Lots of Sun Ahead; Thanks to The East Wind

I’m at home sick this evening, a decent cold and I sound really strange, which is bad in this business.  Since I’m  wide awake after sleeping a decent chunk of the past 6 hours,  I figure now is a good time to comment on the weather situation. 

Most interesting at 10pm is the fact that at first glance there shouldn’t be anything to talk about for the overnight hours; we’re still socked in with a low cloud deck west of the Cascades and one would think it’ll just stay that way overnight.  Maybe forecst a low of 35 at PDX.  But that seems unlikely for many of us; we may wake up to a frosty/foggy morning and just plain sunny right near the Gorge. 

Here’s why:  You probably noticed the low clouds/fog last night lifted up and the inversion deepened a bit.  That actually helped warm temps up a bit late last night so no morning commute issues.  Now the bottom of the low clouds are between 1,500 & 2,000′ in the metro area this evening as they have lifted further.  At the same time easterly flow is forecast to develop (and appears to be doing so right now) tonight from 1,500′ all the way up to around 5,000′, drying out the atmosphere quickly.  That’s not just from the Gorge, but widespread across NW Oregon and SW Washington.  The WRF-GFS shows 15-20kts at 2,000′ by 1:00am.  This wipes out the current low cloud layer over us.  In fact I just checked outside here in Corbett and it is mostly clear after totally cloudy all day.

So the cloud layer disappears for almost all of us the next few hours, yet we have a moist and chilly low level airmass below that; perfect for a cold, frosty, and eventually foggy night.  It’s as if we’re going to “start over” with a new fog layer at the lowest elevations by tomorrow morning.  The trickier part is how do most of us get rid of the fog?  Near the Gorge it’ll be easy…4-6 mb. easterly gradient by midday tomorrow; a slower breakout for the west and south sides of the metro area. 

Tomorrow night and Friday the east wind really starts cranking, probably the strongest we’ve seen so far this season.  Check out the 22 degree temp over The Dalles at 2,000′ by Friday morning, yet around 46 at the same elevation right over the Portland Metro Area!  That is a deep, chilly, airmass that develops eastside (over 3,000′ deep), flows through the Gorge, and blasts out the west end.  It’s the first time this season we’ll see a cold airmass develop eastside in the Columbia Basin with a very warm airmass up above 2,000′ at the west end of the Gorge.  As a result we should all see sun Friday along with gusts around 40-45 mph at Troutdale/Gresham and 80-90mph at Vista House.   It won’t last long as the overall gradient reverses Saturday with an upper-level shortwave approaching.

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

141 Responses to Lots of Sun Ahead; Thanks to The East Wind

  1. Jethro (Canby ~187') says:

    Still 32.0f south of Canby. Cold, dreary, fog. Time to hibernate… someone wake me up when there’s a pineapple express in la-la-land.

    • chris s says:

      Not much to write home about with the winter of 96-97 for us here. As I recall we had bunch of rain in November, pretty wet December, fairly wet January. Nothing exciting as far as cold or snowy. Dont see much correlation for us yet as we have been dry as a bone here in December.

  2. EA_TTD says:

    Just got a gust to 87 mph at Crown Point…unreal! Really howling now!

  3. SnowedIn - North Plains says:

    It hit 19.6F last night……

  4. I will be at crown point in 2 hours!!!

  5. Runrain says:

    I’m up at the Vista House but no other bloggers in sight! Gusts 60-65. Not the “nuke” winds we’ve had fun with before but not bad!

  6. stevied (North Portland) says:

    here’s hr 165 of the WRF-GFS this morning showing some modified arctic air coming into PDX. We’ll see.

    • Mark says:

      The low in the gulf and the westerly jet probably won’t allow this to set up into any sort of entrenched long-term pattern, but at least it delivers a bit of hope!

    • Josh (Gresham) says:

      Yeah, it’s similar to 6z, as it was pretty chilly as well.

  7. Steve Pierce says:


    The “Keely Chalmers Watch” has been upgraded to a WARNING! The gradient from KDLS to KPDX has passed 9mb as of 9am! That should be good for gusts approaching 90mph on the south steps of the Vista House / Crown Point. Many of us are planning to meet there at 12 noon! Hope to see you there!


  8. 26 & wall to wall sunshine. Not had any for her the whole week….except at night. Sure glad for spray deicer LOL Hope the nights warm up a little & soon. Tired of running heaters to keep certain pipes warm!

  9. TTD-DLS is now up and over 10 mb…

  10. Quiet morning…everyone might have sipped too much hot buttered
    rum last night and is sleeping in…

    Honey is in Kauai with a high of 83 today. She was not impressed
    with our morning low temps here… :o(

  11. Josh (Gresham) says:

    12z GFS. 850mb temps at hour 168. Look at the cold air filterting down, cooler than the 6z, which showed -7c from 138-168. Looks like 0z was an outlier.

  12. chiefWright says:

    Snizzling in Wilsonville! If folks aren’t careful on their commute, it’s going to turn into a skidfest when they hit the parking lot…..

  13. Are there some models suggesting the ridge will not break down…As how in the summer a ridge sometimes stays locked in longer than thought.

    • NR says:

      I think nearly all the models maintain some form of ridging over the Eastern Pacific or NW through 16 days; some will back it slightly off the coast and open us up to a little more activity.

