A Chilly, Crisp, & Windy Christmas

I’m really tired of staring at that radar dome each time I check out the blog, so here’s something fresh.  I’ll be working again Christmas afternoon/evening after a nice 8 day break.  So the biggest question I have is: what lies at the foot of the statue?  Anyone with any insights on that can let me know.  I’m “Losted” out after watching the whole season in about 5 days.  So let’s move on to weather.  Three items of note:

1.  East wind is going to begin raging tonight and continue through the weekend…strongest tomorrow night and Saturday morning.  Gradient is up to 6 millibars at 1pm, giving gusts over 50 mph now at Rooster Rock and Corbett sensors.  A gradient of 10-12+ millibars is likely by tomorrow as much warmer air continues moving in overhead over and west of the Cascades, capping a cold airmass moving westward.  This setup with 850mb temps up to +8 overhead really “squeezes” the flow through the Gorge.  Add to that an approaching surface low from the southwest tomorrow night/Saturday and we get very strong wind gusts, probably 65-70mph at the west end of the Gorge and 40-50 mph Troutdale/Gresham areas.  Not a damaging event like last January…we had 850mb temps up around +17 then!  Maybe a Saturday midday Vista House meeting???

2. Freezing Rain Saturday night in the Gorge and maybe far eastern suburbs too?IF we get moisture up here, it’ll be cold enough for freezing rain, but that’s a big IF.  Most likely it’ll stay dry.  See item #3

3. El Nino dry and mild conditions continue until further notice.Has anyone noticed that we’ve seen no real westerly flow with a good Pacific Jet since Thanksgiving Day?  We’ve either had split flow over the East Pacific/Western USA, ridging right over us, or ridging just to our west (cold spell) for most of the time.  And models show the same into the first week of the New Year.  Very pathetic looking if you want active weather.  Both the GFS and ECMWF show another possible warm rain episode for the mountains around 8-10 days from now.

Merry Christmas!

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

258 Responses to A Chilly, Crisp, & Windy Christmas

  1. Annie in Vancouver ~330 ft. says:

    New post!

  2. WEATHERDAN says:

    Early this morning MFR reported HEAVY SNOW for about an hour or so. Otherwise just foggy conditions. Temps down there have remained below freezing all day. Could be some flurries or light zr Sunday morning in SLE, but chances are under 30%. Otherwise not much to talk about today . At 3PM SLE is Sunny with light Northerly winds and a temperature of 45 degrees. However DP is only 23 Degrees. Big water main boke out in the street in from of my house last night. Street is in shade is is still real icy. City crew is working on break right now. When temps drop to freezing about 6PM the street is going to be an ice rink. To make matters worse I live at the bottom of a very steep hill. People pick up speed to about 35MPH at the bottom of the hill and when they hit that block long ice patch I fear somebody is going to have an accident tonight.

  3. Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

    Wind continues to rage here, although I think it may be backing off every so slowly now…. Peak gust here has been 48.9mph twice with the most recent one occurring 1:21 PM.

    Surface Gradients
    As of 2 PM|Current|Hourly Change
    [Gorge]
    PDX-DLS: -10.1mb | 0.6mb Increase
    TTD-DLS: -9.1mb | 0.4mb Decrease
    [Cross Cascade]
    OTH-GEG -13.3mb | 0.2mb Decrease

    • Ron says:

      Hey Rob, It’s Ron in La Pine. How’s that long range chat look today that showed an artic front moving in @ hour 240?

      Hope your doing well with those raging East Winds!

    • Ron says:

      Sorry, my fingers weren’t working right, I meant chart. 18 Deg here.

  4. Sean Mott (Lebanon, IN) says:

    Got a nice shower working overhead.. Here’s a few pictures.. Only if this could of happened yesterday..

    • Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

      Hey Sean, Merry Christmas….

      I have almost forgotten what snow looks like. OH and is that an inflatable Peyton Manning yard ornament I see across the street? 😆

  5. Stevengibson says:

    Anything coming up good?

  6. Tyler says:

    Usually the fog and low clouds can be seen looking east from Crown Point. It’s awesome if you hike/snowshoe up to Larch Mountain you can see the clouds flowing over the ridges then disapating.

