East Wind Really Raging Now; Power Outages

The strongest gusts of this east wind episode have been the past couple of hours.   43 mph at Troutdale Airport, 53 mph up the hill near Mt. Hood CC, and somewhere above 64 in Corbett.  The Corbett area appears to be out of power since the sensor stopped reporting around 4pm. 

This is a purely “gap” wind event with the high winds confined quite close to the west end of the Columbia River Gorge; the vast majority of the metro area has light or calm wind right now.

PGE says about 2,300 customers out of power in central/eastern Multnomah County right now.

I’ll be headed down to Vista House tomorrow to hopefully get the computer & wind sensor working again; they had a watery mess in the office in October and it’s been offline since that time.

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

77 Responses to East Wind Really Raging Now; Power Outages

  1. As of 10 AM
    PDX-DLS: -10.4mb | 9 AM: -9.9mb | Hourly Change: +0.5mb
    TTD-DLS: -9.0mb | 9 AM: -9.4mb | Hourly Change: -0.4mb
    OTH-GEG: -14.4mb | 9 AM: -14.0mb | Hourly Change: +0.4mb

  2. 12z GFS =

    Exactly. Nothing.

  3. Hal in Aims says:

    just fired up the generator……power has been out since 0230…….39 and a stiff breeze

    • Brrrrr! Hope you get it back on soon….

    • Mark Nelsen says:

      Same outage here, been off since 2:30am. Can’t believe both Corbett and Vista House are off. Biddle Butte hit 69, which is higher than last winter! Also, the 59 in SE Troutdale might be higher than last winter as well. The moderately strong gradient PLUS the strong inversion is definitely the key to get extremely strong wind. A lot of times 10 millibars gradient is real windy, but not nearly that strong.

    • No wonder I’ve had 2 gusts over 46mph if SE Troutdale has hit nearly 60. Thanks, Mark.

    • EA_TTD says:

      SE Troutdale has hit 60; I can attest. We lost power here briefly for the first time in years…an exceptional feat considering our power is underground for the most part. Shingles flying everywhere, basketball hoops blown over and carried across streets, limbs and fences down. And all the while folks in Tigard are saying ‘Wind? What wind?’

      Gotta love our microclimate…..

    • Ah great! Thanks for the report, Eric. Yep, we have so many microclimates in the area.

  4. New peak gust!
    46.2mph @8:05 AM

  5. Although 00z operational euro run busted the Bering omega block, the euro ensemble from 00z keeps the block intact, anchoring a continued stable 3 wave pattern with trough axis offshore PNW thru 240. Until this pattern breaks down, spells mild weather for CONUS. Maybe some wind action, otherwise I’m hitting the snooze button until some real wx appears on the horizon. Meanwhile looks like real winter in Europe this coming week.

    • W7ENK says:

      Yup, the models are all over the place in the extended. Grasping at straws, really. I see absolutely nothing of any real value, just extremes on either end. I suppose I could latch on to my favorite extreme and wishcast my little arse off? I mean, that IS how this game is played, right??

    • Hmmm, yeah, that’s about the gist of it. Roll of the dice, flip of the coin, ole dartboard method, etc….

  6. Pippin says:

    Temp 37 DP 34(Cornelius), and Rain just to the south… Gotta love how cold our rain can get here. Such a tease.

  7. Good morning,

    As I went to bed I saw a few power flashes out in southeast Troutdale or east Gresham. The wind woke me up on several occasions, but I didn’t want to crawl out of a warm bed! It has definitely ramped up further after 2 AM, but I think we’re reached the peak now.

    As of 6 AM
    PDX-DLS: -9.2mb | 5 AM: -10.0mb | Hourly Change: -0.8mb
    TTD-DLS: -9.5mb | 5 AM: -9.4mb | Hourly Change: +0.1mb
    OTH-GEG: -15.2mb | 5 AM: -13.9mb | Hourly Change: +1.3mb
    Gap gradient may have peaked, but interestingly the Cross Cascade is over 15mb now.

