Lenticular Cloud Photo

Kathy Kopacek caught this great photo of a lenticular cloud over Mt. Hood last Friday afternoon. No, not a mothership, but close.

Weatherwise…I was pretty happy with the weekend forecast; we stayed dry the whole time with just a few sprinkles around (mainly in the hills) Sunday morning.   We really nailed the “cool” part.  Right around 70 all three days.  The only disappointment, if you can call it that, was the ample sunshine today as the clouds stayed just north of us.  Mid 60s were the rule from Kalama north into Western Washington.  If the cloud line would have shifted 50 miles south people would have been complaining about the gray skies.  It was better the way it turned out.

Coming up…more Fall weather, but not TOO much rain.  A cool upper level trough has come out of SE Alaska and is sliding down the coastline towards us today.  The atmosphere looks unstable tomorrow…for the first time in quite awhile we should see vigorous afternoon showers and maybe thunder too.  Not a real crazy day, but the best convective “action” we’ve seen for weeks.

Much quieter Thursday through the weekend; just weak troughing continuing to linger over western North America.  The early Fall cool weather isn’t going away.  If so, then “summer” will have lasted about 2 months this year; early July to early September.  What a change from last year when it lasted twice as long…mid-May to mid-September! 

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

84 Responses to Lenticular Cloud Photo

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

    I’m not sure if anyone has reported this, but I just heard a lightning strike on AM radio. It was likely the cell over east Vancouver.

    • Garron near washington square says:

      I can’t believe we didn’t get something from this? I saw lower level clouds rotating from the NE towards the SE below the main cloud shield, then the skies finally opened up, for the last 52 minutes it has been steadily raining.

  2. Garron near washington square says:

    WOw!!! I am out BBQing right now, and it looks like we’re about to get hit? Was frying up some of the leftover hamburger from yesterday and thinking, I’m glad we exscaped and yesterday wasn’t today!!!

    • Garron near washington square says:

      Me thinks it went all around me which is totally typical of my area. Got up to 66.7 D/F, down to 59.9 in short order, but not even a rain drop so far. Still looks dark as night out there….gotta go flip my burgers…

  3. Some wonderfully stormy clouds to the west. Sounds like all they are yielding is heavy rain, though?

  4. Ryan (Walnut Grove) says:

    Looks like our only change for anything fun is rolling through Beaverton right now and about to hit Portland.

  5. Yevpolo1990 says:

    Really raining hard here

  6. Kyle says:

    Hi Bloggers:

    Had light rain for most of the morning. Let’s take a look at my rain-gauge shall we?……………..*peers inside gauge by pushing the button*……………..Well what do you guys know I have 0.12 of rain to quench it’s thirst. 🙂

    At least SOMETHING is going right today.

    63F and a few more showers wouldn’t hurt it one bit and I hope for some T-Storms but not likely in this location.

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

    Possible t-storm near Aloha… bit better structure
    63.5 DBZ

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

    Finally a fairly strong sun break pushing my temp up near 66F. I even see some vertical motion to the clouds now.

  9. Been getting some sporadic, but entirely healthy sun breaks in the last hour on this side of town (currently in Tigard). However, not sure there’s much to the cell to the west of us besides a good downpour.

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

    So far it looks like my concerns of too much cloud cover were right… We still have time for sun breaks, but it is just not warm enough….

  11. Very angry skies towards North Plains/Helvetia area.

  12. Boydo3 500' North Albany says:

    .28 in so far. We’ve been getting the brunt of the rain, me thinks.

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

    MUCAPE 500J/kg now across PDX/VUO metro… We need more sun breaks, but radar looks decent I guess….

    • Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

      SBCAPE 250J/kg
      MLCAPE 250J/kg
      LI 0 to -1
      CAP: VERY WEAK or none

    • Jim in N. Tabor says:

      I think you told me before but exactly what is the CAP and what does it mean. Thanks Rob. I’ll get all this down eventually.

    • Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

      A layer of stable, warmer air aloft. If there is a CAP clouds don’t grow up through it. If there is not clouds may continue to build further into showers or t-storms.

  14. tonybertolo says:

    I really hope the GFS can pull itself together before October ends. It doesn’t seem to know what to do with itself the last 4 days or so.

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

    Definitely stronger showers now on radar…

    • Ryan (Walnut Grove) says:

      If only the showers weren’t to the SE of the metro moving to the NE.

    • Justin (Brush Prairie) says:

      …they aren’t. Pretty heavy rain in Vancouver right now.

    • Ryan (Walnut Grove) says:

      Until those two cells popped up the majority of the energy was in a line from Corvallis to Salem moving NE.

      There are small but intense cells now NW of Vancouver around the 205/5 merge north and a newer cell around Hillsboro moving NW.

    • Appears several instability parameters are good for a t-storm or two except, to me anyway, both mid/low level lapse rates are not real conducive.

