Storm Update: Monday Morning

What a crazy weekend…heavy rain, thunderstorms, heavy mountain snow, and now massive waves moving onto the coastline.  A deep area of low pressure moved offshore as expected Saturday evening, and over the next 24 hours will continue “filling” (weakening) as it moves east across southern British Columbia.  Having such a strong storm relatively close to us for 48 hours is unusual (especially in October!).  As we’ve seen, the effects are varied depending on where you are:

1.  Rainfall:

Models had been forecasting 2″ of rain in the lowlands and they did very well.  PDX had a record 1.06″ for the day yesterday, and now we have surpassed the average 2.88″ we normally see this month.  More showers today with another chance of thunderstorms, just not as wild as yesterday.  I see 3-5″ rain/snow has fallen in the west slopes of the Cascades.  Rainy season has begun!

2. Mountain Snow:

Whew!  More than I expected and slightly lower than I expected yesterday.  Snow levels have risen slightly since yesterday evening (they’ll drop again tonight), but it appears at least 15-20″ have already fallen above 5,000′ in the Cascades.  As you can see from the picture above, traveling through the passes should be okay during the daylight hours today until colder air moves in this evening.  By the way, keep in mind the temperature shown at Government Camp has always been 3-4 degrees too warm  too cold.  When it shows 30 degrees or lower is generally when you see snow start sticking on the road.  It’s been that way for about 3 winters.  I wish ODOT would fix it.  More snow is on the way the next 24 hours, maybe another 6-8″ above the passes and a good 4-6″ in the passes.  If we get another cold system or two early next week maybe a ski area could open the first week of November???  Definitely possible.

3. High Winds:

These were strong as expected with the cold front Saturday night…highest gust I saw was 70 mph at Yaquina Bay Bridge.  Most peak gusts were in the 45-60 mph range.  I said 55-65 mph gusts, so I think that was reasonably close.

4. Huge Swell:

Such a strong low sitting over the offshore waters for 48 hours, bringing a long period of gale/storm force westerly wind over the same area, you get a massive swell.  I checked all the buoys and 20-30′ is common at all of them right now.  I see Buoy #46005 had a 43 ft. wave a few hours ago!  That’s a four story building.  So the NWS has a High Surf Warning up for the Coast today.  Expect 30-35′ swell…we’re starting the season off just like last year when we had the largest swell of the season in early November.

Much quieter the rest of the week.  Thursday’s system dives down towards California…a non-wind producer and that pattern tends to not give us significant rain.  Durign the upcoming weekend we should see the weather action pick up again.

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

45 Responses to Storm Update: Monday Morning

  1. Sandi (Wilsonville) says:

    Hearing thunder now.

  2. Tyler in Hazel Dell says:

    Wave vids…

    Some of these are kind of long…sorry, no time to edit right now haha…on to the pictures, I’ll have them later!

  3. Timmy_Supercell (Hillsboro) says:

    The cell above me that I thought would be producing some thunder is just another dud. Now waiting for the next batch of rain…

  4. Hey Y’all…Flab5 is up and running for your conversational needs….enjoy!

  5. pappoose in scappoose says:

    Heavy shower with small hail.

  6. Timmy_Supercell (Hillsboro) says:

    Never understood why they put buildings right on the beach if you know that evenutally its just going to get washed away……

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

    UW 12z WRF-GFS has a 939mb low in the Gulf of Alaska next week.

  8. Rainfall total from last Friday afternoon to 2:30pm today was only 1.78″ here at BG Lake. That was less than I thought we would get. I was thinking 2.5″+

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

    Thanks for the update, Mark.

  10. Cherie in Vernonia says:

    here is the link to the NWS Bar cams

    click on each pic to enlarge it

  11. RobWaltemate says:

    Here is what the bar looked like from the North Jetty at about 9:30 am.

    • RobWaltemate says:

      Not sure what happened to the sound. Too much wind I guess. 😉

    • pappoose in scappoose says:

      The ocean looks a little angry, no doubt because of the monster its been doing battle with! Looks like you might be getting sandblasted.

  12. Kyle says:

    Andrew how long are you staying in Silverton?

    Andrew: you have to learn to be your own guide in that weather forum and now when to not go too deep into the forest or you’ll get lost and it’s never fun to be lost in the forest. 🙂

    • Andrew Johnson says:

      Thanks for the advice Kyle. I’m not sure how long I’ll be in Silverton. I’ve been here since August 31st and my guess is that I will be here a while. It is a fantastic town.

  13. W7ENK says:

    I guess the waves on the coast are just phenomenal today!
    Here’s a photo a friend just snapped in Depoe Bay…

    Look at the silly tourist standing next to the wall. 😆

  14. Runrain says:

    Mark, if that 30 deg reading is 3-4 deg too warm, does that mean the actual temp up there is 26 deg? Wouldn’t it be icing up there at that temp?

  15. Andrew Johnson says:

    Looks like a pretty good shower heading my way.

  16. PaulB/Eugene says:

    I thought this was funny even though it is not funny (from storm report issued from PDX):


    Maybe washaway beach was named so for a reason.

  17. WEATHERDAN says:

    As advertised the La Nina starts right on time. I expect to see 12-14 inches of rain in November and another 10-12 in December. This should translate into a huge amount of snow in the Cascades. A great year for weather geeks. In Nov-Dec of 1973, a very close analog year to this, Salem had almost 30 inches of rain! About 17 inches in November, and about 11 inches of rain in December. Then we had a 2 week Arctic outbreak in early January, and then we had a flood. Quite a winter. We could easily see a repeat this year.

    • Andrew Johnson says:

      Its funny on another weather forum I read they act like 73-74′ completely sucked. But from what I’ve been hearing about what really happened that year, it was pretty interesting.

  18. Boydo3 500' North Albany says:

    Mark, your comment on the ODOT sensor is right on. I’ve contacted ODOT a couple times. One I wish they would fix is the wind direction at the Newport bridge. Whenever we get those big S winds it just reads NW. Seems like it always is opposite of the actual wind direction.

  19. Gregg-Formerly TTD now in Bend says:

    Had a pretty good snow shower last night, although it didn’t amount to anything. Pretty icy in places around here this morning. Currently 39 here.

  20. Garron near washington square says:

    Thanks Mark! Darn if I didn’t miss the thunder storms out my way by like 20 minutes, went to bed too early. So typical for me…lol

  21. Good analysis Mark!

    1.58″ rain yesterday…none so far today…..


  22. W7ENK says:

    48 foot max wave height at -3hr? Holy Moley!!!

  23. W7ENK says:

    Thanks Mark! 🙂

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