Peak Metro Gusts

November 19, 2012

I sure expected strongest wind to be on the west side of the metro area last night and today, but the disparity between the two sides of town was more than I expected.  This storm in the north Willamette Valley seemed to be a weaker version of the December 2007 big storm.  Heaviest rain and wind on the west and northwest parts of the metro area.  And less than expected wind on the east side with just occasional strong gusts surfacing out there.  In fact the Nehalem river at Vernonia had it’s highest crest since the 2007 storm this evening; luckily about 5.5′ lower this time around.

Here are the peak gusts, from official NWS sites and some MADIS sites too.  For the first time someone has a home weather station online up on Bald Peak, about halfway down it’s length from west to east, at 1300′.  It recorded a gust to 60 mph.  The NWS put that down as Newberg, but I’m pretty confident it didn’t gust to 60 IN Newberg!

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

Wind & Rain Storm Over At Coast; Still Pouring Inland

November 19, 2012

2:00pm update…

Windstorm and Rainstorm has ended (mostly) at the Oregon Coast
Most locations are seeing gusts 30-50 mph (breezy) instead of 70-100 mph just 3 hours ago since the cold front has moved onshore.  The back edge of the solid and heavy rain is moving through the Coast range, so it’s just light showers from here on out at the coast.

Strongest Wind is Likely Finished In Metro Area
Peak gusts seemed to be right around noon at Hillsboro (48mph) and here at the station in Beaverton (43 mph), since then it has back off a bit.  The entire central/eastside of the metro area didn’t even have strong wind, just gusts 25-40 mph briefly this morning.  It might get a bit stronger over there between now and 4pm.

Heavy Rain for 1-2 more hours in Metro Area
After that it’ll just be light showers the rest of the afternoon/evening.


Right now, 2 rivers are at/above flood stage…Nehalem and Wilson rivers near Nehalem and Tillamook.  Also, the Nehalem river at Vernonia is above flood stage.

These are the only 2 rivers in western Oregon forecast to rise to/above flood stage right now.

You can see from the map below why we aren’t seeing huge flooding issues inland except on the westside in Washington & Columbia counties, the rain has been much lighter central/east valley:

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

Peak of Storm Hitting Now at Coast; Heading Inland Next 6 Hours

November 19, 2012


The height of the storm appears to be hitting in the 9am hour on the North Oregon Coast as the expected 2nd wave of wind is here.  

Peak gusts in the past hour, all the strongest so far:

Astoria Airport:  67
Rockaway: 70
Lincoln City: 85
Megler Hill (1,000′):  100
Naselle Ridge (2,000′): 106

The next 2 hours will be the height of the storm on the coast, then it’ll die down dramatically after 11am as the cold front sags south.  It’ll be totally over (windwise) by 4pm everywhere north of Florence.

Here are the other storm highlights so far:

  • Strong wind in the valleys has been almost totally confined to only the west of I-5 in the Woodburn-Clark County section.  Peak gusts 40-50 mph at McMinnville, Forest Grove, and other areas westside.  It’s a no-show (so far) westside, just 20-30 mph.
  • As the front approaches even those areas should see increasingly strong wind through late afternoon, then it’ll back off dramatically during the evening rush hour.  Gusts 35-50mph are possible anywhere until that time.
  • Rainfall has been concentrated mostly west of I-5 from Portland south too.  But as the front sags south the next 8 hours, so will the heavy rain
  • Heaviest rain in the metro area and Salem will be midday through afternoon, then back off quickly after the evening commute.
  • Ski areas have been saved by the slow movement of the front, hardly ANYTHING has fallen up there so far.  Rain will arrive in the afternoon, but then change to snow after 7pm.  Just 6 hours of heavy rain won’t ruin the snowpack too badly.  The snowpack won’t wash away!
  • The storm will be over this evening for most of us as the heavy rain shifts south and the wind calms down
  • More rain/wind Tuesday and Wednesday, but just the usual gusty wind and less than 1″ more rain.
  • Thanksgiving looks pretty decent, partly cloudy and probably dry

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen