Days Off and A Bike Ride

May 19, 2010

I’m taking the next two days off for a little time camping with the family.  Yuck…cold and wet…luckily not tent camping this time around.  Even eastside, where we are headed, looks chilly and occasionally wet, just not as wet as westside.  I’m also participating in an annual bicycle ride in the Maupin area Saturday morning.  It’s a fundraiser for the Juniper Flat Fire Department in southern Wasco County.  I really enjoy going out there in the spring before it gets too hot.  Fresh sights and sounds to ride too.

A nice storm today; I’d argue that models and forecasts just nailed the storm.  Timing was just about perfect as well.  It seems like just about all official stations at least hit 35, and some were as high as 45.  I saw two 47 mph gusts at Forest Grove and the I-205 Glen Jackson Bridge.  We hit 45 mph at PDX, almost breaking the 48 mph record for the month of May.  You don’t see many 40 mph wind days here in Portland during the month of May!

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen


Wind Peaking Out Now

May 19, 2010

We’ve seen a wide variety of peak wind gusts here in the Valley so far…41 here on our roof on the westside about 10 minutes ago, 43 mph in Forest Grove, and a piddly 28 so far at PDX.  About 8,000 PGE customers out of power as of 4:30pm, a lot from the squally wind with the cold front that passed through about 3pm. 

So now pressures are jumping behind the front and it’s on to just up and down wind gusts.  Occasional stronger wind up above (notice the clouds flying by?) will be reaching the surface at times.  So almost calm at times followed by gusts of 35-45 mph.  Then the wind just gradually tapers off after 6-7pm.

Peak gusts so far at the Coast have been in the 45-65 mph range.  We’ll see if they get much stronger on the North Coast.  Sure looks like the Long Beach Peninsula is under the gun with that tail of that occlusion moving onshore this evening.

Good times for late May!

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen


Look at That Storm!

May 19, 2010

Now THAT’S a nice looking storm showing up offshore on the first visible image of the day.   Classic “cinnamon roll” look with a tightly wound area of low pressure and clouds spiraling inward.  Sure doesn’t look like late May.  If you want to do something outside get it done before noon.  We have a nice easterly wind blowing through the Gorge this morning as pressures are falling rapidly along the coastline; it’s going to get warm quickly!  I can’t remember the last time we had east wind witha deep low approaching in the 2nd half of May.  Enjoy the early sun, then the rain comes through, then the wind later…a wide variety of weather conditions on the way today.  The low appears to be crossing the into the “danger zone” east of 130W this morning at about 44 deg. latitude.

Not a single one of NOAA’s outer buoys are working right now, the inner buoys are in better shape…so where does all that (our) money go?  Oh well, they are doing a great job tracking the oil down south.  So I sure can’t complain about that, but we haven’t had most of those buoys for at least 6 months and it’s really annoying when we have deep low pressure areas moving through our outer waters.

I don’t have any other new thoughts…it’s a “wait to see how it plays out” situation now.  Peak gusts maybe 60-70 mph on the North Coast and 40mph from Salem north in the Valleys still seems like a good forecast.  If we get perfect mixing and some gusts to 50 mph in the Valleys that’s going to cause some trouble, but we’ll see.

10:30am…an even better pic here:

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen