Wind Ends, Rain Begins

December 8, 2006

What a crazy east wind episode…3 days of gusts over 60 mph at the west end of the Gorge and the average windspeed at Corbett Grade School has been above 39 mph for 24 hours now.  Peak gust there was at least 71 mph earlier today.  Our own "blogette"? Tyler Mode recorded a 95 mph gust with his hand-held anemometer at Vista House about 2 miles east of there…no wonder the place was falling apart!  It just went through a several years-long renovation.  The wind continues strong or may increase slightly through tonight as the gradient holds around 9-11 millibars PDX-DLS.  A wave moving north along the coast tightens the gradient slightly until about daybreak, then the wind should die down to much more reasonable gusts to 50 mph tomorrow and tomorrow night.  We won’t lose the east wind completely until Monday when a gusty southerly wind develops across the metro area.

Rain showers arrive overnight, and it will be rain, except closer to 1000′ at the west end of the Gorge and 500′ at the east wind.  Considering current temps/dewpoints, it appears the upper hills around Corbett/Washougal, Stevenson & the Hood River Valley will see freezing rain.

Very wet system Monday and another wetter one later Wednesday/Thursday pretty much all agreed upon by models.  I don’t see deep low pressure to give us damaging southerly winds.

As I mentioned last night, a chilly airmass Friday-Saturday next week.  Maybe snow to 1000′, possibly lower, but that’s 7-9 days away.  We ARE in prime time for snow or arctic air, as much prime time as you can get here at sea-level in the Northwest.  Keep in mind that 34 years ago quite an arctic blast sat over the Northwest.  Redmond hit their all-time low of -28 on this date.  PDX dropped to 8 with highs only in the lower 20’s…So I’ll keep my eyes peeled for any sign in the models…Mark