East Wind Still Blowing

December 7, 2010

Take a look at the temperature plot the last 3.5 days…Portland has remained between 38 and 46 degrees.  So in 84 hours we haven’t moved more than 8 degrees!  That’s on par with the most boring weather you could find anywhere on the planet.  The upper line on this plot from the UW is temperature, the lower is dewpoint.  You can see when we had some showers yesterday morning the dewpoint took a bit of a jump too.  The reason for the stable temperature regime?  East wind has been blowing out of the Gorge for 4 days now.  It started Friday afternoon and now it’s still going strong Tuesday morning…winter must be here!  Here’s a plot of the last 12 hours of wind at the Corbett Elementary School, click on it to get a better view:  You’ll notice the peak gust of 58 mph just before sunrise today.  Yesterday was 55 mph and late Sunday evening it hit 64 mph.  This computer exports data to CWOP, which goes into NOAA’s MADIS stream of observations.  Then it ends up online here.  Any of you that have home weather stations probably have the ability to export to CWOP.  I know some folks only upload to Weather Underground, but it’s much better if you send to CWOP too, because then the data is distributed to NOAA.  By the way, I’ve found that this software program (WeatherView32) doesn’t send the peak gust correctly to CWOP.  For some reason it misses some of them while creating the text string that gets sent over the internet.  I’d be interested in knowing if others of you in high wind spots have had the same experience.  I see there is a new home weather station online in another wind spot this year.  Someone in the southern part of Troutdale up on the hill is capturing some good wind.  A peak gust of 44 mph this morning there.

Pressure gradient climbed quickly again to around 10 millibars yesterday evening from PDX-DLS.  It’s still there with high pressure sitting east of the mountains and strong low pressure well offshore.  The good news for those of you tired of the wind?  It should turn light suddenly overnight tonight as a cold front moves inland.  That turns our Valley wind southerly too.

Plenty of rain the next 7 days, but nothing TOO exciting weatherwise.  I don’t see any strong areas of low pressure or flooding rains ahead.  And no model shows a cold or snowy episode through the middle of December at least. 

I’ve turned on the comments again.  I’ve temporarily blocked two regular posters here so they can cool it for a few week (and warned another).  I really hope they both come back in time.  It’s been really busy the last 2 weeks (and will be for a few more) with a new computer system.  The last thing I want to spend time on is keeping an eye on 30-40 year olds that haven’t learned to either leave others alone or have serious anger problems.  I’m doing this after another poster pointed out this that I posted last summer.  I also received a multitude of emails, some implying that I was “punishing” everyone for the behavior of a few.  No, that wasn’t it.  I just didn’t have the time or need to deal with it right away, especially considering the dead weather.

One more thing that came out of the little blow-up Sunday;  several very regular posters pointed out that they get frustrated by the level of the technical discussion in the comments.  Knowledgeable comments  about weather patterns, models etc… are interspersed with lots of general questions/comments from our viewers.  It’s frustrating (especially during wild weather) for the hard-core weather people.  But that won’t change because this blog is read by a huge cross-section of FOX-12 viewers and others.  The weather team invites anyone to comment on here, so that’s just the nature of this beast.  Maybe during busy weather periods I should make a “model/obs/pattern discussion only” stickie-type post that stays up top?  A “hard-core” post?  Just an idea.

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen