A Change in Sight

I suppose a change will be nice for those exposed to the strong Columbia Gorge outflow this evening.  Troutdale Airport gusted to 41 mph earlier and Corbett School had a gust to at least 68 mph again this evening.  That makes for about 48 hours of gusts over 50 mph now.  Even after all these years of living on the east side of the metro area (since 1991), I still find it amazing that the wind can gust to 70 mph at the west end of the Gorge yet be calm only 15 air miles to the west.  All that fast-moving air fans out across the metro area.  And I had a gust to 16 mph at my home while it was gusting up around 70 just a mile & a half away.  I get blocked by hills about 1,500′ just to my northeast and only get gusty easterly wind when it comes down off the Cascades too.  Gradient from PDX-DLS peaked at around 9 millibars earlier today, dropped to around 7 early afternoon, and is now back to 8.5 or so.  It should peak again sometime tomorrow, then drop off dramatically tomorrow night as this east wind episode ends.  Someone earlier on the comments asked if there was any damage with these windspeeds.  Generally since 65-70 mph gusts occur at times during the winter, it takes gusts higher than that to cause lots of trouble. I think it has to get up around 80-90 mph or so to bring down lots of trees or damage roofs.  That hasn’t happened at the west end of the Gorge since the cold spell just before the Feb. 1996 flood.  I know several anemometers recorded 90-100 mph gusts then.

Now, on to the rainy season resumption.  Weak system tomorrow night and another Sunday still get torn apart a bit by the split offshore.   Then much more active fronts Monday through the rest of next week as strong westerly flow of one sort or another resumes.  It’s going to get wet again!

As for cold or snow? I too noticed the 00z GFS yesterday had significant cold air dropping in with a trough about next Friday-Saturday (15th-17th timeframe), not really an arctic blast but cold and showery behind Thursday’s front.  New 00z GFS and 00z Canadian just out show a chilly 1000′ snow level or a bit less, but definitely no arctic air and just a brief cooldown before more rain follows.  How surprising that the GFS would back off on cold air!!!  Of course I meant that sarcastically…enjoy one last dry day tomorrow and head up to Crown Pt. in the morning (or afternoon) if you want to feel some wind…Mark

87 Responses to A Change in Sight

  1. offroadjosh-aloha says:

    Just woke up and there is a wind adv. and its about 30mph gusts outside. what time did the wind start

  2. jeff says:

    Hey guys.. Just observing a nice low developing from the Gulf of Alaska…
    It would be nice if it gathered some Arctic air, because we will have plenty of precipitation.. ETA I think will be like mark said 15-17th! Bring on the Snow season!!

  3. Derek-West Gresham says:

    – In comparison to a little bit ago-

  4. Derek-West Gresham says:

    Gusting to 45mph here suddenly, very very strong winds.

  5. Tyler in Vancouver says:

    By the way, driving up to the gorge, I experienced some of the strongest gusts even at freeway level. Rocks and crap were blowing everywhere. Haven’t seen the trees move like that in a long time either.
    The little mart by the road up there has a weather station which had a peak gust of 63 mph.
    Peak wind here was West at 11 mph.

  6. Rob -Southeast Portland- says:

    A -14mb? Yeah that would be nuts. I’m going with -12.3mb as the possible maximum.

  7. Derek-West Gresham says:

    Its still 1015mb at the dalles, probably wont be lower than 1005mb when the low passes giving us a -11 to -14mb gradient. If thats the case its going to blow hard!

  8. Tyler in Vancouver says:

    Posted this in the peak east wind section as well….
    Just got back from Crown Point where I measured a wind gust to 95.4 mph, my highest I’ve ever measured. The previous highest was 83 mph last year at Crown Point.
    Had dozens of gusts over hurricane force and 2nd and 3rd place wind gusts of 89 and 88 mph around noon today.
    I went down to Multnomah Falls and then back up to Crown Point around 1:30 and measured a peak gust to 87 mph then. Very cold that’s for darn
    Also saw ten trees down and two highway signs busted as well. And a note, all of the ice near/on the falls is gone now.
    I just got an In-speed hand-held anemometer. Seems to perform very well. Tested it while driving down here and was fairly accurate.

  9. Derek-West Gresham says:

    Maybe it already has as I am sure that map isn’t 100% current. Probably will be 990mb as it goes to our west, while its 1000+ mb to our east.

  10. Rob -Southeast Portland- says:

    Be nice if the low strengthened a little more to 990/992mb.

  11. Rob -Southeast Portland- says:

    Ok good. Appears we might be correct Derek.
    TTD-DLS gradient back up to -9.4mb

  12. Derek-West Gresham says:

    Gradient back down to -9.4mb I believe. Thats a good sign. Droppin I am with you. Gradient should keep lowering!

  13. Rob -Southeast Portland- says:

    According to this model….
    A 994mb low is just off the southern Oregon/northern California coast moving N-NNE into an even more favorable position to maximize the potential of the gradient.
    The pressure is estimated at 29.35in
    The high pressure is over Idaho 1023/1030mb 30.21/30.42
    That’s a pretty extreme pressure difference. One would assume the gradient should increase again, maybe peaking around -12mb?.
    Any thoughts?

  14. Derek-West Gresham says:


  15. Rob -Southeast Portland- says:

    Yeah Derek that’s what I thought. Isn’t the low moving in an even more favorable position to pull E winds through the Gorge?

  16. Derek-West Gresham says:

    Rob – That low is moving due North! There is no way our east winds are close to being over.