  8. Say what you want about lala land. The G.F.S model has been hinting at bitter cold to cold for the weekend after this up coming weekend. Love to see it come true snow and holiday lights would be great this year before xmas maybe even a white xmas. I know it’s a pipe dream but one can dream lol/

  9. As of 12 AM
    PDX-DLS: -8.9mb | 11 PM: -8.5mb | Hourly Change: +0.4mb
    TTD-DLS: -9.2mb | 11 PM: -9.0mb | Hourly Change: +0.2mb
    OTH-GEG: -10.7mb | 11 PM: -9.9mb | Hourly Change: +0.8mb
    Yet another increase. My peak forecast PDX/TTD-DLS forecast of -8.4mb to -9.3mb is definitely in jeopardy now with only a +0.2mb increase needed surpass it.

    Good night. I’ll be back if the wind causes any damage to my trees or wakes me up. If it continues to increase it sure might.

  10. bgb41 says:

    11/27/2012 Oregon (All) Temperature Summary

    High:61 at ASHLAND(1885 ft)
    Low: 49 at ROCKWY Rockaway(450 ft)

    High:27 at DW5434 Heppner(2600 ft)
    Low: 14 at KB7DZR Joseph (3984 ft )

    Largest Diurnal Change: 35 degrees
    FOSTER FLAT (53/18 ) (5000 ft )

  11. W7ENK says:

    Welp, aside from a handful of strong gusts late in the 7 o’clock hour, it’s been pretty quiet out there. Not quite dead calm, but I’d say gusts are no more than 10 mph, and those are few and far between. Hoping the wind picks back up, it’s nice to listen to.

  12. paulbeugene says:

    Looking at model runs…basically pulled plug on windstorm ideas for this weekend (for interior).
    Looks like it could be wet toward early next week.
    Euro operational run suggests Bering Sea block breaking down by day 10. It also shows blob of cold air over Siberia heading poleward…if a blocking pattern develops over the NoAM continent perhaps the net result is cross polar flow of arctic air into..? midwest..? pac NW….East coast?….2-3 weeks from now. That’s way into the future.
    There is this typhoon in west pacific that may screw things up for the models. Previously (3 runs ago) the gfs had it head west into the Phillipines…now it recurves it N well before reaching the islands….
    No snow for next 2 weeks down low.
    No transformers a poppin’ for next week (in Willamette Valley).

    If we ever do get that massive arctic blast that we have all been hoping for…and the Columbia River freezes over….I will walk out on the ice in front of the Interstate Bridge and hope you will all join me for a group shot…with Mark Nelsen’s car behind us (may need a little help from the BPA to drain down the reservoirs first). This is on my bucket list (so is a 951mb low 60mi off Newport).

  13. As of 11 PM
    PDX-DLS: -8.5mb | 10 PM: -8.2mb | Hourly Change: +0.3mb
    TTD-DLS: -9.0mb | 10 PM: -8.5mb | Hourly Change: +0.5mb
    OTH-GEG: -9.9mb | 10 PM: -10.2mb | Hourly Change: -0.3mb
    Yet another increase. If this continues my peak PDX/TTD-DLS forecast of -8.4mb to -9.3mb isn’t going to be strong enough.

  14. SnowedIn - North Plains says:

    I know… I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again… I CANNOT WAIT for the first snow. It’s really one of the highlights of my year. I wait for hours looking at the street/Christmas lights in anticipation for the first flake. Can’t wait! Even the model riding and anticipation is thrilling.

  15. We must be weather starved, as I see TTD peak gust on the mesonet is 39, PDX 14. We better get some real action, quick like. At this exposed location, wind ENE 5 g 7, so clearly a gap event, or better yet a gorge-only phenomenon; stampede gap folks need not apply.
    Thru 240 on the 00z gfs run, no big changes from last night that I can see, so just like driving with the low beams at 70 mph, who knows what’s round the bend. Maybe the 00z ECMWF hi beams will show jack frost strolling cross the highway ahead (or mr inversion or ms. Pineapple?).

