Weather Answers: Lighter Thoughts

I have a few minutes before the 2 hour finale of BSG begins.  I'll be working during the 2nd half so that'll be this weekend's viewing.  We don't have any significant weather coming up the next few days…the heavy moisture with the approaching large trough heads into California, leaving us with lighter showers, mainly on Sunday only.  My plan is to plant some fruit trees and strawberries tomorrow so it had better stay dry.  Okay, let's do some more answers to your questions.

1. From EFLOW: Mark, Can you still derive the omega equation?  No!  I have not used Calculus, Algebra, or Differential Equations for 18 years and don't remember hardly any of it…let's be serious here, I point at a green wall every day and do some simple data analysis at times, plus some statistics.

2. From Mike-Orchards:  Mark, what is your favorite kind of "exciting" weather…windstorms, snow, cold, t-storms?  I would say thunderstorms are the most exciting for me since we don't get them much here.  But extremes of any sort are great.

3. From MCP: Hey Mark, What are your theories on how Battlestar Galactica is going to end?  We'll know in a few hours…but my gut feeling is just a few people will be left on a "new" earth…which maybe is in our past?  The Truth is Out There…wait, wrong show, nevermind.

4. From Jackfrost-Beaverton: What is the tackiest thing or the biggest goof up you have done for our viewing pleasure?  Okay, this is the one I have always felt badly about:  about 10 years ago I was doing a live shot (for KOIN) down at the tulip farm in Woodburn. I was interviewing a great kid who works on his family's farm down there.  I said "don't you think it's kind of a girlie thing to hang out at a flower farm?".  The poor kid (maybe 10 years old?) just got quiet for a minute and I moved on.  But I always felt horrible and REALLY stupid for saying something like that.  Oh, and that was live on-air too.  And as I recall, I had been planting flowers and vegetables in my own garden that spring.  What a moron eh?  That kid is probably 20 years old now.  I got quite a few "pig chauvenist" emails and calls, for good reason.

5. From CNR-VAN-WA: Mark, Have you ever seen a tornado? Have you ever been though a hurricane? Yes, I saw a tornado while in map-drawing class up at the UW in April, 1991.  Strange place don't you think? I did fly with the Hurricane Hunters back in 1998;  they take media on flights.  It was Hurricane Georges and we went through the eye 6 times, then I puked.  It was quite an experience, but don't eat a warm sandwich halfway through the flight.

6. From Karl Andres: What kind of material is the news desk made of. Also how do you get the backround to switch from night to day behind the desk? Ah, an operational question.  News desks, just like hollywood sets, are made to look nice and be slightly functional…nothing else.  So it's plywood, some plexiglass, and faux marble laminate over the top.  The background in the back is a big light box (flourescents inside) that flips on a rod.  The covering is a duratrans (colored, semi-transparent plastic) on each side.  Day on one side, night on the other.  The floor people unplug it and then flip at the appropriate times.

7.  From Yevgeniy-Beaverton: Mark, what is your all time favorite weather moment in the most recent decade?  The big ice/snow storms are fun (2004, 2008, 1998), but there's something about the dramatic onset of our big windstorms.  I clearly remember about 12:30pm on December 12th, 1995. We were finishing up the noon show on KOIN and the studio lights blinked on and off, even though the wind hadn't arrived yet on Valley obs. or downtown.  That was an obvious and ominous "the storm has arrived" moment.  For that reason that day is probably my favorite weather moment.

8.  From Steve Pierce: Please take an educated guess at the following — What do you think is the "median" salary range is for a Portland on-air television Meteorologist? Please take into account all shifts, all days of the week, all backgrounds, all experience & education levels, and all stations. Also, take your best guess at what is the shortest, longest and average length of an on-air TV Meteorologist's contract in Portland? Generally, none of us know what others make, although one can guess right?  I tell school kids in my "career day" presentation that the median might be 80,000 or so.  Seems reasonable, but there's a wide range above and below that (very wide).  Average contract length?  Probably 3 years.  They are almost always 2 to 5 years.