      Good line of cells however into mid/north Clark county currently…


  16. Yevpolo1990 says:

    LI: is at -1 in my area and cape is at 500, along with Cap at 25 or so…
    Although the temp does not look so promising..61 degrees

  17. Timmy_Supercell (Hillsboro) says:

    I’ll be busy for a little bit, i might be back by 4 pm or after. Hopefully I dont miss the action.

  18. Ryan (Walnut Grove) says:

    I suspect someone will hear a few rumbles somewhere in the metro area today. Without much in the way of sunbreaks to get surface heating going I’d think it’s a one shot deal. We will see something form at some point and once that dissipates it’s over.

    Probably a little bugger that rolls over east Clackamas.

  19. Way to go Steve! First time I’ve heard your weather report on KXL…

    Some active showers around…

    63°…0.13″ rain so far

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

    Some instability is developing now according to the latest Mesocale Analysis.

  21. …here in my particular spot in the foothills, it’s been drizzle/Lt. rain since before dawn, accented by periods of tree dripping….

  22. Timmy_Supercell (Hillsboro) says:

    A cluster of moderate-heavy rain showers has developed SE of Dallas.

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

    Salem to Albany is about to get some moderate-heavy rain.

  24. Punxsutawney (aka HIOPHIL) at work by Sunset High elev ~280' says:

    64F at 11:00am at KHIO. Maybe 70F isn’t out of the question. Occaisional sun breaks here at work.

  25. Actually some small spots o’ blue and brightening through the clouds. Hope that bodes well for at least a little stormy action later on.

    • Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

      That will definitely help matters.

    • Jim in N. Tabor says:

      So Rob, what do you give the chances for T-storms here in PDX today ?

    • Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

      Sky conditions aren’t good, yet… Visible satellite imagery doesn’t show good clearing/sun breaks yet either. BUT as we move into the afternoon hours thing should become more favorable. Perhaps 15% chance and again I’m just concerned about cloud cover.

  26. WEATHERDAN says:

    If any of you are looking for an early winter here in the lowlands forget it! No matter how strong a La Nina is the very earliest you can have snow in Western Oregon on the Valley floor is early November. That’s historical over 150 years. So what you will have is a long wet foggy fall. Sounds crummy to me.

    • Andrew Johnson says:

      Its not so bad. Things will begin to green up in no time.

    • W7ENK says:

      Really??? I have video (somewhere) of wet sloppy snowflakes falling on the jack-o-lanterns and red/yellow sweet gum leaves in my front yard [Milwaukie] from when I was a kid… not sure what year, probably mid 90s. Before 97, I know that much.

      95, before the big windstorm? That sounds about right.

    • Jesse-Orchards says:

      Weatherdan, snow to the valley floor in early November would be an early winter. And that’s only two months away. If you’re trying to rain on people’s parades your not doing a great job.

      The earliest I can remember seeing it snow around here is early November 2003. The earliest I’ve heard of it falling, and sticking, around here in Halloween 1935.

    • WEATHERDAN says:

      About November 3rd 1973 we had sticking snow in Salem for several hours. It eventually got up as high as 39 degrees melting the valley floor snow. My point was it seemed that some posters thinking that as fast as we are heading into fall we might have snow in October. But that has never happened. Once on Halloween night in 1935 we did have 6 inches of snow but the 31st is so close you might as well call it early November.

  27. SeaChange says:

    What a great picture! I’ve already made it my wallpaper.

  28. Timmy_Supercell (Hillsboro) says:

    It looks like we may actually make it through an entire summer with thunderstorms! What about a boring one this would have made…

  29. Justin (Brush Prairie) says:

    There’s been a much better chance for convection today for awhile now. Much better than 15%, probably closer to 60%. Somebody will definitely see a thunderstorm.

    • Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

      My % is lower due to concerns of cloud cover.

    • Justin (Brush Prairie) says:

      Even with cloudcover we’ll have steep enough lapse rates for some thunder/hail. But we won’t stay cloudy all day long and a few sunbreaks will be enough to get us to 65+ which is more surface heating than we normally have with a cold core setup.

      Good shot for some low level convergence after today’s rain. I wouldn’t be surprised to see some locally strong thunderstorms pop up in places.

    • Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

      I agree the dynamics are really promising today.

  30. Punxsutawney (aka HIOPHIL) at work by Sunset High elev ~280' says:

    Nice area of vorticity offshore.

    A vortmax right off of Astoria heading toward our area this morning. Should bring some interesting weather to at least some of us this afternoon.


    • Timmy_Supercell (Hillsboro) says:

      Are my eyes tricking me or does that look like a cumulus field approaching the western Oregon Coast?

    • Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

      I see some enhancement, but not a real CU field. Definitely good lift and rising motion offshore.

