Storm Wrap Up

June 5, 2009

A nice line of storms made for a crazy (and quick!) 2 hours.  If you were in a movie theater you probably missed it.  Here are the highs and lows.  Let me know if I’ve missed something important.


1.  Wind:  The storm was really about the wind here in town.  Peak gust of 49 mph at PDX is the highest since December 2006.  It’s been even longer since Hillsboro has been up to that 55 mph gust.  Although both sensors had a different calculation for peak gust during the December 2006 storm.  So most likely with today’s current peak gust calculation they both would have been above 60 mph during that storm.  A little bit of “apples to oranges” on the comparison, but they were both very impressive speeds.   Around 6:30pm I pulled up the radar loop and notice the very obvious outflow line had quickly moved north on I-5 to Longview.  Do you think there may have been a bunch of dust helping out the reflectivity on the radar?

2. Scary looking clouds: Even I started to freak out briefly at home.

3.  Tornado warning in Marion County:  I can only think of maybe 1 other times in my career when the Portland NWS put out a tornado warning based on rotation detected on radar.  Usually our crappy radar coverage shoots right over the top of our generally weak storms and/or a warning has come out after a tornado is already on the ground (or maybe has already dissipated).

4.  Great job by the weather team at KPTV and models: I saw Drew once and heard him on the radio while driving.  And Rob Martin came in close to “bedtime” to help out and keep things under control.  And it definitely was not a “surprise” storm.  I made a point on the air (10pm Wednesday) and in the previous blog post about the good chance for evening thunderstorms farther north Thursday evening.  Models did very well showing some sort of big blowup of storms somewhere between Salem and Longview.  SPC issued the severe thunderstorm watch for the Metro area in the early afternoon and the NWS followed through with severe thunderstorm warnings.  Anyone paying attention to any sort of media wouldn’t have been surprised.


1.  Lightning:  I saw very little.  We’ve seen far better and more frequent lightning out of storms just in the last year (May 2008 and July 2008).

2.  Rainfall:  In the Metro area amounts were relatively light.  No flooding here.

3.  Hail:  As far as I know we didn’t get significant hail in the Metro area either.

4.  Mark is Missing!:  This is the first thunderstorm outbreak in the last 8 years in which I haven’t been at the station.  It was a scheduled day off with family.  I sure missed being there, but considering it only lasted 1-2 hours, it would have been too late to go into work anyway.  I don’t have any days off scheduled in the next 2 weeks, so the weather should stay quiet.

Mark Nelsen