85 Responses to Weather Answers: Lighter Thoughts

  1. Jesse-Orchards says:

    38 here with light rain. A tad cold for a late-March afternoon.
    This would have totally been a snow event a couple months ago.

  2. Cherie_in_Vernonia says:

    Nexrad showing snow?? in the Forest Grove area again?? What’s up with that??

  3. Mike from Orchards says:

    Good link Rob!….
    Nice line of storms west/northwest of KC……
    My daughter used to live/work in Kansas City, MO up until a few years ago…She has been to the “storm cellar” numerous times during her time there…Unfortunately for me, I never visited during “tornado season”…..
    Currently here a cold 41.4F….raining…..0.13” so far today

  4. Rob "Wrath" - Elevation 300' -Far S.E. Portland- says:

    Well that storm has moved off, but many others are out there. There are dozens of chasers out right now. Try this website to view their live streams.
    41.0F here with light rain.

  5. Rob "Wrath" - Elevation 300' -Far S.E. Portland- says:

    Severe thunderstorm with winds possibly in excess of 70mph moving into Omaha, Nebraska.

  6. Heisson Rob (750') says:

    Hey, Tyler, how about Drippy March days in the 30’s? Currently 37 here.

  7. Tyler in Hazel Dell says:

    42 as of 3 pm. I’ve experienced a lot of drippy March days, but not usually in the low 40’s!

  8. Rob "Wrath" - Elevation 300' -Far S.E. Portland- says:

    What a chilly and raw day out there….
    42.3F at my house currently.
    Mike(Orchards) I’ve been tracking the storms the past 2 hours. Omaha is now under a tornado warning.

  9. Andrew Johnson (Silverton) says:

    I see that Redmond tied a record low (16) last night. Its a cool day here westside. Salem is only 43 with light rain. To bad they weren’t getting interesting weather like today over in Oklahoma and Kansas when I was there last week. But I did enjoy 80 degrees with sunshine 🙂

  10. Mike from Orchards says:

    44.9F…light rain beginning to fall….light SSW winds…
    Severe weather outbreak (tornadoes, severe t-storms, etc.) occurring in Nebraska/Kansas at the present time.

  11. offroadjosh(Kalispell area montana) says:

    no i didnt have to respond to this plane crash but there was a small one over here that i did. to bad that children died =(

  12. SnowFlake (Tigard/Bull Mtn) says:

    Holy cow….this is pretty amazing (check out the brief detail on what the picture is…). Kinda puts our itty, bitty lives into a different perspective….

  13. SnowFlake (Tigard/Bull Mtn) says:

    Some great photos of Mt Redoubt, just days ago….
    Wondering what this will do to our weather (if anything…..)?

  14. pdxmaffei says:

    I only skimmed thru the posts, but I am surprised nobody has commented on Mark’s eerily accurate prediction about the end of BSG.

  15. pgiorgio says:


  16. Punxsutawney (aka HIO Phil at work by Sunset High ~280' elevation) says:

    Sorry to hear that Josh. 😦
    As a volunteer firefighter did you have to respond? A friend of mine who used to be a paramedic has had to respond to a plane crash.

  17. offroadjosh(Kalispell area montana) says:

    IDK if you guys heard but a small plane crashed, killing 17 people in butte(montana) not to far from me, sadly most of the people where children going to a ski trip=(,2933,510082,00.html

  18. Punxsutawney (aka HIO Phil at work by Sunset High ~280' elevation) says:

    According to the update late yesterday, the ash cloud was estimated to be 50,000 feet high. That is easily high enough to get ash, SO2 into the upper atmosphere for at least some cooling effect on global climate.
    Low around 29 last night.

  19. I’ve got a question for some of the old timers out there…what, if any, impact did the last eruption of Mount Redoubt have on Pac NW weather?

