Vista House Wind Sensor

It looks like we are all set for the east wind season down at Vista House.  I would consider it the windiest spot you can drive to in the state of Oregon during the winter.  Check out why on a previous blog post.

If you recall last January I got together with Oregon State Parks folks and we put in a “temporary” sensor on a big block of concrete.  They bought a new Vantage Vue sensor and even though it’s now still technically “temporary”, it’s attached to the solid steel rain gutter.  A signal is sent down to the basement where a computer sends the data out to the world via CWOP. 

Up until two weeks ago the communication between the sensor and console under the building would intermittently go out.  It’s tough for the signal to penetrate that thick concrete down into the basement.  Moving it two weeks ago to the south side of the building really helped.  There has been no loss of signal in 7 days.  The direction was incorrect since we moved it (east was west and west was east…got it?).  But today I went down there with the throngs of September tourists and calibrated it.  By the way, I didn’t fit in well with the tourist crowd…most of them looked relaxed and didn’t wear a suit and tie.

The one minor disadvantage of the south side of the building is that it gets REALLY hot on a calm sunny day, but who cares…it’s up there for the windspeed.  I’m confident that on a 25 degree night with an east wind gusting to 80 mph that it’ll read the correct temperature.  Just ignore it during the daytime when the wind isn’t blowing.

You can find the data here:  http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/mesowest/getobext.php?wfo=pqr&sid=D6193&num=60&raw=0&banner=off

Data from the 2nd windiest east wind location; about 2 miles west in Corbett is here:  http://www.cascadeaccess.com/~mnelsen/screenID005.gif

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

160 Responses to Vista House Wind Sensor

  1. is there gonna be a radar loop that combines the portland and langley radars?

  2. Kyle says:

    If Mark were to make a promise to keep this blog going no matter what then that’s when everything will start to go wrong shortly thereafter.

  3. I am sure someone already mentioned this, but it appears our radar is back online. Yay!

    One more thing. 00z EURO shows the low pressure area for Sunday/Monday a bit further southeast closer to our Coast…

    00z WRF 925mb/SLP model loop
    http://www.atmos.washington.edu/~ovens/loops/wxloop.cgi?mm5d2_x_slp+///3
    You can see fairly deep lows approaching offshore and then take the familiar strong left turn as they re-curve northward. I’m impressed to see how active the North Pacific has become.

  4. bgb41 says:

    9/21/2011 Oregon (All) Temperature Summary

    Warmest:
    High:98 at ILLINOIS VALLEY(1389 ft)
    Low: 63 at QUAIL PRAIRIE LO(3183 ft) & BALD KNOB(3630 ft)

    Coldest:
    High:58 at YACHTS Yachats(74 ft)
    Low: 27 at Meacham (3724 ft )

    Largest Diurnal Change: 57 degrees
    ILLINOIS VALLEY (98/41 ) (1389 ft )

  5. Punxsutawney aka HIOPHIL says:

    00z GFS is going wet a good part of next week, and starting early Sunday as well.

    http://wxweb.meteostar.com/sample/sample.shtml?text=kttd

  6. Mike near Clackamas Town Center says:

    The UARS satelllite is about to pass over the NW within the next 30 minutes
    http://www.heavens-above.com/orbit.aspx?satid=21701

  7. Boydo3 N. Albany 500' says:

    I’m not gonna bite on the end of the fine weather. REAL FALL is still a few weeks away. It looks to me that we get a few days of rain/light rain/showers starting Sunday then back to dry by mid week. It stays pretty warm even with some rain, and that is good news for my shitake log!! I’m still hoping for a “east coast” fall. Dry, cool and gradually changing color.
    Now I just gotta remember to sprinkle a bit o’slug bait Saturday to keep dem slugs outta my lettuce patch.

  8. Chris s says:

    Anyone know what the bright green fireball was that I saw streak from the sky to the southwest about 25 min ago. I am down in west Salem, wondering if anyone else saw it.

    • Mike near Clackamas Town Center says:

      Had to be meteor because the satellite that’s supposed to fall is still in orbit currently

  9. pappoose in scappoose says:

    Hahaah! Need to watch for where the “MAIN TRAIN OF RAIN” goes eh Mark? What type of train might that be, (I may want to get on board).

  10. Mike near Clackamas Town Center says:

    Cliff Mass’s new post on the now operating Langley Hill radar
    http://cliffmass.blogspot.com/2011/09/big-day-arrives-washington-coastal.html

  11. Mike near Clackamas Town Center says:

    It’s Christmas time for Weather junkies 🙂
    http://www.srh.noaa.gov/ridge/radar.php?rid=LGX&product=N0Z&overlay=11101111&loop=no

  12. It might be too early for this, but…..

    I like the time of year when a cold east wind is blowing and the high temp is reached around 2:30 PM then temps fall shortly after EVEN with the sun shining brightly….

