Great Rainbow Pic

September 30, 2013

A good one from Gabor Gardonyi…from near Lyle looking west down the Gorge towards Hood River & Mosier

Lyle Rainbow

2nd “Storm” Over

September 29, 2013

Time to go to bed…just showers and breezy the rest of the night.

Peak gust was only 41 mph at PDX, in the end a weaker storm than the first.  It just went too far north.  But at least there were fewer power outages.


Even Shorter 9pm Update

September 29, 2013

Cold front passing through metro area right now evidenced by line of intense rain on radar and pressure jump.

Peak gust at PDX at 8:20pm was 41 mph.  That might be the best we’ll get unless some random gust is higher in the next hour or two.

2nd storm will end up a little weaker that the first most likely

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

Extremely Short 7pm Update

September 29, 2013

Just checking in on the observations at 7pm wondering where the wind is like most of the rest of you!

It sure hit Salem with a gust to 47 mph, stronger than yesterday’s wind, but pretty quiet here in the metro area right now.  The low pressure system is definitely making landfall a bit farther north than we expected which also means a bit farther away from us too.    The center is pretty obvious on the water vapor satellite imagery:


As a result wind probably won’t be any stronger than what we saw yesterday…gusts stay under 50 mph.  Whatever we get, it’ll be decreasing after 9pm.

Update to the update:  Of course right after I posted this (now it’s 7:16pm), I see Astoria got nailed with a strong wind gust around 60 mph just as the cold front passed overhead!  That’s the strongest of the day…there is still some life left in this thing.  We’ll see what happens in the next 2 hours as the cold front moves inland.  Generally the strongest wind occurs with the pressure jump (cold front) with these systems.

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

Storm #2 Update: Stronger Than #1!

September 29, 2013

Sunday, 9am…

Get ready for a 2nd round of wind this afternoon; it looks stronger than what we just went through yesterday.


  • Strong wind develops by 4pm at the Coastline and arrives between 4-6pm here in the western valleys.
  • Peak gusts 70-80 mph on the coast
  • Peak gusts 45-55 mph here in the valleys, PDX gusted to 43 yesterday.
  • Wind will gradually die down after 8pm.
  • More rain, but no more than 1.25″ here in the metro area

A nice break the last 12 hours since we are inbetween weather systems.  Now the remnants of Typhoon Pabuk have made it all the way across the Pacific and what’s left will spin up into a powerful low pressure center the next 12 hours.  Morning models are coming out and showing the low “bombing” down to around 970 millibars and landing somewhere between central Vancouver Island and the NW tip of Washington.  Truly historic for September 29th!  Here’s the 12z NAM-MM5 model:


and our 12z RPM:


And the 12z WRF-GFS for 7pm today:


compare that with the 00z WRF-GFS for the same time…almost the same.


All 3 show a setup for slightly stronger wind than yesterday, assuming they have the strength and position of the developing low correct.  Our RPM even has the center of the low down around 965mb with an extremely tight pressure gradient in the 100 miles around the low;  980 millibars just 50 miles out.  It’s going to be a historic storm up around where it makes landfall.  Lucky for us, the low is far enough away that it’s not in the “big windstorm” position.  That said, once again with leaves on the trees and good mixing due to the warm temps, it shouldn’t be tough to get more damage than yesterday.

I see there are still 10,000 customers out of power in PGE’s territory, there will be more this evening!  Ladies and Gentlemen, get your generators ready…

Nothing of interest going on weatherwise after tonight, just cool showers.

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

Storm #1’s Wind Is Done, Rain Continues…

September 28, 2013

7pm Saturday…

Just a quick note to let you know we’re done with the strong wind until at least early Sunday afternoon.  You can just barely see the cold front on the radar way out on the far eastside of the metro area:


That was the line that briefly gave all of us a tremendous downpour between 5-7pm.

As the cold front passed, winds turned much lighter and switched direction a bit more to the southwest than south.  The peak windspeeds turned out almost exactly as expected, with 60-70 mph gusts (even a few higher) at the Coast and 35-45 mph gusts here in the metro area.  PDX  officially ended up with a 43 mph gust around 2:15pm and again with the cold front passage during the 6 O’Clock hour.

Still plenty of rain to go this evening and that’ll give us some localized flooding the next few hours!  But that will taper off after 10pm as well.

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen


Dialing Back The Weather Hype A Bit

September 27, 2013

5pm Friday…

I think the hype and media coverage of our unusually early fall wind/rain storms this weekend is a bit out of control, not here at FOX12, but elsewhere.  Folks it’s getting weird out there in media land!  That’s because I’m hearing of some event cancellations this afternoon.  I’ve heard it includes Sunday Parkways, the Oregon Beach Cleanup, and even a Sunday farmer’s market!  So much for unstoppable…

Here’s the latest on the stormy weather, maybe it’s best to tell you  this first…


  • Flooding rivers
  • A “big windstorm”, and probably just barely a “windstorm”  in the western valleys, including Portland
  • Peak wind gusts over 50 mph in the valleys
  • Widespread power outages
  • Widespread wind damage at the coast


  • Lots of rain!  2-3″ here in the valleys, 6-10″ in the wettest mountain locations
  • Spotty local flooding (small creeks or streets/low spots), most likely just late Saturday afternoon or evening with the heaviest rain at that time
  • Strong wind at two different times…Saturday afternoon/evening and again Sunday afternoon/evening.
  • Peak gusts at either time 55-70 mph at the Coast and 40-45 mph here in the valleys.
  • A few trees/limbs down here and there, along with scattered power outages in the metro area, a bit more of both compared to last weekend

The reason this is all such a big deal, and worthy of extra news coverage, is that it’s quite “out of season”.  Typically we would see a few storms like this starting in November, but I’ve never see this action at the end of September.  Very strange and worthy of a little news/weather hype?  Yes.  But not worthy of you getting worked up about Stormaggedon ’13.

Otherwise enjoy the rain and wind from inside the next couple of days…time to catch up on reading and Netflix!

Here is the rainfall forecast for the next 3 days…


And the wind forecast from our RPM model, showing a surface area of low pressure making landfall on Vancouver Island Sunday afternoon…it appears wind here and at the Coast will be stronger with this 2nd system.  Over the past 18 hours models have been sending the low a bit farther north and deepening it a bit more.  This will probably keep us from getting a “big windstorm” here in the valleys.  Still, so impressive for late September!



Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen