Getting Older!

May 6, 2009

So today was the “big” day.  I turned 40 years old today.  It doesn’t feel much different than yesterday, but the realization is finally starting to settle in; I’m not in my 20s or 30s anymore.  I’ve never been into big celebrations (unless someone else is paying), so no big parties, just some good time at home yesterday evening with the family.

I’ll tell you this, I couldn’t ask for anything else in life…really.  I have no complaints.  So for those of you that are younger here are my words of advice:

1.  Don’t Sleep All Day:

I’m not one of those that gets up REALLY early, but sleeping in half the day is a total waste.  Get up and get going!

2.  Don’t Make Stupid Decisions:

This is a big one.  Sure I’ve made an occasional bad choice, but no major ones.  I see friends, family, and co-workers at times who make one bad choice after another, leading to a lifetime of regrets and pain.  Then they blame others for their problems.  Just think before you make the big decisions, or even before smaller decisions.

3.  Don’t Take Life Too Seriously:

Have fun, even at your job if you can.  I’ve had several dumpy jobs (shoveling carrot slop…see #5).  There is a time to be serious, but I have rarely found it.  Actually that’s probably one of my faults.

4.  Get Your Priorities Straight:

Life isn’t just about a job or career.  If you think it is you’ll probably end up old and lonely.  A career like mine is very satisfying and I look forward to coming to work almost every day, but family is far more important than a career.  When you die and they remember you, do they say “heck, he sure knew how to write memos, keep his co-workers in line, and meet the budget”?  Or do they say “he really enjoyed life, his family, and cared about the people around him”?

5.  Hard Work is Good (to a point):

I earned my way through college working 6 summers in a row at a frozen foods plant.  National Frozen Foods in Chehalis had a fleet of pea combines that moved from field to field through a good part of the summer, harvesting thousands of acres of green peas.   I either drove combines or ran around the fields making sure they were correctly functioning.  Sometimes I even yelled at the kids driving that would run over irrigation risers or suck up a few rabbits (didn’t you see it running in front of you???)  There were occasional days of 12-16 hours.  In fact I remember working something like 95  hours one week!  I longed for a day when I could sit in (ah!) an office and stare at a computer.   Those long days set me up so that for the rest of my life all other jobs have seemed easy.  I sometimes remember that during the long hours spent here during snow/ice storms.  Hard work is good for you, as long as you don’t do it all the time and play hard too when you’re done!

Okay, enough of this serious life talk.  Looks like quite a few showers moving onshore and over the Coast Range while I’ve been posting.  Nice line of training showers from Boring northeast to Multnomah Falls too.  Lighter showers coming up for tomorrow, they should decrease quite a bit later in the day.

Thunderstorms Pop Up

May 6, 2009
5 Lightning Strikes So Far Today

5 Lightning Strikes So Far Today

Looks like some thunder “activity” has arrived this afternoon.  That heavy line of showers moving through Clackamas (and extreme E. Multnomah) county suddenly churned out several strikes in about 10 minutes around Estacada and north of Brightwood.  No other strikes so far, but plenty of sunshine could let a few more storms pop up suddenly in the next few hours.

Your Thoughts Needed

May 5, 2009

What do you know…I still feel “under the weather” today, but there’s always time for looking at weather maps with the morning coffee.  Let’s try a poll here and see if it works.  Do you like the newer way of doing the comments, or have no plans to scroll through 18 pages of comments during an ice storm just to get to the most recent.  It’s time to vote.

Alright, that was simple…the vast majority of us don’t want to go through pages of info, so it’s NEWEST COMMENTS ON TOP.

May Storm and a New Weather Blog

May 4, 2009
Morning Visible Image

Morning Visible Image

I’ve been feeling a bit crappy all weekend, especially later yesterday and this morning, but the A.M. weather info sure caught my attention.  Quite a surface low wrapping up offshore right now.  I see the WRF-GFS has the low going sub-980 mb. and moving into Vancouver Island this evening.  Assuming it’s a bit weak, as it usually is…that means maybe a 975mb or deeper low making landfall to our north.  That’s REALLY impressive for the first week of May.  Should be a nice windstorm this afternoon/evening on the Coast, and MAYBE with mild temps and good mixing here in the Valleys.  It sure is easier to mix the strong upper-level wind to the surface in the warmer half of the year, so we’ll see what happens in the Valley.  I would guess gusts to 40 mph sometime between 5pm and Midnight tonight here in the Metro Area.

4:30 PM UPDATE:  Looks like southerly surge of wind has made it as far north as Lincoln City.  Peak gusts within the last hour are 55 at Newport and 54 at Florence, but only 20 mph light SE anywhere to the north of L.C.  Jamie Wilson is waiting patiently about 20 miles north in Pacific City.  Hopefully the wind arrives in time for her 5:01pm live shot! I see Humbug Mtn. had a gust to 81!  And the gust to 52 at North Bend is pretty high for that location.  Hopes are still high for a quick coastal windstorm…


"Storm" Rain Total So Far

"Storm" Rain Total So Far

8:00 PM UPDATE:  Plenty of wind on the Coast this evening.  Peak gusts exceeded 70 mph in spots.  And that was a great frontal passage with a bright rainbow across the Portland Metro Area around 7pm after the downpours.  Looks like up to 1.00″ or so fell in the last 6 hours around town.  So far though we’ve seen little or no southerly wind in the Portland Metro area.  Drew and I notice a bit of a development just off the North Oregon Coast right now…sort of a secondary low pressure center or comma cloud.  This might be part of the reason we’ve seen such light wind inland AND also along the northern Coast.  We’ll know within about 2 hours I suppose.

It’s a bit of a messy move, but we just switched links to the “new” blog on our main page.  There are some things to fix up, just like after a big move from one house to another.   Nothing major will change, except this is a bit of a better program.  You can choose a picture for yourself as well.  Plus it appears we can handle the “crazy people” a bit better (remember a few of those during the December cold spell?).

NOTE:  It appears that the very first time you comment from any one IP address, you’ll need to get your comment approved before the “system” will let you become a regular.  Basically I have to let each of you in the “door” once.

Mark Nelsen

Saturday’s Squalls

May 2, 2009

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