Weather Action Tonight; But Not Too Crazy

November 29, 2010

A brand new week, December is just two days away, and we have a nice Pacific warm & cold frontal system headed inland tonight.  Here are my thoughts:

1.  For the Metro area, nothing too exciting.  A good soaking starting with the commute tonight and continuing through most of tomorrow.  No strong wind here due to easterly Gorge wind converging with the south wind running up the Valley.  We won’t see excessive amounts of rain or wind.  Too warm for anything frozen too.  Easterly flow increasing through the Gorge today isn’t quite cold enough to bring freezing rain all the way into the east side of the metro area like it did Friday A.M.

2.  High Wind Warning at the beaches?  Marginal again, I really wish the NWS would be reserve these for stronger wind events.  Last High Wind Warning (about two weeks ago) I think one spot had a peak gust of 58 mph.  Steph and I were discussing that afterwards.  Similar tonight with peak gusts in the 50 to 60 mph range.  Remember that High Wind Warning criteria is peak gusts to 58+ mph.

3.  Winter Storm Warning is up for snow/ice in Gorge and snow in Cascades.  Looks good for both.  I just checked forecast soundings and cross-sections.  It’s marginal for snow/frozen precip. at freeway/river level in the Gorge, but probably still a decent dump of wet snow from Cascade Locks eastward (in the colder airmass east of the Cascades).  Maybe 3-5″ at the lowest elevations, a few more inches in the higher Hood River and White Salmon Valleys.  It’ll change to freezing rain by daybreak though as much warmer air moves in aloft.  So I’d avoid I-84 until midday tomorrow.  At that time temps should be at least 35 or so down at the lowest elevations.  West of Cascade Locks the freeway should be fine.  Likely some freezing rain in the hills east of Washougal and the Corbett area up above 500′ overnight before it warms up tomorrow. 

After the cold front passes through Tuesday evening/night, the weather pattern really slows down until about 7 days from now.  We sit in a cool trough the rest of the week and another system slides up through mainly Eastern Oregon Thursday/Friday.  Watch out in the Blue Mountains for that one.  Winter has started early this year over in northeast Oregon! 

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen