Snow & Wind: Wet Season Begins!

October 13, 2009

Snow briefly stuck on the side of the road near sea level.

GovernmentCamp_pid624Whew! Sure feels like early winter out there. Snow came down a little lower than I expected this morning. I mentioned some snow or freezing rain possible in North Central Oregon or the Hood River Valley on the broadcasts last night. But the evaporative cooling (with dewpoints starting in the teens!) really did the trick. Snow stuck all the way to sea level briefly in the Gorge! The main band of precipitation is now out of the Gorge, so that should be it for snow.

As for wind? A bit stronger than I expected as well. The PDX-DLS pressure gradient is up to 11 millibars! I suppose I did mention last night that the setup was quite similar to a snow/ice storm, so maybe I should have clued in to the wind a bit more. Sure enough, everything did pan out the same as one of those storms, except 15 degrees warmer! We’ve also had some downslope component to the wind, especially earlier this morning. I see a home weather station in Battle Ground had gusts to around 40 mph before that stopped. PDX gusted into the mid 40s, Glen Jackson bridge to 49 mph just this hour, and 62 mph so far in Corbett. I notice the wind chill is around 20 out there…pretty brutal for October 13th.

10:00 PM UPDATE: A real busy day in here making graphics and keeping the news people at bay.  Actually I think we covered the weather very well today.  Let’s be honest; it’s not like everyone’s life was trashed by the weather today.  BUT, everyone was talking about the weather with the wind and chilly temps.   That’s why we decided to talk about it right off the top of the show.  But we avoided the breathless reporter scraping the ground with his shoe and telling us not to drive in these high winds.  Don’t you hate that?

Seems to be one more wave coming through here in the next 3 hours.  After that we should see a southerly wind surge up the Valley and get rid of that east wind.  Much warmer temps on the way too.  In fact this chilly burst of weather will be history in a few days.  On Thursday and part of Friday we will be on the south side of the Jet Stream.  850mb temps surge up to +10 to +12 with southerly wind at the surface.  High temps might get back up to 65­­­­-70.  We’ll see about that.  In the meantime, plenty of rain showers.

By the way, I checked for the earliest measurable snowfall at Hood River.  It was 5″ on October 26th, 1919.  Parkdale’s earliest was October 20th, 1984…less than 1/2″ there.  Both of those towns MAY have set a new record for earliest snowfall!

Chief Meteorologist – Mark Nelsen