Vacation Wrap Up

Snapshot The weather is still relatively slow this evening with a cool and mostly dry northerly flow coming up for the next 5 days, so I have a few thoughts from my recent vacation.  The family and I flew south to visit 4 not to be named theme/water parks in Southern California.  My kids are 8 & 7, and I've avoided going down there for that whole thing because I didn't think they would get much out of it at a younger age…now I know that was the right choice.  We had no mental or emotional breakdowns even on an ungodly-hot 12 hour day in 95 degree Anaheim…whew!  But you should have seen the screaming beet-red kids and even louder parents at times.  By the way, there are hardly any crowds in late April, a perfect time to go unless you hit the heatwave days.  Here are a few other highlights:

1.  A crazy place to drive…just make sure you go really fast at all times.  Who would have thought I could be going 70 mph and get passed by a SmartCar on the freeway doing at least 80?  Who even knew they could go that fast?

2.  In a water park in Palm Springs on one of those kid attractions where water is pouring off of swing ropes, slides, and chutes.  So much water everywhere that you can hardly talk, but a man yells at me that the slide on the other side is closed.  The guy is Pete Ferryman!  That was a "what are YOU doing here?"  moment for both of us.  Apparently we both took vacations the same week.

3.  Other than the pleasant, warm climate, the Pacific Northwest appears to be a much better place to live.  The OC isn't quite what it's made out to be on TV. 

4.  Why are we still pumping our own gas in Oregon?  Weird, and I've lived here my whole life!

5.  TV weather forecast was pathetic.  But I didn't have high expectations for a place that doesn't get much weather though.

6.  And the best part of the trip?  Steve Pierce's friend was a flight attendant and was able to get me a free drink.  All those bazillions of emails Steve sends every winter have finally paid off!  Sure our Outlook server is now broken, but I had a few relaxing moments at least.

Mark Nelsen

64 Responses to Vacation Wrap Up

  1. B-Rein (Demascus - - 675ft) says:

    lets just hope the wind blows that red cell about 20 miles east =)

  2. Timmy_Supercell (Hillsboro) says:

    Guys is there any thunder? I don’t hear any, haven’t heard any all day.

  3. Absolutely POURING here right now!
    YeeeeeeHAW!!!!!!!!!!

  4. pedro771-tigard says:

    It has been pouring here for the last 10 minutes really hard.

  5. Timmy_Supercell (Hillsboro) says:

    There are some fairly dark clouds to my northwest. I don’t see any lightning yet…

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

    Possible t-storms north of Scappoose 59.0dbz core.

  7. Timmy_Supercell (Hillsboro) says:

    The cell NE of Kelso just can’t make a decision, its the third time already that this thing had strengthened after weakening. These showers are moving south to our area, so id say there is a pretty good chance of thunderstorms tonight, however early morning storms are hit-and-miss. I think by 9 or 10 pm they will just go away.

  8. Ian *Longview* says:

    our temp spiked to 63 here…went out for a smoke expecting it to be cool like this AM, but dang. in the sun it was warm…sky hazy and clouds billowing. air had a muggy feel.
    skies are definitely getting darker…apparently lightning isnt too far away from me…radar seems toindicate it drifting this way…may be a fun evening!

  9. Timmy_Supercell (Hillsboro) says:

    It dissipated. Other than the lightning/heavy rain, i wouldn’t expect much from these storms. Those CAPE parameters indicated very little instability in the atmosphere, although I do say dew points can contribute to whats happening but nothing else to talk about. I can’t wait for some thunder in Washington County tonight…

  10. Timmy_Supercell (Hillsboro) says:

    Yep, thunderstorms in already developing. A hail signature popped up for the cell with all the lightning (0.25″). It has a 20% chance of severe hail on it.
    CAPE Parameters:
    SB CAPE: 250 J/kg
    ML CAPE: 250 J/kg
    MU CAPE: 100 J/kg
    SFC CAPE: 0 J/kg
    SFC LI: 1
    Dew Point: 55*
    Not what I would call a thunderstorm environment, but they ARE developing right? And thats the good thing!

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

    I noticed those showers were intensifying, so I took a look at the Mt. Saint Helens cam about a half-hour ago and it was obviously raining, but couldn’t see much else. Nice to see there’s lightning up that way.
    Had some sprinkles over here in the last 10 minutes, but I would be surprised to see any strong showers in the time frame NWS mentioned given the cool low level airmass…but what do I know?

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

    http://www.cascadeaccess.com/~mnelsen/lightning3.jpg

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

    We have lightning!
    http://www.cascadeaccess.com/~mnelsen/lightning1.jpg

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

    Hmmm so 11 PM – 2 AM…. I would be beyond shocked if anything happens.

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

    Seeing some heavy showers over eastern Clark and Cowlitz Counties.
    .SHORT TERM…SATELLITE IMAGERY SHOWS CLOUDS IN CYCLONIC MOTION OVER THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST AS SHOWN BY THE MODELS. THE AIRMASS IS DESTABILIZING AS COOLING ALOFT RESULTS IN THE CLOSED CELL STRATOCUMULUS INTO OPEN CELLS. WE CONTINUE WITH THE THREAT OF ISOLATED THUNDERSTORMS TONIGHT OVER THE NORTHERN WILLAMETTE VALLEY TO THE NORTH OREGON CASCADES INTO SOUTHWEST WASHINGTON. RADAR SHOWS SHOWERS INCREASING IN THIS REGION ALREADY. MAXIMUM INSTABILITY APPEARS TO BE IN THE 06Z – 09Z RANGE TONIGHT.

  16. Mike in Orchards says:

    Sometimes these “backside” lows can set up instability, etc…just need some intense heating of the lower atmosphere…i.e. sunbreaks!
    Considerably warmer here in the past hour…up to 55.8F…light southerly breeze

  17. Jesse-Camas says:

    boydo3, alot of times neutral years can be the best for us, actually.
    Partly cloudy and 51 here at work. It’s going to have to heat up 10+ degrees over the next 3-4 hours for us to have any shot at convection. I’m not sure if I see that happening.
    12Z GFS takes away our chances at 70F this week. Moves another cool trough in by the weekend.

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

    Hmmm must be around the back side of the circulation over central Oregon.

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

    We have a little over 14 hours of daylight to work with now, about the same as mid August, so there’s lots of time for things to heat up. As to what happens, a lot will depend on the final location of the low, timing of short waves, cloud cover, etc.; all of which are hard to predict in great detail.
    I noticed that showers have formed over the Cascades and are moving west. Temps seem to be a couple of degrees warmer today than yesterday, but still below average.

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