    • Mark Nelsen says:

      I think gusts 50-70 mph are real exciting, but just for a very small area near the mouth of the Gorge. That 00z GFS is sure boring.
      The strongest wind in the west end of the Columbia River Gorge in the past 20 years occurred without PDX even gusting over 25 mph! That was early February 1996 just before the flood. I recorded a gust to either 101 or 103 in Corbett. Never saw it above 80 either before or after that time.

    • Nozzle of the gorge hose apparently points south of west then (although growing up in Vantucky in the heights area I recall lots of breezy incessant gorge winds. Not dissin’ your gorge winds… Just for the 99% who dont live by rooster rock, we starvin for som’ wx action. Peace out!

    • Mark Nelsen says:

      You’re right, and actually when you live in the wind it’s not that exciting. It’s just that this is the first strong wind of the season out there and there’s nothing else to talk about.

    • I live in a wind prone area and this is a bit above average tonight. It’s really loud while trying to sleep and when gusts get into that 45+mph range I can hear the roar building from the east 1/2 mile away. I find that kind of cool and exciting.

    • Don’t get me wrong, I’m as much into windstorms as anyone. I called in sick in Seattle in December 1995 and drove my P.O.S. Ford Granada full throttle down i5 to intercept what seemed to be Columbus day storm deux in PDX, then followed the filling remnants back north up i5. So I’m all in on wind!

  16. Dave in SW PDX (235') says:

    There’s a beautiful halo around the Moon tonight; it’s worth stepping outside for the view.

  17. Meanwhile…..
    00z GEM(Canadian) really wants to up the ante on things showing back to back strong low pressure areas moving into the area. Perhaps back-to-back wind events/storms for the northern Willamette Valley and another following a bit further south.

    *Saturday, December 1st(FCST HR 84)

    Strong 981mb low west of Tillamook, then moves north off the Washington Coast.

    *Sunday, December 2nd(FCST HR 102)

    Developing 988mb low off the southern Oregon Coast, then deepens to 982mb moving inland around Eugene.

    Interesting indeed….

  18. 5z Mesoanalysis
    Check out the strengthening inversion which is no doubt having its affect aiding in stronger winds through the Gorge and areas east of I-205 tonight – Wednesday.
    Upper Air Analysis
    *925mb – http://www.spc.noaa.gov/exper/mesoanalysis/s11/925mb/925mb_sf.gif?1354079842337
    PDX: +7.5c
    Columbia Basin: 0c to -1c
    *850mb – http://www.spc.noaa.gov/exper/mesoanalysis/s11/850mb/850mb_sf.gif?1354079750717
    PDX: +8.2c
    Columbia Basin: +2c to +4c
    *Current Observations
    PDX: 39-43F Clear/Filtered Sky
    Columbia Basin: 27-32F Low Clouds/Ice Fog

  19. As of 9 PM
    PDX-DLS: -8.2mb | 8 PM: -7.8mb | Hourly Change: +0.4mb
    TTD-DLS: -8.7mb | 8 PM: -8.2mb | Hourly Change: +0.5mb
    OTH-GEG: -10.3mb | 8 PM: -9.6mb | Hourly Change: +0.7mb
    Yet another increase. If this continues my peak PDX/TTD-DLS forecast of -8.4 to -9.3mb isn’t going to be strong enough.

  20. Aleta-West Gresham says:

    That explains my drive up 205 at 6:30 tonight. The wind was REALLY pushing the car.

  21. Winter Lover says:

    Hello! Never posted, but have read blog for 2 years! Live in Washougal. East wind very uneventful out here which is odd. Put up Christmas lights all day. Breezy, but NOTHING like it usually is! Appreciate everyone’s analysis. Bring on winter! Please??

  22. Julie Snelling says:

    Feels like 70mph winds on hill west of Crown Point!