  13. Jbpdx says:

    Mosty cloudy at 4pm. No sun. Beaverton and Hillsboro reporting “clear.”

  14. Has anyone read the AFD? Sure sounds a lot like what I’ve been mentioning that we need to watch the tropic energy/moisture interaction with our westerly jet…. Now the AFD doesn’t mention any wind scenario, but….

    LONG TERM…MODELS CONTINUE TO SUGGEST THE INFLUX OF TROPICAL ENERGY FROM THE WEST PACIFIC MAY BRING A SIGNIFICANT PATTERN CHANGE FOR US BEGINNING SUNDAY. A STRENGTHENING PACIFIC JET WILL ENTRAIN THE REMNANT MOISTURE FROM TWO WEST PACIFIC TYPHOONS…WHICH MODELS NOTORIOUSLY HAVE A HARD TIME WITH. THUS CONFIDENCE IS RATHER LOW ON TIMING OF PARTICULAR SYSTEMS…HOWEVER THE GFS/ECMWF/CANADIAN ALL
    SPREAD RAIN INLAND BY SUNDAY. ANOTHER FRONTAL SYSTEM WITH A SUBTROPICAL MOISTURE TAP LOOKS POSSIBLE IN THE MON/TUE TIME FRAME. THESE WILL BOTH LIKELY BE ATMOSPHERIC RIVER-TYPE SYSTEMS WITH THE POTENTIAL TO PRODUCE A LOT OF RAIN…HOWEVER AT THE MOMENT IT APPEARS THE MAIN RAINFALL FOCUS WILL BE ON VANCOUVER ISLAND AND PERHAPS THE OLYMPIC PENINSULA.
    WEAGLE

    IF we do end up with a consolidated jet 150kts or so and it’s aimed at us with the ridge completely broken down, don’t completely discount any possibility of a wind event/storm. Right now I’d say no, but the models bare watching.

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

      I agree Rob. At the least, our mostly dry period that we have had the last couple of months looks to be coming to an end.

    • bgmike says:

      They better put up the radar faster, it would suck if we had a storm or something interesting and there was no radar.

    • pappoose in scappoose says:

      I particularly like this part, “AT THE MOMENT”. Here’s to hoping the next MOMENT is even more interesting.

    • Kyle says:

      Will we get snow down to 500k from this?

    • Ken( S. Salem 500ft) says:

      Maybe even 400K. LOL.. I like you Kyle. You dont take yourself to seriously. Should be interesting for sure. Finally a little weather excitement?!

    • Ken says:

      Just a name change above!

    • pappoose in scappoose says:

      Seattle AFD mentions the same.

      National Weather Service Seattle Washington
      330 PM PDT Wednesday Sep 21 2011

      by Sunday both the European model (ecmwf) and GFS agree on about a 125kt west-southwest jet running from the midpacific at 40n up into northwest Washington/SW British
      Columbia. The 48hr sun Monday 48hr rainfall total from the GFS is rather wet…with a 5″ maximum on the central Washington coast. The flow may
      actually buckle more and force more of the heavy rain into British Columbia…which is what has been happening the past few days…but the forecast bears watching over the next few days. 19

  15. Mike near Clackamas Town Center says:

    If anyone wants to follow the path of the UARS satellite that’s supposed to fall within the next few day’s here’s the link:
    http://www.heavens-above.com/orbit.aspx?satid=21701

  16. Timmy_Supercell (Klamath Falls @ 4200') says:

    LOL Anyone remembering this?

    June 4th, 2011

  17. Garron says:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jet_stream

    Classic clouds in the jet stream photo…

  18. Garron says:

    Mark,

    Thanks again! Your hard work will be enjoyed for hopefully many years to come by us weather geeks!!! I wonder what the life span of that instrument will be with what it will be expected to endure? Hopefully the guarantee covers hurricane force winds for sometimes days on end!!!

  19. pappoose in scappoose says:

    Typhoon Roke’s throwing moisture our way = MODEL CONFUSION

  20. Timmy_Supercell (Klamath Falls @ 4200') says:

    September 21st…. AND Fall is here.

    Well, not HERE, but in Portland, yeah its Fall! Enjoy guys

  21. Timmy_Supercell (Klamath Falls @ 4200') says:

    Yeah Kyle, on the day I moved to Klamath Falls, there was like pretty much already a foot of snow on the ground. The next morning when I woke up, I saw school kids of all grades walking out for the bus, and it picked them all up, to my surprise. And it looks like the snow plow hadn’t even showed up before the bus did.

    And I actually do like snow, but something about this area kinda ruined it. For those who love snow I recommend you stay put where you are, and do NOT go to a place like here, you will get sick of it!

