Hailstorms and Rainbows

Check out this picture!  Good size hailstorm moved through Salem around 4pm today.  One of our viewers sent in this picture of the highway totally covered in round, slippery, icy hailstones.  Easy to slide in this stuff.

Apparently that storm had quite a bit of cloud to cloud lightning (from another email), but no cloud-ground strikes.

Still a couple more hours of action and then it’s just on to a chilly night and much warmer/drier days.

Josh Sanz shot this picture over Camas this evening

9pm Update:  The big showers are gone, but I sure received a slew of rainbow pictures this evening.  My co-worker Robin Sanz sent this beautiful picture her husband took a half hour ago or so.  He used to be a photographer at KOIN, so he obviously has some skills I don’t have when it comes to setting up a shot!

For tonight I have a few thoughts.  First…I think it’s very strange to have a Frost Advisory when the forecast lows for Kelso, Portland, & Salem are all well above freezing.  Now if the wording in the advisory clearly stated that only the outlying areas would see frost (like with a 1,000′ snow level advisory) it would make more sense.  I think the only areas that see frost tonight may be the westside and up north in central/northern Clark County.  That’s mainly due to expected low clouds developing after midnight.  Our RPM and the WRF-GFS, the two best mesoscale models I have access to, both show low clouds “back-building” across the metro area after midnight.  Our RPM says all the area will be clouded in by 5am, with the only clear spots right up against the Coast Range.  I had ignored our model earlier, but once I saw the WRF-GFS showing the same thing, it increased confidence quiet a bit.  And there is plenty of moisture left on the eastside.  Showers are continuing in central/eastern Multnomah county and eastern Clark County this evening.

A very nice warmup is still on tap.  We’re headed back to normal or slightly above only…no dramatic warming expected in the next 5-7 days.  00z models now show a slightly better thermal trough west of the Cascades all day Friday and the first part of Saturday.  Offshore flow + 850mb temps 5-7 degrees easily means 70 degrees here in Portland.  My May chart shows somewhere between 68 & 75.  That’s why we upped the high for Friday to 70.  Saturday may be as well if the flow doesn’t turn onshore too quickly.  So “normal May programming” is on the way!

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

146 Responses to Hailstorms and Rainbows

  1. Eternal Yamcha (SE Milwaukie) says:

    Dear Mark –

    Happy birthday! I’m assuming that this is the big 21? Wanna hit up some bars and get into drunken fights over whether The Columbus Day Storm could take on Hurricane Ida (2009) in a boxing match?

    All else fails, we can go with turn-of-the-20th century clothes and re-enact the intro to “Cheers”. I got dibs on the top hat! Someone else can take the bowler.

  2. flurball says:


  3. O.C.Paul says:

    Check out these great convergence zone videos. http://www.komonews.com/weather/blog/92871779.html?blog=y

  4. Mr Data says:

    and happy birthday Mark! I wonder when the blogs birthday is?

  5. Heisson Rob says:

    Happy Birthday Mark!

    BTW, perfect day to be spraying for berry bushes – bushes are sprouted but not too big, the temperature was just warm enough to dry the spray but not so bad that the protective gear was suffocating, almost no wind so you can hit what you’re aiming at, and dry for at least another 24 hours.

  6. Mr Data says:

    I still don’t know if dabears means 30C or 30F.

    Why is it when people reply it’s always responding to the least important part of my statements/questions etc?

    Is everyone intoxicated?

  7. Andrew Johnson says:

    Happy bday Mark! And I hope tomorrow is better than today for you Rob!

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

    One quick post from me and then back to bed. I’ve been battling my crappy Vertigo today.

    Mark, Happy Birthday. As others have said if it weren’t for you none of this would be made possible, so thanks again.

    Clear skies here and hasn’t it been quite awhile since we went into the overnight hours with clear conditions? It seems like it. It is going to be a chilly one tonight. Friday looks awesome 70F is going to feel relatively hot considering how cold it has been lately.
    I see there is a severe outbreak ongoing in Kansas now. Check SevereStudios and ChaserTV for chaser feeds.



    I will try to be back later.

  9. W7ENK says:

    Oye! What a day… >_<

    Too bad for the other guy… I was parked! o_O

    At least the sun was shining! And it was comfortably warm enough to forgo the jacket.

    Anyone else noticed that Rob's been MIA today???
    I'd really like to get my hands on a radar image of that cell over Salem yesterday.

  10. Jim in N. Tabor says:

    Happy Birthday Mark and thanks for your help in getting me up and running on the blog. I had a few glitches early on but seems to work fine now.

  11. Jesse-Orchards says:

    Happy Birthday Mark!

  12. Mr Data says:

    Since I cannot reply to the post (Dabears) said at 4:01PM I’ll reply here:

    Do you mean 30C or 30F because either way is a HUGE difference.

    I am NOT looking forward to 30C.

  13. Mr Data says:

    It’s Mark’s birthday! Happy Birthday and too bad it wasn’t yesterday when we had all the “excitment”.

    On another note I look at Salem Airport weather for the last few days and the temp was no lower then 37F at any time. 😦
    The records are between 29 and 32F the last few days for the station:

    I hope this northerly pattern gives us warmish days and cold clear nights ahead. 🙂

    63F here and beautiful outside.

  14. umpire says:

    Let’s raise a pint of Portland-brewed in Mark’s honor today! Mark, what are you, about 27 years old 😉

    And, if there was a beer called “Weather Brew”, what kind of beer should it be? I would think a stout, or at least an IPA for the complexity – though perhaps just a simple ale in honor of the lost Winter of 2009-2010.

  15. dabears (Hillsboro-Tanasbourne) says:

    The 18Z shows 30 degrees at hour 360!!!!! OMG!!!!!

    • Battle Ground Brian says:

      Than an amazing change from 6 hours ago. I predict 00z will be different again.

    • Jesse-Orchards says:

      Bold! Lesser men would be afraid to make such a decisive prognostication.

    • Mr Data says:

      30C you mean? Ouch! 😮

    • Jesse-Orchards says:

      No, 850mb temps of 30C would be unheard of for this area. Would probably give us surface temps of 110 or so! 😆

      Dabears said 30F, as in degrees fahrenheit at the surface.

  16. pappoose in scappoose says:

    Happy birthday Mark! Thanks for giving us weather geeks a place to gather and enjoy.

  17. PaulO says:

    Happy Birthday to Mark.
    Tell the boss we think you deserve the night off!

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