Strong East Wind For Another 12 Hours

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

64 Responses to Strong East Wind For Another 12 Hours

  1. Things may get exciting next wk Eso towards the end. THE SNOW LEVELS ARE EXPECTED TO FALL TO NEAR SEA LEVEL BY THE END OF
    TEMPS BELOW CLIMO FOR THE LATTER PART OF NEXT WEEK. Took this from the weather service.

  2. Sandman, Aloha 300' says:

    If you ask me the nam looks very interesting for a gorge outflow even on late Sunday morning. No South wind for a while and strong offshore gradients for quit a while.

  3. Got down to 17 this morning up here near Silver Falls State Park. My lows the last 5 days have been colder than any low I had last winter. 🙂

  4. KPTV Tower Temps
    As of 8 AM (1 hour lag. Updates every :15 after the hour)
    Upper Sensor(1818′) 26.4 (26.1 at 7:00 AM)
    Middle Sensor(1473′) 27.0 (26.4 at 7:00 AM)
    Lower Sensor(1043′) 27.9 (27.9 at 7:00 AM)

    17z(9 AM) Upper Air Analysis(Observed over PDX)
    925mb: +1.0c
    850mb: +2.5c
    700mb: -2.0c
    500mb: -19.3c

    As of 9 AM
    PDX-DLS: -10.2mb | 8 AM: -10.1mb | Hourly Change: 0.1mb Increase
    TTD-DLS: -10.0mb | 8 AM: -9.6mb | Hourly Change: 0.4mb Increase
    OTH-GEG: -12.5mb l 8 AM: -12.9mb | Hourly Change: 0.4mb Decrease

    12z GFS wasn’t bad, in fact the trough middle of next week looks real chilly. 518 thickness, 850mb -8c, but not a ton of moisture and it looks like persistent onshore surface flow either westerly or southerly = bad sticking snow levels 500’+ .

  5. swift says:

    12z GFS has -8C 850 temps and -4C 925 temps with thickness bottoming out at 518 for PDX. Looks like however as the cold air arrives the moisture runs out. The potential is there however with sticking down to the valley floor if there is moisture.

  6. Check this out
    925mb temps -4 hours ago

    And currently
    From +4.5c down to +1c in 4 hours. Massive cooling has occurred at 2500′ due to East Wind.

  7. pappoose in scappoose says:

    National Weather Service Portland or
    832 am PST Thursday Jan 3 2013

    Clouds will increase across region today…but precipitation will be
    slow to arrive. Precipitation will be light…and occasional in
    nature as not lot of moisture with this system. With snow levels
    still high…not threat of lowland snow. Main problem will be where
    temperatures remain cold. Most areas will mix enough to get above
    freezing today…so only occasional light rain for most all areas.
    However…not the case for the valleys deep in the Cascades where
    cold air remains trapped…or in the upper Hood valley and Columbia River gorge where clouds and continue offshore flow will keep areas near or just below freezing. Still looks that those few areas will see occasional freezing rain after 5 PM today…but only a light icing with ice accumulations less than one tenth of an inch. Will keep current Freezing Rain Advisory up for those areas due to light icing. At this time…appears Portland/Vancouver metropolitan will see only light rain this evening…with no freezing rain.

  8. Hmmmmmm….. Cold layer thickening up over PDX?, well below 2500 – 3000′ anyhow. If so, I would contribute that to the colder temps east side last night and raging Gorge Winds transporting it quickly westward.

    KPTV Tower Temps
    As of 7 AM (1 hour lag. Updates every :15 after the hour)
    Upper Sensor(1818′) 26.1 (26.2 at 6:00 AM)
    Middle Sensor(1473′) 26.4 (26.8 at 6:00 AM)
    Lower Sensor(1043′) 27.9 (27.9 at 6:00 AM)

    16z(8 AM) Upper Air Analysis(Observed over PDX)
    925mb: +1.0c (+3.2c at 7:00 AM)
    850mb: +3.0c
    700mb: -2.0c
    500mb: -18.6c
    Yep, 925mb temps have fallen…. Cold layer has thickened more than expected. Temps at 850mb holding steady. IF cloud cover moves in and reduces peak heating with the east wind still going I wouldn’t rule out Sleet or ZR just yet.

    I did look at both 12z MM5-NAM and WRF(4km)Soundings. Neither show any threat of frozen precip with a small amount of moisture arriving near/after 3 PM. I think we better keep an eye on the tower temps and radar just in case.

  9. pappoose in scappoose says:

    Will be interesting watching tower temps today, no doubt.

