derek Hodges says:

    Yeah I wasn’t sure what you meant. I guess if there is something to discuss I will be around more. Anyway yeah I hope we get some good shower action. Probably should hope for sunny skies almost all day to produce some real “boomers” around dinnertime.

  12. Josh"The Snowman" says:

    No, I was just asking where were you blog-wise. Not posting much these days. I know, there isn’t much going on but looks like some thunderstorms tomorrow, NWS is hinting at it.

  13. Derek Hodges says:

    I’m at portland/gresham border if thats what your asking. Yep, she sure is. lol

  14. Josh"The Snowman" says:

    BTW, Derek, where are ya? That girl must be something…lol.

  15. Josh"The Snowman" says:

    Looks like the low out there right now is starting dig and crank up some. Maybe some post frontal “bumpers” tomorrow. Heavy rain right now down in the San Fran area, I could see us getting a piece of that perhaps. Meanwhile, it is a beautiful day up here in Everett. Should I mow the lawn today?…lol. Expect rain increasing tonight with some Tstorms flaring up tomorrow, looks like rain even in the passes this go around, spring is in full force now.

  16. Travis says:

    Judging on past years I think in Portland there won’t be too much but I am hoping. As for other citys I believe storms are coming. Though Josh, I do think it will be earlier than Friday. We’ll see though.

  17. Travis says:

    Judging on past years I think in Portland there won’t be too much but I am hoping. As for other citys I believe storms are coming. Though Josh, I do think it will be earlier than Friday. We’ll see though.

  18. Josh"The Snowman" says:

    I would have to say it won’t start getting interesting til at least Friday at this point. Seems any lows that are out there right now either stall or get split apart. Should be a pattern change mid-week though with a strengthening jet stream that should be more east to west, if not from the northwest. Should be some good opportunities next weekend for some instability.

  19. Derek Hodges says:

    Do you think this year we will see a severe storm here in the Portland area? I’m hoping but I think we got to wait until April before we see how this years spring weather patterns go

  20. Justin says:

    Thanks Travis, I’ll stand by you and hope that some storms are coming in the near future, April-June is our ‘severe’ weather season so there’s still plenty of time to see a few good thunderstorms.

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