Active Morning

Good morning all. It’s Pat! (remember the SNL skit). For those of you who don’t know me, I am sure most of you forgot since I have posted only one other time, I am the weather producer for Good Day Oregon.  Something caught my eye this morning sitting in the lonely studio, so I figured I would write about it.

Here  in the western valley, we have reverted back to our morning clouds and afternoon sunshine theme. However, east of the Cascades have been under a barrage of thunderstorms over the last 48 hours.

I have been sitting here since about 4:30 this morning and watching the lighting fill the radar at a fairly consistent rate. I haven’t counted each individual strike but if I had to guess, I would estimate around 150-200 strikes since 5 o’clock this morning. The lightning map on Mark’s Weather page has been quite colorful lately and today will add to that mosaic as more afternoon thunderstorms are gearing up. Most of this action is due to the upper-level trough sitting just off the coast of Oregon-California. The threat looks to expand on into Thursday. Lots of fun stuff east of the mountains.

Mark ran this graphic last night in his forecast. It shows the climatology of Oregon thunderstorms pretty well.  Rather easy to see from his graphic that the Pacific Ocean plays a big role in stabilizing the atmosphere until the air rises over the Cascades. Doesn’t look like many golf rounds will be completed today east of those mountains!

136 Responses to Active Morning

  1. Timmy_Supercell (Hillsboro) says:

    Storms have begun in the Cascades… Just west of Bend.

  2. Timmy_Supercell (Hillsboro) says:

    Sun broke out very nicely here. Now I just need some juice to fire up in the sky…

  3. W7ENK says:

    There’s definitely some thunder in that, albeit rather quiet.

    If you look closely, you can see some ribboning in the base structure on the NW side. This picture is looking to the SE.

    I think it’s all staying up in the clouds, no CG strikes. Nothing is really showing on the map.

  4. Timmy_Supercell (Hillsboro) says:

    Not sure about you east-siders, but this looks like an extremely close one for me.

  5. Timmy_Supercell (Hillsboro) says:

    SPC Thermodynamics 22:00 UTC

    SB CAPE: None
    ML CAPE: None
    Most Unstable CAPE: 100-250 J/kg
    Lifted Index: 0 (+2 in Washington County)

    I guess these storms are all elevated today. That’s why each cell has a 20-30 minute life.

    • Timmy_Supercell (Hillsboro) says:

      Chance of a storm hitting PDX I’d say are a 10% chance. Radar is almost at a complete stop as far as further development goes, as if these storms depend on daytime heating… Well, what are you waiting for mother nature? Let there be sunshine.

    • Timmy_Supercell (Hillsboro) says:

      And chance of a storm hitting the west side of the metro… Maybe 2-5% chance. When flow is from the south and storms come close to my area, they always find a way to go to a NNE direction. 😉

  6. Ryan (Walnut Grove) says:

    Watching this develop over the past few hours I think it is safe to say we will won’t get any real boomers. A couple rumbles here and there maybe a sprinkle. That is about it.

  7. Derek Hodges says:

    Looks like the showers are consolidating into a line, should continue to strengthen as it drifts NNE. Most of us should get some brief rain from this in the PDX area. After that nothing for a while but storms are flaring up in the cascades. those however are probably surface based so we might not join in on that fun.

    • chris s says:

      what that cant be ! Better get the people in the blog time machine and head for thunder aa . Down here in salem the dark stuff is almost gone and skies are pretty much clearing out from salem south.

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

    AM radio detecting activity 2-3 miles south of Oregon City. Pulse in nature, so unsure how long these persist. I’m eager to see the 3:25 PM Mesoanalysis Thermodynamic Fields.

  9. W7ENK says:

    I just heard a lazy rumble from this:

    It might have been a jet…

    • Runrain says:

      Nope, definitely thunder but you had to be outside to hear it.

      Hello, everyone. My name is Runrain and I am DEFINITELY a thunderholic!!

    • W7ENK says:

      Kewl! I’m inside, but I have all the doors and windows open. This house needs the fresh air… it got stuffy in here over the last few days!

  10. Kyle says:

    May I borrow the blog machine and drive it to Thunderstorms Anonymous so I can join the club?

  11. Runrain says:

    Thunder! Happy Valley.

  12. Timmy_Supercell (Hillsboro) says:

    Yep, more lightning being shown in the Valley…

    Keep it coming!

  13. Justin (Brush Prairie) says:

    18z GFS shows quite a bit of moisture and convection in the area by 00z, for what it’s worth.

    Not sure about anything organized, but it’s looking like a decent setup for some hit/miss popcorn.

  14. PaulB/Eugene says:

    Towering cumulus popping up N of 3 Sisters….so it appears the cap is weakening…hope this is start of action…this just blew up in a matter of 10-15 min. Hoping for more.

  15. laurie(sylvan) says:

    I’m skeptical about thunderstorms today, unless we can warm up. It’s only 71 at 2:30.