  17. Derek-West Gresham says:

    Rob – Typically as the area of winds decrease the winds actually increase near the gorge. So we will stay high for a while, but then quickly drop off at some point. For some reason I think it will snow this year on christmas as I mentioned earlier, lets hope thats right.

  18. Rob -Southeast Portland- says:

    If the TTD-DLS gradient weakened to -8.9mb then how come my winds have increased somewhat 10 minutes ago.

  19. Rob -Southeast Portland- says:

    On WV Loop looks like that low is moving NNE.

  20. Rob -Southeast Portland- says:

    Well it does look like it’s move east some. I guess we shall see. Still would assume the 994mb low offshore would be enough to make up the difference in pressure. Hey I could be wrong Lol. I’m also hoping for arctic front Jerry.

  21. Derek-West Gresham says:

    I’m not much of a singer but I will do it to make people happy if thats what they want. kinda sappy I know. lol

  22. Jerry- Mountain Park@ 640 ft, Work @ Hillsboro Airport says:

    Derek, unless you like singing christmas songs with your fam, in which case is cool, but I feel for ya man singing christmas songs=yucky for me. lol

  23. Jerry- Mountain Park@ 640 ft, Work @ Hillsboro Airport says:

    depends if that high presure stays stable. looks like its starting to break down doesnt it.

  24. Derek-West Gresham says:

    LOLOL Just last night my mom wanted me to sing christmas songs with the family so I said only if we sing this song with this addition. “I’m dreaming…of a white christmas…just like the ones I never knew!” And you just thought that up to, WEIRD…LOL

  25. Rob -Southeast Portland- says:

    TTD-DLS gradient down to -8.9mb. Perhaps it has peaked and I’m wrong? I still assume as the low continues to approach northern California that in response to the higher pressure to the east the winds will increase tonight.
    Any thoughts?

  26. Antipex-SE Gresham says:

    Actually, the closest to a white christmas, other than a white xmas eve in 1998, was in Florida in 1995 when we had a very white frosty christmas morning while on holiday there.

  27. Ben says:

    Yeah, at Mt. Hood…let’s hope here as well.

  28. Antipex-SE Gresham says:

    I’m dreaming…of a white xmas…just like the ones I never knew! 😛

  29. Rob -Southeast Portland- says:

    95mph eh? I have been up there one night where I would estimate the winds were the same. It was a job just to get the car door open. When the gusts would hit they would throw me around like I was nothing. I walked towards the Vista House and a gust pushed me UP the stairs right to the doors/windows of the Vista House.
    It was amazing. Massive adrenalin rush.
    Rooster Rock is sustained at 36mph. Their highest sustained wind of this E wind event/storm.
    I see the low is 994mb off the northern California coast.
    IMO the winds could easily increase another 10-25mph tonight in all areas.

  30. Derek-West Gresham says:

    White Christmas coming this year – Just watch!

  31. charlie says:

    This is from accuweather professional site where Joe Bastardi quoted, ” The cold option for major areas from the plains east is 2 to 3 weeks away at least, in the west, the southern areas will be cooler overall the next couple of weeks and there is a threat of arctic air back in the northwest again after the 20th.”

  32. Andrew---Ellensburg, Wa and Portland, Or says:

    I have some crazy pictures of the November Mt. Raineer flood damage. If you want to see them, send me an email at adrew1452@aol.com and i will forward them to you. Lots of roads taken out.

  33. Jerry- Mountain Park@ 640 ft, Work @ Hillsboro Airport says:

    I bet if you took a poll, Mark would be the most favored met for all of Oregon and SW washington. I wonder if the NWS has thought about trying to steal em from KPTV.

  34. jacob BPA says:

    Thats ok I would Doubt Too
    and for the Record I will also Let you guys know if its my prediction or Company Prediction from here on out I may have not given who is saying what sometimes and I apologize
    By the Way Mark You are the Favored Met here at work LOL

  35. Jerry- Mountain Park@ 640 ft, Work @ Hillsboro Airport says:

    I need a artic front to sweep down with a good 2-3 inch burst of snow. All these close calls has me itchin!

  36. Jerry says:

    I never once questioned if Jacob was legit with working @ BPA. Who was questioning if he didnt work for BPA, that sucks he had to take a test just to prove who he was. Oh well I guess that happens when you talk with a keyboard and alot of people have the potential to lie.

  37. Andrew---Ellensburg, Wa and Portland, Or says:

    heh, i need to learn to read. Looks like ryan had just posted it lol.

  38. Andrew---Ellensburg, Wa and Portland, Or says:

    Hey guys, back in Portland now and will be here until January 2nd. Not sure if anyone has posted this or not, but weather.com showing rain/snow mix for next Saturday.

  39. Derek-West Gresham says:

    I never doubted him! lol I think its some sort of hand-held anometer. However thats spelled. Gusts are just over 40mph here, nothing real exciting, but there is that constant roar in the background which reminds me of Troudale a little more. 39 degrees here.

  40. Mark Nelsen says:

    Yes, “Jacob” from BPA passed the identity test with 100% accuracy, and even offered a few bonus bits of information. So he DOES work at BPA.

  41. Antipex-SE Gresham says:

    I was up at crown point about 12:15ish when Tyler was there…one gust nearly swept me off my feet! Such a thrill to be up there!

  42. Chuckyd81 says:

    Wow…What kind of instrument did he have? Or do you know?
    Tyler, if you read this…what kind of instrument did you use to record 95mph?

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