    • Aleta-West Gresham says:

      Agreed Timmy. That happened to me down there as well. But loving the snow does come back to a certain point! One winter when I lived down there it was packed snow ALL winter.

  22. I’ve got a new computer. Can someone post the links to the GFS data and the EURO? Thanks!

  23. Ryan (Walnut Grove) says:

    Looks like the GFS 06Z confirmed with the calendar that fall arrives on Friday. This model run makes me very happy… Cool with periods of rain.

    Welcome back Fall… 🙂

  24. I bottomed out at 55.9, bit warmer this morning. I also notice the offshore gradients are almost strong enough to provide a bit of downslope warming today….

  25. 64f now, low 62 F. Pretty mild late September weather

  26. Austin (Cornelius) says:

    hey timmy, you said you want a “good” windstorm right? but snow is a nono?why not combine the two?! > : )

  27. O WoW WOWO WOW! Unbelievably incredible Sunrise in progress! I HOPE someone took pics!!!!! Absolutely vivid colors accenting the clouds just WOW!!!

  28. bgb41 says:

    9/20/2011 Oregon (All) Temperature Summary

    Warmest:
    High:93 at ILLINOIS VALLEY(1389 ft)
    Low: 62 at QUAIL PRAIRIE LO(3183 ft) & BALD KNOB(3630 ft)

    Coldest:
    High:54 at HOWARD Mt Howard(8150 ft) & MT. HOWARD(7910 ft)
    Low: 27 at Mazama (4590 ft )

    Largest Diurnal Change: 53 degrees
    CABIN LAKE (83/30 ) (4560 ft )

  29. Mild night, still 67F, south breeze, may not drop below low 60’s tonite. Just think, in 2 months we could see snow?

  30. Timmy_Supercell (Klamath Falls @ 4200') says:

    Come to think of it, its actually been a long time since we’ve seen a decent windstorm. Not that I want destruction or anything but I just care to see some real weather this winter. Snow can wait, snow is boring but wind is not.

  31. Kyle says:

    School closures this winter? Not a chance unless there is the slightest bit of freezing rain or wind knocks out power to the school.

    • Timmy_Supercell (Klamath Falls @ 4200') says:

      A dusting closes school there…. Hahaha you should check out Klamath it takes whopping 2′ feet w/ an inch of black ice on top to even start concern at a school! LOL 🙂

    • Kyle says:

      No way! It really takes THAT MUCH? *Shocked smiley*.

    • ken says:

      I am certain we will get snow below 500k..hehe…just teasing you Kyle. I know what you meant. I hope we get a lot of snow at 500ft because that’s my exact elevation of my new home in S. Salem.

  32. Kyle says:

    I bet most of the snow will fall only to 500K with an inch here or there once a week during the coldest parts causing widespread delays.

    Me feels a butt load of wind events that will keep our heads dizzy instead!

    • Timmy_Supercell (Klamath Falls @ 4200') says:

      500k = 500,000 feet??? Wow thats pretty high

    • Kyle says:

      *embarrass look* I meant 500 feet. That is pretty high.

      Mark Nelson: According to Models and from observations the rain showers will taper off as snow showers all the way down to 500k. In heavier showers it may be lower locally but any accumulation should be brief.

      Since when did Silverton become 500K elevation?

    • Garron says:

      500 k? So I guess we’ll have to visit the lunar surface to enjoy a good snow this winter? lol Mark, could we have a weather instrument installed there too? It would be nice to observe the solar winds this winter. (Just being humorous) I knew what you meant Kyle, I’ve done that before too.

  33. Boydo3 N. Albany 500' says:

    Still the best indicator of high winds are certain female reports getting blown down the steps 😉

  34. Ken says:

    Thanks Mark!

  35. boringlarry says:

    …good man, Mr. Nelson… 🙂

  36. bgb41 says:

    Awesome job Mark.. Thank you!!

  37. Punxsutawney aka HIOPHIL says:

    Thanks again Mark,

    I know a lot of us are really going to enjoy seeing the wind data this winter.

  38. PaulB/Eugene says:

    Hopefully we will get reading of E62 G103 on Dec 24

  39. Runrain says:

    Awesome! Thanks, Mark. Still hope you’ll stop by during one of the big wind outbreaks during the winter. Remember that each year after Christmas we are obligated to offer a used Christmas tree to the East Wind Gods!

  40. pappoose in scappoose says:

    Hahaah! Easy to see when east became west and west became east, today…got it?

    I’m not interested in what the temp is on a warm/sunny/calm day at Vista House. I doubt the sun gets in there much during the Winter months anyway, and with a steady cold east wind blowing, it should be dead on.

  41. Muxpux says:

    Shelton, WA today: 78/36 not bad…

  42. Nice! Let’s hope there are some powerful winds to record this year and next!

  43. Austin (Cornelius) says:

    second the best!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! O.O

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