A Wet Evening Eastside

June 18, 2013

Take a look at the rainfall totals as of 10pm…none officially at PDX, .13″ at Hillsboro and then these numbers:


Several heavy showers developed over a few hours, mainly east of I-205.  It did make for this nice view of the west end of the Gorge, a picture taken from Pittock Mansion by Chris Markes!


Other than the heavy rain, not a whole lot of thunderstorm action today with maybe a dozen strikes in NW Oregon and SW Washington.

We’ll see about tomorrow; with plenty of sunbreaks there is no reason we shouldn’t see heavy rain/hail showers develop again.  If we get too much cloud cover, that could squash things a bit.

The cold upper low passes overhead the next two days, then gets out of here Saturday for a much better day.

But uh-oh, next week looks mild and very wet with a strong west-southwest upper flow.  The 12z GFS and ECMWF were both very wet, here’s the ECMWF:


and in map form both the new 00z GFS and 12z ECMWF:



We’ll probably have very warm nights (60) but daytime highs below average during the Monday-Wednesday period next week.

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

Tuesday Afternoon Action

June 18, 2013

Thunderstorms and heavy showers beginning to pop up over Western Oregon and Washington at 3pm. Just about anyone could see a downpour or thunderstorm between now and sunset! Showers are moving from south to north or actually SSW to NNE.

Nice heavy shower just north of Keizer right now:


Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

Thunder Possible This Afternoon

June 17, 2013

10:30am Monday…


We appear to be setup for scattered thunderstorms to break out this afternoon over evening just about anywhere in the FOX12 viewing area.

The Ingredients:

  • Ample sunshine this morning to warm us up nicely
  • A deep upper-level low offshore giving us a moist south/southwest flow aloft
  • A weak disturbance moving northward in that flow later this afternoon for a trigger
  • Nice area of CAPE (Convective energy)
  • Zero or below lifted index (for lifting)

This doesn’t appear to be a big bad thunderstorm outbreak pattern (probably won’t look like the above pic!), but any thunderstorm action is exciting around here since we rarely see them.

Storm movement this afternoon will be from the SSW to NNE, so look to the southwest to see what’s coming during the afternoon hours and you can always find the radar at this link:


Lightning strikes are here:  http://www.cascadeaccess.com/~mnelsen/lightning1.jpg


As the upper level low moves closer Tuesday and then right over us Wednesday we’ll see more action and chillier temps.  More funnel clouds at some point?  Maybe.

I’m still on vacation today, but back at home catching up on the weeds and emails/bills.  I’ll write about the fun vacation week, and why I never want to see the Lochsa River from a car again, tomorrow.

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

The Heppner Flood; 110 Years Ago On This Date

June 14, 2013

Today is the anniversary of Oregon’s deadliest weather disaster, the Heppner Flash Flood.  247 people died in just minutes as a dam broke just south of the town on June 14th, 1903.  A wall of water quickly raced through, leveling buildings and carrying lives and property north.  The small Willow Creek suddenly (and briefly) carried about as much water as you might see moving down the Willamette River here in Portland.


Here’s a great Wikipedia entry:


In the early 1980s the Army Corps of Engineers finally constructed the Willow Creek Dam just above the town to alleviate any future flood threat.  It looks a little ominous just south of town in this photo:


Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

Vacation Time

June 7, 2013

I’ll be on vacation (Clark Griswold style to Montana) through Monday, June 17th.  I’ve scheduled one post for late next week, but otherwise no postings.  There isn’t much you need to know anyway…just cooler and cloudier during the upcoming workweek.

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

S L O W Weather Pattern

June 6, 2013

9:30pm Thursday…

I’ve been extremely busy the past few days with the Junior Parade, doing all 5 evening shows (Steph is sick), and prepping for a big family trip next week at home.  So no postings, but not much to talk about here in the first week of June weatherwise anyway.  We hit 83 in Portland today, our 3rd day into the 80s.  The warmth has been nice after 2 1/2 weeks of cooler than average weather.

I was working out in the garden today; it’s drying out nicely now.  I finished up planting the last of the warm weather veggies so now it’s just a matter of watering and waiting for the next 2 months.  Not that many of you care about my garden, but it’s my blog so I get to talk about it.  I’ve planted eggplant for the first time.  That’s IN the greenhouse because I’m sure it wouldn’t do well at my elevation with lots of 45 degree nights in summer.  Same with cantaloupe and tomatoes.  They are in the ground, but in the greenhouse; every day in summer is at least 80 in there, many days up around 100 or so.  They should like that!  In fact the tomatoes I planted during the warm weather in early May are growing up real fast.

In the short term, a marine push this evening is in progress and that means some decent cooling tomorrow, we’ll stay in the 70s instead of lower 80s.  A dying front drags across our area in the afternoon, but at worst it’ll turn partly cloudy.  Then not much of anything happening Saturday and Sunday…thus a very nice weekend on tap with mostly sunny skies and highs in the mid-upper 70s both days.

Models did real well with the warmup this week, I remember seeing a few comments about a week ago to the effect of “I’ll believe it when I see it…”.  Now you’ve seen it!

Now models are all in agreement showing a signficant cooldown with an upper-level trough by the middle of next week (Tuesday/Wednesday).  Take a look at the 12z GFS and 12z ECMWF ensemble 850mb temp forecast charts:



They both show the cooldown, then a return to near normal temps about 10 days from now.  The trough next week doesn’t appear to be real wet, although that could still change.  The biggest effect will be the cooler temps and a lot more cloud cover.  What about beyond that time?  Here is the twice weekly run of last night’s ECMWF.  These are weekly maps of 500mb height. Next week’s trough shows up nicely, but notice a strong ridge over or just west of us the following week or two. That COULD signal a warm 2nd half of the month. It’s interesting to note strong warming doesn’t show up on the time series above, could be ridging just far enough offshore to keep our 850 temps from going too high. That would be a dry pattern too.





And finally…remember this?  June 2003 saw a nice heat wave very early in the month.  I clearly remember the east wind blowing all night long out in Corbett (I used to live in the wind) with temps remaining in the 70s.  Felt like the warm trade winds in Hawaii!


Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

Episode 31: Moore Tornado, Wet May and Stephanie Kralevich

June 4, 2013

A Fresh Podcast Has Just Been Posted!

Northwest Weather Podcast


This week, the guys welcome back Meteorologist Stephanie Kralevich to the show.  They will break down the devastating EF5 tornado in Moore, Oklahoma.

Plus, they’ll take a look at one of the wettest Mays on record in Portland.  And, you’ll get to meet Steph’s little bundle of joy, Cooper.

Episode 31: Moore Tornado, Wet May and Stephanie Kralevich

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