    At the coast right now…and it is very clear and windy. Winds have died off some though. Was gusting 30-35 earlier, now maybe 25 mph.

    I was at North Head Lighthouse and you can actually see the Olympics…never seen it so clear here.

  7. geo says:

    will these winds die down somewhat tonite?

  8. cliff from sandy says:

    except for two days that had brief fog inearly morn, I’ve been getting moderate east winds in sandy at the helm where I am at.

    sustained winds at 15 mph, and gust 25. nothing compared to the gorge.

    I love the sunshine.

    One thing I noticed coming home from a family Christmas get together in gresham on Christmas day, I looked over at larch mountain and the other similar ones to the north of mt. hood. It looked like fog embankment on the east side of the cascades.

    I checked the odot website, and sure enough, fog on the east side of mt. hood, to the north of redmond.

    I wish this type of weather would happen more often, minus the east wind.

    • Battle Ground Brian says:

      That fog bank east of the cascade crest is due to upslope flow. Without the east wind, that fog/low cloud bank would not exist.

  9. Jory (Sandy) says:

    Well, here in Sandy, it’s a blizzard… of GARBAGE!! The stuff is flying everywhere! What a mess! How much longer till these winds calm down some?
    Never fails, garbage day on the windiest day in months. 😦

  10. Finally! mostly sunny this morning. Current temp is 29.7F and calm winds.

  11. boydo3 N Albany says:

    Santiam Pass. 11 deg, 53 mph winds, foggy. Ugh..
    http://www.callatg.com/~nsps/weather.htm

  12. East winds have arived!….

    38.1F…gusts to 26mph…

    • Rich says:

      34.9 with gusts to 48. Prune Hill,Camas

    • Camas Mom says:

      Winds on Livingston Mountain are also strong (unusual for us on the NE side when there is a gorge wind – normally this kind of wind is downslope only). The chairs I had stacked up against the house on our deck got knocked around so I went out to put them in a more secure location and could hardly move them against the wind! Even the kids don’t want to go out, and that’s pretty unusual as well – they’ll go out in the rain and cold, but not this wind. 🙂

  13. Battle Ground Brian says:

    Just had a brief power outage.

    The wind isn’t all that strong here. But I think some mountain wave gusts are influencing my area.

  14. 32.5 here all night with a raging east wind. It’s definitely one of those nights that you wake up to pounding and howling!

  15. k5mitch says:

    …POTENTIAL FOR LIGHT FREEZING RAIN SUNDAY MORNING FOR THE
    INTERIOR LOWLANDS OF NORTHWEST OREGON AND SOUTHWEST WASHINGTON…

    A WEAKENING PACIFIC FRONT WILL APPROACH FROM THE SOUTHWEST TODAY
    AND TONIGHT…AND SLOWLY MOVE ACROSS NORTHWEST OREGON AND
    SOUTHWEST WASHINGTON ON SUNDAY. AS IT DOES THE FRONT WILL
    CONTINUE TO WEAKEN…DECREASING CHANCES FOR PRECIPITATION.
    HOWEVER ANY PRECIPITATION FALLING INTO THE COLD AIR TRAPPED IN THE
    WILLAMETTE VALLEY AND LOWLANDS OF SOUTHWEST WASHINGTON AND THE
    COLUMBIA GORGE MAY BE AS FREEZING RAIN.

    AT THIS TIME THE PERIOD OF CONCERN IS SUNDAY MORNING. THE SOUTH
    WILLAMETTE VALLEY STANDS THE BEST CHANCE TO RECEIVE SOME LIGHT
    FREEZING RAIN. CHANCES FOR FREEZING RAIN ARE LOWER TO THE NORTH AS
    THOSE AREAS MAY WARM UP BY THE TIME THE RAIN ARRIVES. ANY
    ACCUMULATION IS EXPECTED TO BE SPOTTY AND LIGHT. THE MAIN IMPACT
    WILL BE SOME SLIPPERY ROADWAYS AND WALKWAYS SUNDAY MORNING.