  16. chris s says:

    just about ready to clear out completely down hear in salem the edge of the clouds are just over us now. Some slightly darker stuff off to the northwest looks like it could put out some sprinkles maybe. Boy you would think by reading some of these posts on here that some of you need to go to thunder storms anonymous:-) lol just being silly although i do like reading them but i tend to stick with the more likely scenarios about the weather around here but to each there own right cause i know quite a few of you get excited about the chance for weather that is out of the norm for our area. Oh and rob i know what you were trying to say in your response to paul its just when you read your reply it could be construed that you were saying the foothills of salem are to the northeast of central oregon i was just being goofy about it 🙂

    • Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

      No worries. I could have explained myself perhaps a bit better. It is 74.7 here and a bit muggy. I think chances for t-storms have increased just a notch up towards 10-15% now.

  17. Snow-Zone/Monmouth-Elv200' says:

    Just had a nice roll of thunder come through!!

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

    AM radio is detecting lightning at an increasing pace. I believe this is down the valley.

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

    A nice little 60.0 dbz cell has developed/pulsed up just south of Monmouth.

  20. W7ENK says:

    I’m just a bit confuzzled… Earlier, the temp was steady and the humidity was rising. Now, the temp is rising and the humidity is holding steady… Whaaaat???

    75.5 degrees, RH 59%

    I hope that’s a good thing? 😕

  21. Ryan (Walnut Grove) says:

    Clouds are filling in rapidly south of Swan Island and moving north. Maybe we will get a little thunder at least out of this. Not counting my chickens yet…

    • Timmy_Supercell (Hillsboro) says:

      I’ll be counting my stock of buffalo in the mean time…

    • pappoose in scappoose says:

      Maybe you better count your chickens before they join the squadron of flying donkeys and buffalo.

  22. Timmy_Supercell (Hillsboro) says:

    Wow, looks like some development trying to pop up around the Willamette Valley… Thanks W7ENK! I knew I could always count on your evil plans 🙂

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

    Lightning near Corvallis. Radar shows a possible t-storm near Dallas WSW of Salem.

  24. Jethro (Canby ~187') says:

    Rain!? WHAT THE… ?!?!

    • Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

      ? Is it a fluid type substance? What is this “Rain” that you speak of.

    • Jethro (Canby ~187') says:

      Check the radar… just south of Canby — big old drops!

    • Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

      I am familiar with Mist, or Drizzle, but not this unknown occurrence you are experiencing.

    • Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

      😆 I see it… That was my poor attempt at sarcasm.

    • Jethro (Canby ~187') says:

      And just like that it’s gone… heading towards your neighborhood Rob, if it doesn’t dissipate by then…

    • W7ENK says:

      Skies are darkening to my South, and I can smell it…

      I knew it would come, since I washed my car this morning! 😦

  25. stilllearning says:

    Alright – so I know that we won’t get the great storms that are in Eastern Oregon, but what are the chances we might get a little storm in Oregon City? If there is one thing I get very excited about – it’s thunderstorms!!
    Also, can anyone tell me how the weather is shaping up for the Madras area the end of next week? I am heading out to do some camping and would love to see some good storms!!

  26. Derek Hodges says:, OR&showstorms=10&map.x=464.5&map.y=194&centerx=429&centery=96&lightning=0&smooth=0&showlabels=1&rainsnow=0

    Cell by salem is getting stronger and a wimpy one just popped up a few miles to the east

  27. PaulB/Eugene says:

    Mesoscale discussion in effect for far SE OR and SW ID…suggesting that a svr tstorm watch may be issued….Insolation cranking up finally over central OR…next band of convection evident over S central OR…looking good I think for storms..this wave may drive in SW marine push behind it over the S Willamette valley…which MIGHT aid in convection farther N (i.e area from Salem to Sandy and points E)

    • Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

      I agree… Dynamics are priming themselves for the central Cascades/central Oregon. I also agree with your assessment in target location as the activity would probably move N-NE towards to the Foothills north of Salem.

    • chris s says:

      not to be nitpicky rob but north to northeast of central oregon is not the foothills of salem 🙂

    • Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

      I’m not sure what you’re referring to? Best Dynamics are Cascades and eastward. However there could be something in the locations he mentioned due to the flow aloft steering them near the Foothills.

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

    Recent SPC Mesoscale Analysis indicates there is a slightly cooling area aloft around -13c at 500mb. This also correlates strongly with an area of increased PWAT values of 1″, a plume of steeper mid-level lapse rates of 8C/km, and some very weak divergence aloft. This I believe is responsible for the activity we are seeing develop on radar.

  29. Justin (Brush Prairie) says:

    Storms are all pretty wimpy thus far. Elevated instability can make for good nocturanl lightning, so hopefully if we get anything it holds off until sunset or so. Brookings and Crescent City had a freakish light show late last night from a couple monster cells.

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

    Two tiny cells have popped up near/south of the Mount Angel and Silverton areas.

  31. AdamInAumsville says:

    Have some darkening clouds right over me. You can see these blossoming on visible satellite E and NE of Salem.

