Tornado Map

January 11, 2008

Vuotornadodamage10jan2008fin_8Well, after numerous tries (about 15 minutes), I finally figured out how to get this thing into my blog.  This "thing" is a great map created by two guys…Wolf Read and Steve Pierce.  They started with Google maps and laid on the track of yesterday’s tornado.  Then Steve, with plenty of time apparently, has put in colored dots for the different levels of damage seen along the track.  That’s a lot of work and I really want to thank them for that.  So sit down this weekend, get your favorite beverage, and take a much closer look.  Get the large image here: Download VUO_Tornado_Track.jpg

I’ve mentioned this before, but you could drink MANY beverages while checking out Wolf Read’s Storm King Website .  This is pretty much the Wikipedia of Northwest USA Windstorms.  An incredible amount of work & research has gone into that site.  Steve Pierce has been watching (and forecasting in spare time) Northwest weather for at least 20 years.  He REGULARLY sends emails out to local media and meteorologists about significant weather events that may be on the horizon.  I used to worry that he could be a stalker or a bit "off", but now that I’ve met him a few times over the last few years, I think he’s a great guy that inhales & exhales pretty much only weather.  Plus, he doesn’t jam up my email inbox as much anymore.

Let’s talk weather briefly.  It’s pretty slow this weekend.  A weak system moves onshore tonight, giving us rain later.  Post-frontal showers continue through midday Saturday, then ridging takes over through Sunday night.  I notice we don’t get much (or any) offshore flow Sunday.  That screams FOG! after all the weeks of rainfall and clearing skies Saturday evening.  So even though it’ll be dry Sunday, I don’t think we’ll get that much sunshine.

A bit more interesting Monday as a very strong cold front sweeps in from the northwest.  We go from about  43 degrees early Monday at 4,000′ to about 22 degrees Monday night at the same elevation.  A quick wind switch to northwest brings in much colder air Monday evening.  The 00z NAM is quite a bit colder than the 00z GFS or MM5 models.  It would imply some snow in the hills before we suddenly dry out after dark.  Something to keep a close eye on at least.  Definitely worthy of a hidden snowflake in the 7 Day forecast.  Tuesday-Saturday’s forecast (Days 4-8) is quite simple.  Ridging overhead, but not a whole lot of offshore flow.  So seasonably cool, but no blast of cold air from Canada, and no strong easterlies through the Gorge.  IF the upper level ridge were to set up closer to the Coastline, we’d get strong high pressure at the surface to our east and gusty Gorge wind. IF the upper level ridge were farther offshore, then much colder northerly flow would set up over us.  Neither is in the cards right now.

Beyond Day 8 (MLK Weekend), models are ALL over the place.  ECMWF implies cold air just to our north that never gets here, mainly dumping out over the ocean.  GFS changes with each run.  Any guesses?  I’m looking forward to a break in the weather next week.  Time to catch up on emails and other "office tasks".   Mark Nelsen