Strong East Wind For Another 12 Hours

January 2, 2013

It’s raging out there in the Gorge this evening, but gusts (so far) in most spots have stayed slightlty below what we saw back in late November.  Here are the peak gusts as of 9pm:

Troutdale Airport: 43 (44 in Nov)
SE Troutdale (near MHCC): 53 (59 in Nov)
Washougal: 50 (56 in Nov) 
Corbett School: 71  (75 in Nov)
Vista House: 83 87  (89 in Nov)
Biddle Butte: 75 (higher than last winter or November)
Skamania: 65 (not working in Nov)

That Vista House gust to 83 is likely not the highest gust observed for two reasons.  The sensor was offline from midnight to noon, we missed 12 hours of observations.  Maybe more important, if you look at the observations, you’ll notice that it often misses reporting times; not sure why it does that.  But the gust shown on the observations is the highest in the last 10 minutes.  So if there are 30-45 minutes between reports, it’s only including the gust over the past 10 minutes.  Obviously a higher gust may occur and not get reported.  The Corbett observation that goes out on CWOP/MADIS does not include the highest gust either, that is here.

The wind may ramp up a bit further as we head towards sunrise; it often does as warmer air moves in aloft and the pressure gradient tightens just ahead of an approaching system coming in from the southwest.  So tonight will likely see the strongest wind.

It’ll back off dramatically, but not go away totally, tomorrow afternoon/evening as the light precipitation moves through.

I’m not working tonight, but wanted to get those windspeeds on record here…

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

Freezing Rain & Wind Update: Wednesday AM

January 2, 2013


Just a quick update,

Models have all slowed down arrival of precipitation for Thursday to the midday-afternoon period.  That and they have even lighter precipitation.

If this is correct, as of now, the chance for freezing rain or ice pellets is very low for northwest Oregon Thursday, it’ll be a bit too warm for that at midday and into the afternoon.  And in the Gorge it’s possible the dry east wind keeps precipitation from reaching the ground anyway.  Check out the precipitation forecast ending at 4pm tomorrow on the WRF-GFS…sprinkles or a little more, that’s it:


So, if you’re worried about freezing rain for the Thursday morning commute, DON’T WORRY for now.  At this point it appears unlikely.

As for wind…wow, it’s REAL windy out in the Gorge.  Vista House wind sensor stopped reporting at 12:30am due to a power outage in the Corbett area.  The Corbett sensor is also dead, I think due to a PC issue.  But, Biddle Butte across the river has gusted to 70 mph.  We’ve only had that sensor for a year or so, but I think that might be the highest we have seen in that spot.  And notice how the wind ramped up quite a bit AFTER the Vista House wind sensor reported the 81mph. 

If you are planning on walking down to Vista House it’s possible you get kicked out since today would be a normal construction day with work people around.  I don’t know.  I suppose the 2nd best spot then would be Portland Women’s Forum Viewpoint just to the west.  I might stop by there around 11:30am since I have a haircut around noon.  Grey Prius with a deer-size dent on the hood for me.

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen