Storm Wrapup

Oh boy;  feels like I stayed up too much last night watching the wind.  I was up until 1am and then from 2:30 to 3:30 during the peak of the storm.  Now both kids are sick in bed and on the couch, so a good time to do a recap of our best inland wind so far this season.

As expected, it wasn’t a big windstorm.  Peak gusts from the Airports:

PDX: 51  HIO: 44  VUO: 43  TTD: 50  UAO: 48  SLE: 48  KLS: 39  SPB: 38

Of course there were some higher gusts recorded at some home weather stations:

Forest Grove: 52  Corbett: 46, Orchards: 50, Happy Valley: 52, Glen Jackson Bridge: 51

That 51 mph from PDX is the highest southerly wind since December 2006.  By the way, when looking for the highest gust at NWS observation sites, make sure you go to the RAW observation and look for the PKWND comment.  That’s the peak gust for the hour.  For example, the 4am observation from PDX: KPDX 221153Z 21020G31KT 10SM -RA FEW028 OVC040 08/05 A2953 AO2 PK WND 21044/1058.   It’s the direction (240=SW), speed (44kts=51mph), and time (10:58z=2:58am).

What went right?  Model performance…pretty good.  The mesoscale models did well on depth of the low.  It ended up coming inland slightly south of where it was expected, maybe right over Astoria and then inland to central Washington.  But still, very nicely done models!

What didn’t go right?  Observations are pitiful off our coastline this winter.  What is going on?   Buoys with no windspeeds, buoys that aren’t working or not in place, and the dirty little secret we never talk about; horrendous radar coverage offshore.  There’s no excuse to not have two radars in place along the Oregon and Washington Coastline.  That tornado that moved into Lincoln City?  Someone from the NWS can correct me if I am wrong, but I think the LOWEST the beam can see out there is about 15,000!  Even after some of the signal makes it through gaps in the Coast Range, we’re missing the entire lowest section of the atmosphere along the Pacific Northwest coastline.  At least they got organized enough in Washington to put in a coastal radar somewhere near Hoquiam within the next two years.  That would have shown us exactly where the low pressure center was.  There needs to be another radar near Newport or Florence to at least partly fill the gap between the Eureka radar and the new one coming up north.  I wish we had the willpower or leadership to get that done. 

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

138 Responses to Storm Wrapup

  1. leo says:

    question; how do i get accurate forecasts for the Clatskanie area on Portland news stations?

  2. boydo3 says:

    Can we get that High to back up?

  3. muxpux says:

    got some light rain up here in Longview, blah.

  4. stevied (North Portland) says:

    It’s definitely showing some potential and needs to be watched:

  5. Tyler in Hazel Dell says:

    *a few mb weaker…

    The low also comes in on the central Oregon coast at 1 PM, vs. still offshore on the 12z.

    • ghcshweather says:

      Unless that the models show a drastic difference tomorrow ie. 00Z or 12Z then I would call this a non event, I think it will weaken as it gets closer and then move into the gulf, maybe north Vancouver Island, but it will not be strong enough to present any substantial winds in the region. I could be wrong, but I just don’t think this LP will continue on a track our way and become stronger.

    • ghcshweather says:

      edit: “that” at the top of my last post should not be there.

      Even though the models show it coming in south of PDX and SEA, I don’t think it will unless it splits(which is a possibility), but if it does it will not be very vigorous or interesting.

  6. stevied (North Portland) says:

    Hmmm… maybe Seattle discussion was on to something. Weak low, but develops rapidly and may take a good path. We’ll see…

  7. Timmy_Supercell (Hillsboro) says:

    There is a healthy looking low that appears to be developing off 150W, but looks too far north for anything even in Washington. It would be far fetched to say that we would see anything significant on Thanksgiving if the winds aren’t from the Gorge.

  8. Tetra says:

    And I think I’ve been had. *It rhymes*

    I hate it when reply feature throws my comments in random places on the other person’s thing.

  9. Tyler in Hazel Dell says:

    Farmer Steve!!! Good to hear your weather is pleasant as the fields aren’t!

    Brandy—No snow last November, at least not at my station! Although, a year ago today marked my first freeze of the season. It was also the start of many days of east winds in the gorge.

    • brandy says:

      i thought mabey it was the start of the cold season. i am still new here how do you put your pic on here?

    • Tyler in Hazel Dell says:

      Honestly I’m not sure…I don’t even know how to change mine…maybe go to wordpress.com?????

    • brandy says:

      tried but didn’t see a button lol it’s probally something or somewhere i did’t see. sometimes blonde.

    • Not sure if the avatar question got answered. . . But here’s a paste of Mark’s explanation. . . .

      2. Signing up is easy, just go to http://www.wordpress.com, click SIGN ME UP, then click USERNAME ONLY PLEASE. Want to add a picture of yourself? Go to EDIT PROFILE once you are logged in and on the right side will be a neat little tool to change your “Gravatar”. As for logging in or out, I notice that each time I come back I’m logged in, both at home and work. So unless you dump your “cookies” regularly you’ll probably always be logged in for commenting.