  32. Derek Hodges says:

    I want to add evidence to what I said earlier. Take a look at this radar image,

    There is a shower offshore, with a flow out of the SSW, that would never happen if this were surface based. Heck, I’ve seen thunderstorms one time on top of a marine layer so it can happen. I expect those showers to move into the Portland area unless something aloft changes to stop them.

  33. AdamInAumsville says:

    These clouds just scream mid-level instability.

  34. muxpux says:

    61 and low clouds in Longview. they do seem to be thinning some though. i wonder if we even make it to 70 today

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

    Activity trying to intensify northwest of Eugene.

  36. WEATHERDAN says:

    Lots of alto cumulus in the sky this morning. Temp @ 11:53 AM 70.7

  37. Derek Hodges says:

    This is very interesting, I wouldn’t think those showers would be there if i couldn’t see them. Our trigger is a shortwave which is to our south right now near the border. This all seems to be upper level stuff so our marine air shouldn’t effect it too much.

    • Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

      Agreed…. Now that I think about it this is all mid-level moisture/dynamics perhaps the marine influence won’t be a major hindrance….

    • Yevpolo1990 says:

      what a relief, maybe we can finally have an active day??

  38. Jesse-Orchards says:

    In your guys opinion, is today or tomorrow going to be better for thunderstorms in Central/Eastern Oregon?

    If today looks a lot better, I might just go over there now even though it’s late ( I had some errands to run this morning).

    If tomorrow is looking just as good, though, I’ll just go over there tomorrow morning and get an early start.

    • W7ENK says:

      Hahaha, are you nic’n for some thunder, too? I was thinking the same thing, maybe watching from the Timberline parking lot, but I don’t really want to waste the gas… 😕

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

    Let’s see if any afternoon “heating” leads to MUCAPE regenerating… I really don’t expect any t-storms west of the Cascades though. However the SPC is suggesting this.

    Appears to be a possible t-storm developing south of Brightwood now.

    • Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

      Latest 9z SREF scan does develop instability on the order of 500-1000J/kg, LI -1 to -2, and PWAT values of 1″…

    • W7ENK says:

      The sun hasn’t even come out completely yet, and already I’m up to 69 degrees. RH is at 62%, but dropping.

      It’s a delicate balance…

    • Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

      It is pretty sad when even though our chances are very meager that this is the best opportunity we’ve had all Summer thus far.


    • W7ENK says:

      Was ist das??? The temp is holding steady, but the RH has bumped back up a bit now, and the sky is lookin’ a bit prickly… Hmmm?

    • Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

      Lots of Altocumulus Castellanous(ACCAS) to my south and southeast.

    • Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:


      The anus cloud 😐

    • W7ENK says:

      Hahaha! The anus cloud? Does this mean we’re about to be sh… oh, never mind. 😆

    • pappoose in scappoose says:

      Have some anus clouds droppings, no strike that, passing through, Hahaah!

  40. W7ENK says:

    Clearing out very quickly here. Hopefully some surface heating will help keep those storms alive as they move into our area? It’s almost a guarantee it will rain this afternoon; I washed my car this morning.

    On a slightly unrelated note, this is a good sign!

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

    Rapidly clearing skies now.

    • PaulB/Eugene says:

      Am in Sisters area today. Lots of thin high clouds overhead and points E . If these clear out and things heat up and another short wave heads N I hope I can report some decent t storm activity (hail, lightning etc)

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

    Lightning had ended to our south and southwest. SPC does have the western valleys included in their ‘General Risk’ for non-severe thunderstorms.

    There are still some showers to our southwest and they look like they may have slightly intensified over the past 20 minutes. VIS Imagery indicates lots of thin low clouds over PDX metro with many other areas breaking out. Also a more convective look to the clouds to our southwest. There is some very weak elevated instability to our southwest. PWAT values increase notably to 1″ over southwest Oregon.

    I would not entirely rule out showers or a t-storms later, but the marine layer I’m sure will stabilize things in the western valleys. T-storm chances are 5% or less.

    • Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

      Yup I was correct. New lightning strike west of Eugene.

    • Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

      Unfortunately this will begin to move into a less unstable atmosphere from about Salem/Lincoln City northward, so I would expect these showers and weak t-storms to fall apart… I hope not though.

    • Yevpolo1990 says:

      Rob, there is absolutely no instability even at eugene or especially west…
      how are these showers even holding up?

    • Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

      There is very weak Eugene south MUCAPE 100J/kg

    • Yevpolo1990 says:

      yea so maybe daytime heating can help those showers out?

  43. AdamInAumsville says:

    Mag 5.2 earthquake off the coast from Eugene. Right at the subduction zone. Interesting.

  44. Derek Hodges says:

    I see a few showers and thunderstorms on our side of the mountains to our south. We can hope. 🙂

  45. Going to Eastern Oregon this weekend, unfortunately the marine air and SW flow aloft will stabilize things over there by then.

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