  31. Timmy_Supercell (Hillsboro) says:

    SPC’s convective outlook discussion at 7:31 am did not include us but their outlook map still has a general risk for convection, covering the Willamette Valley and Cascades:

    So I’m assuming there is still just a slight possibility that convection will fire this afternoon. Let’s take a look at instability parameters…

    (09z SREF)

    Lifted Index: 0 to +1 (not very moist)
    Surface CAPE: 500 J/kg
    ML CAPE: Less than 500 J/kg
    MU CAPE: 500 J/kg
    Shear: 20-30 kts.

    My thoughts… I think we need afternoon sunbreaks and good surface heating for convection. There is a cold pool at the surface and may favor cold cored type convection (which generally require less parameters) however, I don’t think an overcast day like this will do it justice.

    • Timmy_Supercell (Hillsboro) says:

      I’d say there is a 2-3% chance for thunderstorms, for graupel/hail showers maybe higher.

    • Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

      12z SLE sounding indicates a Convective Temp of 66F. There should be plenty of lift/forcing, so it will all come down to surface heating today as it so often does. I actually put the chances a bit higher 10-15%. The sky right now doesn’t look promising as of 9:15 AM very cloudy and murky looking.

    • Punxsutawney (aka HIOPHIL) at work by Sunset High elev ~280' says:

      Most areas are close to 60 already. Even with the cooler air arriving I think we still have enough sun this time of year to warm us up to the mid 60’s. 70 is very unlikely imho.

    • Timmy_Supercell (Hillsboro) says:

      Yeah if the convective temp is that low then I suppose at least a 10% chance for storms.

      On a side note…

      I forgot how much the rain warms up our low temps. I still can’t believe it was 57F for low this morning 🙂

    • Ryan (Walnut Grove) says:

      The clouds insulate us like a thermal blanket and let no warm air escape from the surface. 🙂

  32. Char says:

    Don’t post often…..but, HAD to give props to Mark for his Friday night changes to the Labor Day weekend forecast.
    He nailed it!

  33. Ryan (Walnut Grove) says:

    The 06Z is a model run of glorious proportions. Granted it is La La land but it spits out a week of showers & light rain giving way to steadier rain by the end of the run.

    Ohhh sweet rain.

  34. Timmy_Supercell (Hillsboro) says:

    Nice shot! And maybe thats why Mt. “Hood” got its name? 🙂

  35. A. OReilly says:

    Amazing photo! It definitely feels like Fall has arrived!

  36. RobWaltemate says:

    Very cool pic. Lower air must have been fairly dry then?

  37. Pauline says:

    Awesome photo! Summer was so short this year… Our garden hasn’t had a chance!

  38. Margaret in Fairview says:

    I hope this link works. My family in San Antonio is about to get drenched with the remains of Hermine (photo editing by me):

  39. Kyle says:

    I took a look at Mt Hood going to Hood River a few weeks ago and most if it looked like the mountains around Reno Nevada. (dry and desolated)

  40. Sifton says:

    Ya granted last summer was long & hot but I can’t help but feel shortchanged by ol’ Mother Nature this year.

    • Sifton says:

      + I just thought today that a lot of Mt.Hood seems more snow free this year than others, is it me?

    • Jesse-Orchards says:

      It’s just you.

      The cool, short Summer, as well as all the late-season snow (and now some early season snow) has actually helped mainain greater than average snowcover over the Cascade volcanoes this year.

      It’s been pretty noticeable, in fact, especially if you hike a lot on the flanks of the peaks each year like I myself do.

    • Washington Observer says:

      Jesse is right. At the beginning of 2010 the irrigation water situation looked pretty bleak and then like magic, we had late snowfalls and a cool wet spring.
      The entire outlook changed and there was plenty of water.
      I’m not sure about Hood, but I think Mt. Adams’ white cloak looks more plentiful this September than it has for a long time.

    • Ryan (Walnut Grove) says:

      Helen’s has significantly more snow that usual this year as well. Typically it’s snow free by now and it still has a good amount of snow on it for late Summer.

    • Been up to Adams several times this summer and it seems to have more snowcover compared to other seasons of the past at this same time of year.

      57° with rain total of 0.09″ so far.

    • Washington Observer says:

      After I wrote what I wrote, I wondered if I knew what I was talking about.
      I dug around through my photos trying to make a comparison.
      I had taken one on Friday Sept. 3 and I found one for Sept. 9, 2008.
      I can’t tell much difference.
      I will keep looking for a 2009 one.

      Please don’t expect the wonderful quality of pictures I have seen on this site.

      If it asks for a password, enter mtadams

  41. W7ENK says:

    [Milwaukie] 9/6/2010
    73.2°F High ◄▬ +1.2°/KORMILWA3; -1.7°/KORMILWA5
    45.0°F Low
    W 9.6 mph at 2:04p

  42. W7ENK says:

    And that would be why it’s called Mt. Hood… maybe? 😆

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