  10. The wind is relentless! I just had consecutive gusts of 46.2 and 45.1 mph. I see gradients just went up a notch from 7 AM.

  11. Longview - 400 ft says:

    Wow! Would you look at all that moisture off the coast moving north.

  12. This makes me want pizza….
    00z ECMWF Ensembles
    6-10 Day 500mb Height Anomalies

    6-10 day 850mb Temp Anomalies

  13. I’m up…. I did my good deed for the year. I set my alarm for 5:45 AM to wheel the blue recycling cart out to the curb and found the neighbors had theirs pointing directly into the east wind(the wrong way), so I just cleaned up my street and put all of their news paper and plastics, etc. back into their blue cart. Oh ya, did I mention how challenging that is when it’s dark outside during 45mph gusts? It is. No, really trust me.

    No really.

    Okay, so had 1 more sizable gust to report, 47.1 mph @ 4:31 AM. The wind hasn’t slowed a bit despite the gradient is slightly weaker about 1mb and I think that is due to it’s a colder east side and over the Columbia Basin(15 currently in Pendleton) and a tick warmer aloft over western Oregon.

    How about some non-essential morning analysis? Sure, why not I can do that for you.

    00z ECMWF 850mb Ensembles were quite good and quite similar up to the day 7-8 when they then divulge considerable differences.
    Also, it shows ECMWF superiority in the 10 day period. Looking at the agreement between the Operational and Ensemble Mean compared to the GFS isn’t even close after day 7-8. ECMWF also indicates lots of ensemble members dipping below -7c after day 10 too… Well we were hoping for a classic, traditional cold/snowy January, so maybe we will get it. I think it really says the EC has the best handle on the pattern change ahead and offshore block beyond day 6-7 and that the GFS sucks.

    KPTV Tower Temps
    As of 5 AM (1 hour lag. Updates every :15 after the hour)
    Upper Sensor(1818′) 27.1 (27.3 at 4:00 AM)
    Middle Sensor(1473′) 27.0 (27.3 at 4:00 AM)
    Lower Sensor(1043′) 28.2 (28.4 at 4:00 AM)

    14z(6 AM) Upper Air Analysis(Observed over PDX)
    925mb: +3.2c
    850mb: +3.2c
    700mb: -0.5c
    500mb: -18.5c

    As of 6 AM
    PDX-DLS: -9.9mb | 5 AM: -9.5mb | Hourly Change: 0.4mb Increase
    TTD-DLS: -9.2mb | 5 AM: -9.1mb | Hourly Change: 0.1mb Decrease
    OTH-GEG: -13.7mb l 5 AM: -13.2 | Hourly Change: 0.5mb Increase

    IR Loop
    Surface High that had been settled in over the Columbia Basin has indeed shifted east as forecast as is now over north central Idaho. Weak, pathetic looking 1004mb low is now making notable progress eastward with a relatively narrow band of clouds pushing onto the Oregon Coast. Water Vapor doesn’t look very moist and no moisture showing on Radar yet.

    • Danny in Troutdale says:

      I wish there were more people like you who didnt have the “It’s not my problem attitude.” Honestly I respect you for doing that on your own. I just got back from work, that must of not been fun at all, its so windy. Good for you and Thank you! now I dont have to clean it up lol 🙂

    • Well, I didn’t want to have to clean up stuff from my yard all day, and also I get tired of people throwing their trash everywhere(especially it seems fast food wrappers/bags) I was out often during the Summer with my grabber cleaning up my street. If you don’t do it, who will? Odds are not many. If you don’t do it your neighborhood will look awful too and you have to take some pride in where you live.

  14. Sandi (Wilsonville) says:

    23 cold degrees F this morning. 22 Td.

    • Garron near Washington Square says:

      When did pants season start??? Didn’t get that memo, oh well. I really do appreciate the sunny days this time of year. It helps me get through the really gloomy season, March 1st through July 1st. That’s when I feel like a kid on a long family trip…Is it summer yet? November/December, not so bad, as I can remember what a summers’ day felt like.

