Spring Wind Arrives

March 31, 2009

Snapshot Quite a cold front swept across the region today. That combined with a jet streak (a maximum wind speed area in the jet stream) passing overhead to let strong wind surface in some areas.  Some spots in Deschutes county had gusts of 60-75 mph…mainly around Sisters.  Quite a few downed trees and some power lines down in those spots today.  Spring and Fall are the usual time for strong west wind behind cold fronts in the eastern part of the Gorge and Columbia Basin.  As summer moves in during June, the more consistent summer west wind in the Gorge is more often confined from The Dalles westward.

I went to exercise tonight, then came out of the gym all sweaty…whew!  That was cold!  Felt like February out there with temps in the low-mid 40s by sunset and a breezy northwest wind.  Snow levels are falling this evening as well.  As overrunning from the next system arrives around daybreak tomorrow, snow will probably stick as low as 1,500'.  Maybe even lower in the Coast Range valleys (Vernonia).  It's a warm front that's going to hang over us ALL DAY tomorrow.  In fact both tomorrow and Thursday look very wet and very cloudy.  Chilly again too.  In general we have two more "indoor" days ahead.

Quite a disagreement in the details Sunday and beyond.  We get into a brief "Rex Block" for awhile.  The center of an upper-ridge is somewhere just to our north or northeast.  If it's closer to us, that forces a system approaching the coastline to split and head well to our south.  ECMWF likes that and has +5 to +8 deg 850mb temps Sunday through Tuesday.  That would produce 65-70 degree highs with offshore flow.  The GFS doesn't have nearly as much splitting, sending the rain back over us by midday Sunday or so.  That would keep our high temps back down in the 55-60 degree range.  Drew and I took the middle road, slightly splitter than the GFS, but not as warm as the ECMWF…Mark Nelsen