  20. Nice array of weather today. Rain, hail, snow (for about 5 minutes) and several sun breaks this afternoon. Currently 34.2°

  21. TetraforceofTime also The destroyer of bad-boys says:

    Sorry if I scared you all away. 😦 Don’t shoot me please!
    (grabs the charged up Tetraforce just in case there is unforeseen problems)
    40.3F and had a hail shower in the late afternoon that was dime sized and it stuck to the ground almost making it white.
    Guess that’s my march snow.

  22. TetraforceofTime also The destroyer of bad-boys says:

    You have to register in order to view and upload photos but like I said some of the members get very very weird where on a normal forum it wouldn’t be allowed but hey at least you get your photos shown. Maybe you can make a thread of Astoria pictures.

  23. TetraforceofTime also The destroyer of bad-boys says:

    I think he is very busy so here is my solution:
    You can always post your pics over at Western Weather Forums for free. Though don’t get into long heavy topics with them it almost always results in a fight.

  24. TetraforceofTime also The destroyer of bad-boys says:

    Don’t worry William. Mark never responds to my emails about weather either. Join the club.

  25. Boring Larry in Cherryville el.918 says:

    …after trying all day, the snow/hail combo shot finally made the ground white….

  26. Rob "Wrath" - Elevation 300' -Far S.E. Portland- says:

    Heavy shower/hail moving into the Sandy area. An even stronger cell just west of Molalla could be producing hail and isolated lightning strikes.

  27. SnowFlake (Tigard/Bull Mtn) says:

    Hmmmm…. Interesting AFD from the NWS…
    Gives us Flab5-ers something to chat about anyway…

  28. Sarah (SE Gresham) says:

    Just had a really pathetic hail shower….in fact, I’m not sure I’d even call it a “shower”, and the sun is out too. Hail and sun all at the same time!

  29. HIO Phil (Punxsutawney) elevation 189' says:

    Nice little pea sized hail storm out here.

  30. Jesse-Camas says:

    Blizzard warning up for Forest Grove.

  31. Rob "Wrath" - Elevation 300' -Far S.E. Portland- says:

    Looks like a hail shower south of Molalla down near WeatherGirl’s stomping grounds.

  32. Mike from Orchards says:

    I think Rob that was the small, rather intense hail shower that passed thru here about 15 minutes ago….
    43.5F….partly cloudy…light west wind…pressure on the rise at 30.13″

  33. Rob "Wrath" - Elevation 300' -Far S.E. Portland- says:

    NWS AFD seems to be much in line with my thinking.
    Radar shows a small 54dbz core just north of Camas east of SR-500… So some intensification is underway due to the March sun…

  34. Christiana--Forest Grove says:

    Cherie No snow in Forest Grove this morning. Hopefully, none will fall today.

  35. Rob "Wrath" - Elevation 300' -Far S.E. Portland- says:

    Hmmmm t-storms? I would put that at a very slight chance, but only if we can manage some healthy sun breaks.
    Current upper air analysis places the coldest air aloft overhead right now of -33c to -34c as the deep elongated trough shifted inland moving off to the east. There is some very weak MU CAPES of 100J/kg over the Willamette Valley with LI around +2 not very favorable. Lapse rates are 7.5c/km which is marginal but not excessively steep. I would say we could see more moderate showers/hail showers between now and 6 PM.

  36. Kirstin in Fruit Valley says:

    Nice little hailstorm in Fruit Valley area right now – came out of nowhere!!
    Do we get TStorms this afternoon/evening? That would be fun!

  37. Chris says:

    I’m gonna take my ball and go home!

  38. William Johnson says:

    Hi im William from Astoria
    I would like to know why my pics of snow out here in Astoria that i sent at the begining of march never made it on your site this is the 3rd time i sent pics and they have not made it on im gonna give up it .ive sent pics to katu koin and kgw they have allways posted my pics i think only twice my pics have made it on kptvs site out of the 10 to 15 times ive done it. bill

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