Severe Thunderstorm in SE Oregon

An exciting afternoon in Harney County.  Several viewers sent us pictures (and one video) of a strong thunderstorm moving overhead.  Strong wind spread out (probably a downburst) ahead of the storm.  Boise NWS thinks it was probably not a tornado from the pictures they’ve seen.  The video we received was inconclusive…similar to what you see on the left up above except real scary-looking with a nice backlighting from the sun.  Notice the “double-wide” has been moved about 3 feet in the picture on the right!  Now that’s some wind!

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

28 Responses to Severe Thunderstorm in SE Oregon

  1. muxpux says:

    sorry for posting what i did i guess. just figured ive been posting here quite a while, and was involved in a pretty bad incident. just thought id share, no foul intended.

    anyways, pretty gusty here today, nice out otherwise. 61.0 according to my thermo…

    • Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

      Mux? I guess I missed it? Posting what you did?… 61 sounds nice. A chilly 54.7 here.

    • muxpux says:

      down to 60.5 i got jumped by my ex’s new guy, i posted pics, 14 stitches. a couple people went off on how it wasnt appropriate for the blog

    • Battle Ground Brian says:

      I saw the pictures. It didn’t bother me even though it wasn’t weather related. If you had to re-visit this situation again Muxpux, I would maybe post those on Facebook instead.

    • Mark Nelsen says:

      Sorry about that Mux…but that was a bit too graphic (even though it was your face!) for the average person stumbling onto the blog from I’ve got no problem with you having other folks here emailing you to get the pictures, but I didn’t want them sitting out front/center in the comments. Get better!

    • Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

      Oh wow…. Really sorry to hear that.

  2. Battle Ground Brian says:

    Back to Back 80’s at Slate Creek, Idaho last 2 days

    85 and 82 degrees

  3. W7ENK says:

    Interesting… Nick Allard on KGW just said that the NWS in Boise has confirmed yesterday’s event near Burns as an EF1 Tornado.

    Here’s what they say on their Storm Report page:

    Hmm… ?

  4. Punxsutawney (aka HIO Phil at work by Sunset High) ~280' says:

    For those interested in the sun, the Solar Dynamics Observatory is sending back spectacular images.

  5. Battle Ground Brian says:

    12Z GFS — Oh, you are my friend..I am sure this is too good to be true because it is out in la la land.

    Calling for 7 days in the 70’s May 1-7th.. Nice!!!

    • Jesse-Orchards says:

      Looks coolish and unsettled in the believable range though. Some nice days but nothing super toasty.

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

    I have seen video and it definitely not a tornado, at least from what they showed. What I did see what a massive rain shaft/downburst. I don’t understand how this eye witness could not differentiate between the two.

    • Punxsutawney (aka HIO Phil at work by Sunset High) ~280' says:

      The picture above shows what looks like a mesocyclone and wall cloud, and one heck of a rain shaft, but no indication of a tornado in that particular snapshot.

      Not that something like that couldn’t produce a tornado.

    • ChuckyD81 says:

      Rob…have you ever seen a tornado?
      If so, then it may be fairly obvious to you how to differentiate between them.

      For the average person who does not follow the weather, it may be more difficult.

      Furthermore, outflow from storms like this can often kick up gustnadoes which, to the average person, would look an awful lot like tornadoes.

    • Battle Ground Brian says:

      Maybe that eye witness was a Hill-Billy Rob?

    • Punxsutawney (aka HIO Phil at work by Sunset High) ~280' says:


      Your points above are quite valid. Even as a trained spotter, and with some experience I wouldn’t make a tornado claim without good visual evidence.

      I have seen a tornado, on the ground in Wa Cty farmland in spring 1984. A cold core funnel to be sure, but on the ground never the less, and visible from at least 5 miles away.

      I saw a Thunderstorm on the horizon in SE Minnesota that produced an F2-F3 tornado and golfball sized hail, but could only see the cloud tops at the time. The tornado warning sure got my aunt and uncle’s attention when I mentioned seeing it on the tv!

    • pappoose in scappoose says:

      My guess is the people who had property damage could care less if the wind was blowing in circles or in a straight line. Thank goodness no one was hurt.

  7. Battle Ground Brian says:

    Still no measurable rain at Battle Ground Lake last 2 days as of 9am today from this large weather system.

    There was a trace overnight but that was it. Radar looked threatening but as the showers came in from the east late, the rain shadowing effect off the cascades wrung out most of the moisture. We seem to be in that small sliver shaped area that got no QPF with this system. I see 0.81″ fell in Seattle overnight and rain has fallen in all directions except due west of me as Scappoose has only received at Trace also.

  8. Gidrons says:

    Very gusty last night, lost another tree. It was interesting to watch the clouds “split” on radar/satellite over the Portland area.

  9. Punxsutawney (aka HIO Phil at work by Sunset High) ~280' says:

    The flow around the low in the Southwest is coming out of Utah and going all the way up to the North Pole. Quite a trip.

  10. Timmy_Supercell (Hillsboro) says:

    Wow nice looking storm! I can see that shelf cloud. It was most likely straight line winds than a tornado in my opinion.

  11. After tonight’s “Spotter Training” it looks like a downburst (microburst??)..

    46.5F and light rain showers

    • Ryan (Walnut Grove) says:

      I wish I could have made the spotter training! It was the one night of the week I have a class. I should have skipped.

      Oh well!

  12. W7ENK says:

    Wow, very impressive, whatever it was!!!

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