  10. Farmer Steve NW Hillsboro says:

    Wow what a day for wild news. Iam sure many of you heard about the fellon that the police were chasing out in washington county this morning. Well as it turns he went cross country across farm fields with his stolen suv. Well that was at my farm and he drove through many fields mine and other farmers as well, but unfortunatly he got away before the area was closed off. Weather 44 and light breeze

  11. brandy says:

    seems like we got snow last year in november did we??

  12. 2 Dolla Bill says:

    Haha censorship, I love it 😉

  13. seems every year
    got dem instigation blues
    a quick passing fad

  14. Tyler in Hazel Dell says:

    BTW: If it doesn’t rain by midnight tonight, it will be my first dry day since November 4th. For all the rain we have had, this month will likely end up below average.

  15. 2 Dolla Bill says:

    (a minor edit by Mark here)

    I happen to respect Steve Pierce and JacobBPA. Anthony B also has great insight.

    • Aloha Rainshadow says:

      (another edit)

      I apologize if I missed when you started posting on here, I must have read over your posts if you’ve been here long. Great to make your acquaintance if we haven’t met before 🙂

    • Mixer Mixing Mixed Yevgeniy Mixed Mixing Mixer says:

      can we do something about this guy? it’s getting annoying

    • Mixer Mixing Mixed Yevgeniy Mixed Mixing Mixer says:

      you know if there was a “like” option i would click it

  16. Aloha Rainshadow says:

    Watch what the models want to do with the high pressure after day 10. The AO is scheduled to tank around then and I believe the GFS is toying with the idea of where to put a ridge of high pressure, over us or over the Gulf of Alaska.

    Those small little tastes of an east wind event on the long range operational the last two runs…tasty…if we can get that high to setup at 150w ish, we could be in the money. There will be a lot of fluctuation in the models before they decide where to eject the arctic airmass based on the AO. The latest Euro is very confused but also very interesting at hour 240. We could be seeing a big shift in pattern but to what? Time will tell.
    My advice, keep your eyes on the extended for GENERAL trends, don’t look at specifics, just the general trend. Three times now in the past few days the GFS operational has spit out some interesting patterns, there may be a couple in there that I missed as well as I haven’t been model riding as of late.

    The latest few ensemble runs have showed a high retrograding to the GOA but where in the gulf does the ridge axis setup? Hopefully about 155 W, then it’s on. As of now it’s showing about 130 which is horrible unless that is an omega at 130 and we get a straight shot from Siberia 🙂
    Stay tuned!

  17. Tyler in Hazel Dell says:

    If you look at the 12z WRF…you can see a weak low, but it’s moving in a pretty prime windstorm path. The question is, does this low split like this model shows, and also, does it strengthen?

    Frames 25-31

    http://www.atmos.washington.edu/~ovens/loops/wxloop.cgi?mm5d2_x_slp+///3

  18. Timmy_Supercell (Hillsboro) says:

    Not sure what NWS is talking about either… GFS shows minimum pressure values of 1010-1020mb… And I don’t see a whole lot of sharpening too.

  19. Tyler in Hazel Dell says:

    Here we go again??? I don’t anything special on the models yet, Rob alluded to the splitting low earlier, we’ll see what the 0z shows.

    This is from the NWS Seattle:

    THE DEVELOPING
    SURFACE LOW COULD ITSELF POSE SOME REAL FORECAST CHALLENGES. THE
    NAM/GFS/UKMET ALL DEEPEN THE LOW AND TRACK IT SOMEWHERE INTO OREGON
    OR EVEN NRN CA. THIS WOULD NOT POSE A RISK FOR HIGH WINDS IN WA.
    HOWEVER…THE GFS TRACK COMES AWFULLY CLOSE AND A DEEPER/FURTHER
    OFFSHORE SOLUTION COULD POSE PROBLEMS. THE ECMWF…ONE OF THE MORE
    TRUSTED MODELS ACTUALLY SHOWS A HIGH WIND EVENT FOR WRN WA
    THANKSGIVING NIGHT WITH A LOW TAKING A CLASSIC WIND STORM TRACK INTO
    WA. AGAIN…THIS IS THE ONLY MODEL AND FIRST SOLUTION TO SHOW THIS
    SO ITS SIMPLY SOMETHING TO KEEP AN EYE ON FOR NOW.

    • gidrons says:

      I don’t see what they’re talking about either

    • Aloha Rainshadow says:

      Tyler, remember a couple times with Saturday nights low, the models were putting it in south of PDX. While I am not excited about this one as much, this something to watch, problem is there is very little, if any jet support for a strong low to hit with good winds. This could be just a typical El Nino low coming in south of portland. I’d keep an eye to see if any jet stream support shows for this low but I’m thinking no.

  20. Tyler in Hazel Dell says:

    I know we ran some departures during last December…but nothing like 22 degrees below normal……Check out Fairbanks…

    .. Weekly weather summary for Fairbanks Alaska…

    Observed last week… 11/15/2009 to 11/21/2009

    observed normal departure
    avg Max temp (f) -12.3 9.9 -22.2
    avg min temp (f) -23.9 -6.7 -17.2
    avg temp (f) -18.1 1.6 -19.7
    total precip (in) 0.07 0.14 -0.07
    total snowfall (in) 0.9 3.2 -2.3

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