Final Lightning Strike Map; Impressive Evening!

April 13, 2012

Considering I was only expecting scattered convection, mainly over the mountains and foothills…today’s storms were impressive! I saw cloud tops showing up around 29,000′ on radar at one point.  One storm over Beaverton produced small marble-size hail.  Here’s a pic from Sarah Michelle Stanger over on the FOX12 Blog Discussions Facebook page:

And a great viewer photo of the building towers of cumulus clouds from Tom Layer:

And here’s the final map of strikes, there were about 230 strikes in NW Oregon and SW Washington:

It sure looks like a nice weekend ahead.  Our RPM model is the only one that shows very weak convection overhead later tomorrow afternoon.  The WRF-GFS and global models do not. 

Enjoy the dry weather this weekend since wet and cool westerly flow will be over us ALL of next week.  I have a bunch of wood to cut up and stack (for that vicious La Nada or El Nino winter coming…), plus a brand spanking new push mower to use.  Life is going to be good at the Nelsen home this weekend.  Temps should reach into the 60s both afternoons.

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

Lots of Lightning Strikes This Afternoon; Mainly in Mountains

April 13, 2012

Check out the strikes within 30 miles or so of the middle of Portland today…lots of action earlier around Yacolt, and currently over Timber, Vernonia, and Longview.

Today really is the perfect definition of a “pop-up shower” day. A bubble of moist air shoots up into the unstable atmosphere, a thunderstorm forms, produces prolific lightning and brief heavy rain or hail for a half hour each and then they die down. This will continue until 6pm or so. They will all fall apart at sunset as we lose the daytime heating.

Right now most are moving from east to west and so far MOST have been over elevated terrain (foothills and mountains). But I’m timelapsing a very nice building shower directly over north Portland at this moment!

Here’s the latest radar still at 4:40pm:


Don’t forget, a great place to track storms is here: 


To follow storms, head to  Then click on INTERACTIVE MAPS on the big radar map.  Clicking on WEATHER, you can add lightning and other overlays too.


Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen