Saturday’s Squalls

This is an image from the Portland NWS Radar just before 4pm, contributed by our own Rob "Wrath" in SE Portland.  It pretty much tells the story.  A couple of nice squall lines moved north through western Oregon and SW Washington this afternoon.  The first was weaker and farther1414l0g east than this one.  And location is just about everything in weather along with real estate isn't it?  This line of thunderstorms moved right through the heart of the Portland Metro area.  Strong wind mixed down as well, giving us a nice, but brief, show of wind, horizontal rain, and spots of hail too.  I see the peak gust at PDX was 41 mph…that's the 2nd strongest southerly wind gust we've seen since last summer!   The first week of January we had a gust to 43 mph one day.  That's it…we just didn't have any significant south wind events this season.  Of course now we get it in May…good times.  A quick scan of Hillsboro Airport's records shows the peak gust of 40 mph there is the 2nd highest south wind of the season there too.

As fast as the squall line moved in, it's out of here and now it's back to partly sunny skies.  At least the rabid debate earlier right here on the blog should be over.  Those claiming today wouldn't be any good for thunderstorms (as they were already developing!)didn't make such a good call did they?  See, there's no reason for arguing;  just put out your best points for making a certain forecast.  Then just sit back and see what happens.

Mark Nelsen

156 Responses to Saturday’s Squalls

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

    Updated zoomed WV map

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

    Yeah I believe it is somewhere around there. 10mb+ it becomes very breezy/gusty in the Willamette Valley.

  3. Gidrons - Hills above St Helens says:

    On the gradient differences, I think I read 15 mb between Olympia and Eugene was enough to get the high wind advisory. Do I remember that right?

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

    Phil, I agree based on WV loop movement it really looks to have a chance of getting inside 130 W.

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

    UW MM5-NAM 12z
    Low peaks at 985mb near 128 W, 48 N.
    [Tonight 11:00 PM]
    Looks like max gradient along the Coast from Hoquiam to Newport 11mb. Olympia to Eugene 11-12mb.
    [Tuesday 2:00 AM]
    UW WRF-GFS 12z
    Low peaks at 977mb near 129.8 W, 48.3 N
    [Tonight – 11:00 PM]
    Looks like max gradient along the Coast from Hoquiam to Newport 10mb. Olympia to Eugene 10mb
    [Tonight – 11:00 PM]
    So the NAM is a touch stronger and a bit tighter pressure gradient.

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

    I agree Rob, nice dark slot.
    It looks to me like it will swing inside 130w at this point. So the betting probably should stay with the red or blue lines.

  7. Gidrons - Hills above St Helens says:

    so what’s the projected gradient difference?

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

    That’s… Zoomed WV map*
    I was a bit excited 😉

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

    [Zoomed WV lap]
    Over the course of the past 6-7 hour this low has exploded undergoing a deep Cyclogenesis phase. This looks to continue possibly throughout its life-span until it reaches the British Columbia coast. It appears the low is already down to around 987mb (29.14 in) and deepening rapidly as indicated by the impressive baroclinic leaf, sharp darkening, and dry slot punching into the low. I’m thinking this low drops sub 980mb probably 975-979.
    I’m calling this the “May Monster”

  10. Gidrons - Hills above St Helens says:

    Nice thing about the GFS, its been predicting this low since last Thursday

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

    WOW @ Water Vapor loop! A real monster low is bombing offshore.
    Zoomed in map coming momentarily….

  12. TriforceofEternity says:

    Here it is for those too ‘lazy’ to find out.
    “High Wind Warning
    Statement as of 3:59 AM PDT on May 04, 2009
    … High Wind Warning in effect from 1 PM this afternoon to 3 am
    PDT Tuesday for the north and central Oregon coast…
    The National Weather Service in Portland has upgraded the high
    wind watch to a High Wind Warning for the north and central
    Oregon coast… which is in effect from 1 PM this afternoon to
    3 am PDT Tuesday.
    South winds will increase to 25 to 35 mph with gusts to 65 mph at
    coastal headlands and beaches and possibly at coastal communities
    beginning late this afternoon. The strongest winds are expected
    this evening. The winds will decrease later tonight. The winds
    will develop on the central Oregon coast in the afternoon and
    push north up the coast behind a strong front late today as the
    associated deep low pressure center offshore swings north toward
    Vancouver Island.
    Precautionary/preparedness actions…
    A High Wind Warning means a hazardous high wind event is expected
    or occurring. Sustained wind speeds of at least 40 mph or gusts
    of 58 mph or more can lead to property damage.”
    Nothing more to be said.

  13. TriforceofEternity says:

    High Wind Warning for Astoria Oregon!

  14. Timmy - Scappoose says:

    i went spelunking tonight at the ape caves. we stopped in Cougar (there is an awesome diner in that town!) and went on only to find out the gate was closed so we had to walk in a few feet of snow for the last 1/2 mile before the cave surprisingly, its been a long and cold winter. and i was disappointed in myself that i didnt even see that coming! it was a fun yet wet, cold, unprepared, and spontaneous excursion.

  15. Mike in Orchards says:

    Count my vote for the “blue line” path Rob….Its been a wacky year weatherwise so why not toss in a late season windstorm into the mix….(Too bad we couldn’t have had a path like that this past winter with a 950-960mb low)…..
    51.5° with a light ESE wind

  16. Andrew Johnson (Silverton) says:

    Two days in a row with thunder showers…Kind of almost reminds me of Oklahoma…LOL

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

    PaulB with the knowledge. Nice post, thanks.

  18. …Flab 5 weather alert… bones and such haven’t been this sore pre-storm for months… can only mean fun weather ahead….

  19. PaulB/Eugene says:

    High cloud shield over us tomorrow will limit insolation ahead of the front…so not expecting convection over Oregon…perhaps maybe there will be some convection farther N, over Vanc Is and over San Juan Islands, etc.
    Best convection for the week will be Wed afternoon, particularly over N Willamette Valley and W Washington…upper level trough with upper level cold pool will track over the area during the afternoon on Wednesday with a fair amount of sun before trough passage.

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

    Well if this model verifies it would seem possible. Again I also wonder about tomorrow. IF we had sun breaks before the cold front approaches we could develop instability and lift should be greatly increased from today.

  21. Timmy_Supercell (Hillsboro) says:

    Rob, so… more storms???
    Exciting weather lately

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