  14. See webcam for nice view above the inversion

  15. Ryan (Walnut Grove) says:

    Seems general model confusion continues… Back and forth from mild and wet to dry and cold in the long term. No consistency or confidence in any solution beyond the weekend/Monday.

    It’s brutal I tell ya… Even when the models start spitting out favorable solutions they aren’t that exciting.

  16. Josh (Gresham) says:

    Currently 37.5 in Gresham, East winds just gusted to 30mph. Still heavy frost after a low of 28.2, and the wind chill is pretty cold this morning, it’ll get below 20 with the gusts. Chilly morning

  17. Jethro (Canby ~187') says:

    Frosty, foggy, freezing. 24.7f south of Canby.

  18. NR says:

    06 gfs is an improvement over the 00z. Not a strong consolidated jet, but trend to back the ridge off the coast; no arctic blast, but no stagnant high either.

  19. Frosty white here in Hazel Dell.
    27 for the low!

  20. Tyler Mode says:

    21.9 for my low..coldest yet this season

  21. chiefWright says:

    Extreme inversion out at the coast right now:
    37 degrees at Pacific City airport (sea level)
    57 degrees at the Cedar MADIS (2217′)
    Less than 10 miles apart!

  22. W7ENK says:

    Hey, I found the inversion!
    Hood River –> East, socked in with clouds and fog, side roads are a frosty mess, but I-84 is clear. It was hella windy from the East end of Corbett up ’til about Bonneville Dam, then it went pretty much dead calm.

    • W7ENK says:

      I just arrived at the plant in Boardman, it’s 24 degrees with frozen fog, it’s trying to snow and the trees are flocked with at least an inch of spikey frost.

      It’s beautiful! 🙂

  23. bgb41 says:

    12/8/2011 Oregon (All) Temperature Summary

    High:66 at RED MOUND(1753 ft)
    Low: 55 at RED MOUND(1753 ft)

    High:26 at Arlington Airpor(890 ft) & HERMISTON(550 ft)
    Low: 0 at HEREFORD (3599 ft )

    Largest Diurnal Change: 50 degrees
    Horse Ridge (US (54/4 ) (4160 ft )

  24. Kyle says:

    2011-2012 El Nina: Definition: When a La Nina happens but the upper air patterns have characteristics similar to El Nino years.

    In many cases they appear to be one and the same but often El Nino’s main feature that stands out is a jet stream driven into Southern California via Pineapple Express from near Hawaii bringing excessive amounts of rainfall and snowfall combined for the Sierras and damaging floods usually accompany the lowlands and to much of the Southern USA states all the way to Florida.

    Often times the Deep South has much above average snowfall thanks to abundant moisture and the timing of Artic intrusions or what is known as *Blue Northerns* and damaging freezes happen as far south as Central Florida.

  25. Cooling quickly out here in BG. Down to 24.2

  26. ashley watson says:

    anybody else ready to drop kick the computer models right now??? man they stink!!!!!!

    • PaulB/Eugene says:

      420h ECMWF extended run has low approaching OR from SW with preceding arctic airmass just clipping NE OR/E WA with gorge outflow and snow in willamette valley…Christmas morning. See if that verifies.

  27. looks like I will be at crown point tomorrow around noon

  28. NR says:

    00 gfs is so many layers of suck it’s difficult to comprehend; some form of ridging or split flow over the NW right through Christmas.

  29. pappoose in scappoose says:


    National Weather Service Portland or
    813 PM PST Thursday Dec 8 2011

    Short term…there has been little change in weather since the
    afternoon forecast package with satellite still showing areas of low
    clouds across the southern Willamette Valley and foothills.

    Long term…no changes…previous discussion follows…

  30. boringlarry says:

    …totally, completely non weather…
    Firesign Theater Live On KBOO, and KBOO website, Tonight At 10:00…
    ..I know there’s a couple people here who might give a listen… 🙂

    • o.c.paul says:

      “What about Audrey Farber? Susan Underhill? or
      BETTY JO BIALOSKY!! Yes I mean Nancy.” In college, a friend and I used to do whole Firesign albums in the student lounge. Just ask Lt. Bradshaw.

    • boringlarry says:

      A live unscripted appearance is a rare treat, the guys are getting old, catch this if you can!!! http://kboo.fm/node/32467

    • Thanks Larry, it’s always good to know when, “you can’t not get there from here”…
      I got my garage radio tuned in.

    • Man, you can really tell when the weather is in flat line mode. People are talking in weird programming lingo, some are getting testy and others are just falling back on the faves of the years gone by. Call it
      Fog Brain…
      Time for a vitamin D drip.
      Bring out those bright lights.
      Sautee’ some mushrooms.
      Smell some fir boughs.
      Check out the frost fractals.
      Smell the gorge wind.
      Listen to the pines whine.
      Watch the fog blow.
      See if the moon is full.
      Take on a fast walk.
      Taste an old ale.
      Whiff the wood smoke.
      Hear the gray silence.
      Kick some puddle ice.
      Tale a deep breath.
      Throw on an extra blanket.
      Groove on the cold season.
      Embrace the cold season.

    • boringlarry says:

      ….speaking of moon, if you can get up out of the gunk, the full moon sets saturday morning in total eclipse…..

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