  15. Longview - 400 ft says:

    A little moisture starting to show up on radar. West of the Oregon & Cal border and the mouth of the Columbia River.
    Currently 27.3
    Low so far over night 26.6

    • Garron near Washington Square says:

      I’d be happier if it were summer time and looking at the possiblility of instability in the evening. But, at this point, due to timing of moisture, and the fact that this is being stretched like a Cher face lift,I’ll be happy if we can achieve the great NEW YEARS EVE FLURRY STORM out of this one. Kinda looks like the bounty paper towel lady is soaking the moisture out of this storm. Oh well, we still got plenty of winter weeks to go, and it aint over till Mark Nelsen sings the ‘WINTER IS OVER DANCE’

    • Ellen Wallace says:

      I’m not too much higher-maybe 50ft or so…Low here 22.5 (Oregon Scientific instruments) dead calm, now sitting at 22.7.

  16. I’m going to say something that’s on my mind right now. Just a thought…Really, this winter hasn’t been all that bad so far. Sure, both November and December ended up significantly warmer than average and we still haven’t had any real arctic air – but we HAVE gotten very heavy rain, heavy mountain snow, one pretty big snowstorm in the Gorge on Christmas day, at least 2 or 3 low-elevation snow ‘teases’ west of the Cascades, with minor accumulations in the higher hills.

    And now a big strong east wind event in the western Gorge? Plus you always have to marvel in wonder when a Columbia Basin “fake cold” event ends up getting this cold and the cold air starts spilling over the Cascades at Government Camp!

    I’d have to say the glass is at least 60% full, compared to the standard for our winter weather here. We don’t have our arctic blast yet, but we DO have another fairly chilly period now seeming likely beginning about a week from now. That looks like more pretty low-elevation snow, maybe even a little ‘wimpy’ arctic air?

  17. 48.0 mph gust just now! One last big one perhaps…. not quite 50

    That was so loud. I could hear it building, building and it sustained itself for 3-4 seconds….

    • What general part of SE Portland are you in, Rob?

      If I were to live in the Portland metro, I’d like a place that’s neither in the east wind blast zone nor so far away to be completely out of the Gorge influence. In other words I’d want some east wind, but not too much.

    • I’m in far southeast near west Gresham in a definite east wind blast zone. I am also convinced that the large, open gravel pit along S.E. 190th just to my east allows the east winds to accelerate unimpeded since if you look to the east-northeast towards the Gorge there is nothing to block or slow down the winds.

    • Well it borders roughly 182nd (Vance Park) but it is huge, wide open.

  18. Crown Point just gusted to 87mph!
    Likely 20mph stronger or so along the stairs

    I also had a gust 46.2mph at 11:46 PM.

  19. bgb41 says:

    1/2/2013 Oregon (All) Temperature Summary

    High:60 at RED MOUND(1753 ft)
    Low: 42 at LONG PRAIRIE(1093 ft) & FLYNN PRAIRIE(1543 ft)

    High:11 at Rome(4049 ft) & CW0732 Seneca(4665 ft)
    Low: -14 at DANNER (4225 ft )

    Largest Diurnal Change: 52 degrees
    DIMLKE (41/-11 ) (4726 ft )

  20. paulbeugene says:

    Looked at all the models I have access to this evening.
    Most likely weather regime in the next 3 weeks is a dry one. The models strongly suggest this. That does not mean there won’t be precip…just suggests that we may be in for a January with 2-3 inches liquid precip tops.

    How cold will it be? It seems quite likely that the epicenter for cold will Montana, Dakotas. Most likely scenario remains that we will lots of lows in 20s, highs in 40s…with a period of colder modified arctic air infiltrating region with highs in 25-35 range for a few days, with minimal snow.

    • Benjamin (West Salem) says:

      well highs 25 to 35 would be colder than anything we saw last winter, except for the one low 30 something degree day in Jan before the flooding and the day in March when we had temps steady in the low to mid thirties with snow.

    • Ben T says:

      And you’re quite sure about this?

  21. Getting rather interesting in about a week. I think Rob mentioned it earlier, but stiill looking like a cold low will swoop in and give us some very low snow levels. Long range forecasts are always iffy but the ECMWF looking fairly in line with the GFS at 7 days out. At least some really fine powder in the mountains.

  22. Have a feeling that CP gets high wind gusts several times a year. Seems like we’re just now finding out that the frequency may be higher than we used to think. Better obs, etc….

  23. I wouldn’t have canceled it as TTD-DLS is now -10.9mb strongest yet and we’re seeing a 2nd peak perhaps of -11 to -12mb. I’m still trying to exceed my peak gust so far of 48.4mph.

  24. W7ENK says:

    Hahaha! 😆

    No sooner did you post this, NWS cancels the Wind Advisory for PDX metro.


  25. Marcus says:

    Wind is really picking up here in la center!

  26. W7ENK says:

    Sure is windy out there!

  27. Ryan says:


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