    THE COLUMBIA GORGE WEST OF ABOUT CASCADE LOCKS MAY RECEIVE SOME
    FREEZING RAIN INTO THE AFTERNOON AS POCKETS OF FREEZING AIR LINGER
    IN THAT AREA…WHILE NEAR HOOD RIVER ANY PRECIPITATION WILL LIKELY
    BE AS SNOW.

  16. Andrew Johnson says:

    WOW! I can’t believe Salem is down to 22 at the 6 o’clock hour! Good conditions for radiational cooling in wind sheltered areas it seems. It’d be awesome if they could drop a couple more degrees.

  17. k5mitch says:

    35.0F
    max wind 36.9 @ 12:26 a.m.

  18. Amazing, gusts over 40mph on the Glenn Jackson bridge and then before Mill Plain Blvd, the wind totally backs off…

    28.7F

  19. Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

    Over 5,000+ power outages now.

  20. Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

    Surface Gradients
    As of 11 PM|Current|Hourly Change
    [Gorge]
    PDX-DLS: -11.1mb | 0.2mb Decrease
    TTD-DLS: -10.4mb | 0.4mb Decrease
    [Cross-Cascade]
    OTH-GEG: -14.1mb | 0.2mb Decrease

  21. Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

    Corbett is back online, for now….

    • Ben Randal Tillamook city says:

      Are you kidding me it is not windy oh wait a minute I live on the coast I am used to 65+ winds

  22. Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

    A Wind Advisory is badly needed for areas east of I-205, Gresham, Troutdale, etc…. Perhaps even a High Wind Warning if things continue to ramp up and also due to the model info below from the Seattle NWS

    Now I see Seattle NWS going for a High Wind Warning G 65mph in the typical windy spots of the eastern puget sound lowlands/foothills. This often has/does translate further south as it is doing so tonight. I find it interesting in their AFD that they said models have been very weak in terms of gradient prediction.

    .SHORT TERM…
    THE SEATTLE /SEA/ TO WENATCHEE /EAT/ PRES GRADIENT WAS -12.6 MB AT 9 PM…INDICATIVE OF A MUCH STRONGER ELY GRADIENT THAN WHAT THE MODELS PREDICTED. FOR EXAMPLE…THE 12Z RUN OF THE GFS INDICATED THAT THE SEA-EAT GRADIENT WOULD BE NEAR -6 MB ABOUT THIS TIME WHEREAS THE NAM PREDICTED NEAR -9 MB. TYPICALLY…AN OFFSHORE GRADIENT OF -13 MB BETWEEN SEA AND EAT RESULTS IN HIGH WINDS OVER PORTIONS OF THE EAST PUGET SOUND LOWLANDS. SINCE THE MODELS…DESPITE BEING WOEFULLY WEAK ON THE GRADIENT…INDICATED THAT THE ELY GRADIENT WILL TIGHTEN THROUGH SATURDAY MORNING…FELT THAT IT WOULD BE PRUDENT TO ISSUE A
    HIGH WIND WARNING FOR THE EAST WIND PRONE AREAS OF THE EAST PUGET SOUND LOWLANDS. ALSO ISSUED A WIND ADVISORY FOR THE EAST SIDE OF THE SEATTLE AND TACOMA METRO AREAS FOR LATER TONIGHT.

    Again I only included this because this could likely translate southward for us and perhaps it’s already beginning to do so due to the damage reports coming in now. I also assume this could mean models are also off with our PDX/TTD-DLS gradients which could lead to 50-60+mph gusts east of I-205 in my opinion.

    • boydo3 N Albany says:

      Rob, I think you are right about the ripper winds!
      The best part for us in the mid valley is IT”S CLEAR!!! NO FOG!! Keep em going!
      Gunite and Merry Christmas!

    • Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

      Would be a fun night to head out to Crown Point. 😆
      Good night and Merry Christmas to you too.

    • Kind of unusual to have a high wind warning for the western WA foothills (normally a “downslope” event) and have nothing at all in east Clark County (outside of Camas/Washougal, and I’m not even sure they are getting all that much either)..Only explanation would be maybe it’s a “gap” event (like the Columbia River Gorge) such as thru the Snoqualmie/Stampede Passes..

      29.1F….calm.

    • Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

      Perhaps you will develop it shortly… Don’t you usually get downslope storms in east Clark County with mountain-wave events?….

    • I would think yes, depending on how “deep” the cold air is….

      I might have to go to Crown Point tomorrow to check it out.. 🙂

  23. Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

    Surface Gradients
    As of 10 PM|Current|Hourly Change
    [Gorge]
    PDX-DLS: -11.3mb | 0.3mb Increase
    TTD-DLS: -10.8mb | 0.5mb Increase
    [Cross-Cascade]
    OTH-GEG: -14.3mb | 0.3mb Decrease

    Definitely getting a mix of gap and downslope easterly flow.

    • Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

      Let me clarify. Wind has spread out with some downslope component especially in Multnomah County.

  24. Runrain says:

    Blazer game is the ONLY game showing on the Strip in Vegas right now, baby!

  25. geo says:

    Are these wind going to die down somewhat tomorrow? I think i might have to patch my roof up.

    • Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

      Well 00z WRF 4km isn’t done yet, but 12km cross-section model has shown consistently strongest winds from overnight tonight until 2 PM tomorrow.

  26. Smithsky says:

    I would classify this as high winds. We just lost two trees. One landed on my garage. The other took out the fence between my neighbors and us. Last year we lost two trees also. Interesting, the cedars seem to go first. Hemlocks and Firs are usually next. Has to do with how thick the follage is. Cedars are thicker and tend to get punished more. Firs and Hemlocks tend to let the wind blow through them because they are more airy. Anyway, damage is happening and I will have the chain saw out tomorrow. We live in SE Gresham for those who want to know. Close to 242nd.

    • Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

      Wow sorry to hear about the damage to your house/garage. Glad you’re all okay. Yes I would also say we’ve moved into East Wind Storm levels now. We may not have seen the peak yet too.

  27. geo says:

    Don’t have wind gauge here in s.w. gresham( 202nd and powell)but being south of division i swear those gusts seem higher than 28mph compared to 167th and powell.shingles are starting topeel off my roof.

  28. Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

    Surface Gradients
    As of 9 PM|Current|Hourly Change
    [Gorge]
    PDX-DLS: -11.0mb | 0.1mb Increase
    TTD-DLS: -10.3mb | 0.1mb Decrease
    [Cross-Cascade]
    OTH-GEG: -14.6mb | 0.5mb Decrease

  29. Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

    Power outages reported now and increasing.

    1,351 now
    http://www.portlandgeneral.com/safety_outages/outages/outage_updates/outage_map.aspx
    http://www.portlandgeneral.com/safety_outages/outages/outage_updates/outage_list.aspx
    I would say these are definitely wind caused.

    • yetanotherguy says:

      This is really too bad. Lots of people, esp little kids with a tough end to Christmas

    • Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

      Yeah that’s true. Hopefully the lights/heat come back on soon… I think several more power outages will occur overnight.

  30. Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

    Any downslope yet up in Clark County? I see it’s developing over the south Washington Cascade/Foothills.

  31. Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

    New peak gust
    48.4mph @ 8:25 PM…. It’s going to be difficult to sleep tonight with the wind roaring so loudly slamming the front(east facing)of our house.

  32. biochemist says:

    The east winds never developed in Hillsboro. Whew! It’s a crisp 28.5F after a high around 40F and very calm this evening, frost on the grass but not the street.

  33. …this far south, the wind is blowing maybe 10, with slighty higher gusts…

  34. Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

    The wind is absolutely roaring now. Standing outside watching out tall Firs being trashed around violently.
    New peak gust 47.5mph @ 7:52 PM.

    Surface Gradients
    As of 8 PM|Current|Hourly Change
    [Gorge]
    PDX-DLS: -10.9mb | 0.7mb Decrease
    TTD-DLS: -10.4mb | 0.3mb Decrease
    [Cross-Cascade]
    OTH-GEG: -15.1mb | 0.6mb Increase

    • K9onyx - Debbie - East Vancouver says:

      Wow! It’s calm, clear, and cold here. No snow tonight but there’s still some on the ground from last night.

  35. boydo3 N Albany says:

    Check it out. 16 deg foggy, 42 mph winds at Hoodoo.
    OUCH!

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