  23. As of 8 PM
    PDX-DLS: -7.8mb | 7 PM: -7.7mb | Hourly Change: +0.1mb
    TTD-DLS: -8.2mb | 7 PM: -8.2mb | Hourly Change: None
    OTH-GEG: -9.6mb | 7 PM: -8.9mb | Hourly Change: +0.7mb

    • I looked at 00z MM5-NAM which initialized the PDX/TTD-DLS too weak, and implied it will strengthen another 2-3mb overnight, so that COULD mean the peak will be -10mb or so, but I’m thinking -8.4 to -9.3mb peak. It is obvious models aren’t handling things well in terms of wanting to weaken the high pressure too soon and relax the gradient too quickly.

  24. W7ENK says:

    Getting some pretty big gusts hitting the house now in Milwaukie, some into the 20s. The dryness to the air makes it feel much colder than it really is!

    • W7ENK says:

      BTW, I’m about 3 or 4 miles West of I-205. This wind is likely downslope off Mt. Scott, or a miniature gap wind squeezing between Mt. Scott and Mt. Talbert… I dunno, but it’s really windy just the same!

    • W7ENK says:

      Oooh, just had a gust to 28… o_O

    • Mark Nelsen says:

      Someone ripped open the dome

    • For you to see east winds at all isn’t usual, right? but to exceed 25mph is really saying something for the Dome. Every gust out here now on my Anemometer is over 35mph, most over 40mph. I can hear them easily now roaring over the house, even over the sound of my computer and music. I hope it gets stronger!

    • W7ENK says:

      The WIND did it, Mark!!!

      And you’re right Rob, not all that unusual to get an East wind here, but the intensity of some of these gusts has been surprising. Heard some of that roaring you’ve mentioned, and the 28’er even made the corners of the house crack! It’s gone back to relatively quiet, at the moment.

    • My peak wind came at 12:30 this afternoon. 5 MPH from the SW.

    • longbeachrob says:

      I had a 5 mph very early this morning, but now only gust to 4 mph. LOL. Wednesday will be different for me I bet!

  25. East Wind event in effect.
    As of 7 PM
    PDX-DLS: -7.7mb | 6 PM: -7.8mb | Hourly Change: -0.1mb
    TTD-DLS: -8.2mb | 6 PM: -8.2mb | Hourly Change: None
    OTH-GEG: -8.9mb | 6 PM: -8.1mb | Hourly Change: +0.8mb

    If it gets too much stronger we could see more trees/limbs down and power outages EAST of I-205 into Gresham/Troutdale/Wood Village/Fairview

  26. Karl Bonner says:

    There’s a modest but obvious ESE breeze at PDX today and most of yesterday. Also several Wunderground stations are reporting some easterly wind penetrating west of I-205. So while this may be a “gap wind event,” saying that the “vast majority” of the Metro is light to calm sounds like a bit of an exaggeration.

  27. Nona says:

    East wind is roaring on SW Canyon Drive near Sylvan overpass.

  28. PDX Weather Nut says:

    Quite strong wind here in NE PDX, gusting over 40 mph.

  29. Yep…. I had a feeling this was coming. How bad is it going to get tonight? That’s the real question. I am getting frequent gusts over 40mph now.

  30. wwm says:

    tree limbs down along the road up to Corbett (next to Sandy river) and power crews working on it, lower half of corbett is dark but lights on upper half by school, however wind REALLY blowing so it is probably just a matter of time.

  31. Greg Carstens says:

    Good deal! All the wind fanatics are going through withdrawals. 😀

  32. runrain says:

    Yes, as I mentioned winds have been fairly light here in Happy Valley but have picked up in the past half hour or so. Gusts to maybe 25 mph.

    Speaking of Happy Valley, and somewhat weather-unrelated, I’ve noticed someone across the valley has put in a helicopter landing pad up by Ridgecrest Rd. (near the top of Mt. Scott) and appears to be COMMUTING by helicopter. Must be nice! Have you thought about doing this, Mark? That would improve your commute to the west side!

  33. pappoose in scappoose says:

    Great news on the Vista House sensor. Good luck!

  34. Power has flickered a couple times but stayed on in Gresham near the high school.

  35. *BoringOregon* says:


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