A wild day at the western end of the Columbia River Gorge today. Here are the peak gusts so far:
This is a pure “gap wind” event with the strongest wind confined to a very narrow area centered within a mile of the Columbia River and the Gorge from Troutdale to Multnomah Falls. The 115 mph gust was recorded on a Maximum anemometer (quality equipment) by Matt Sloan sitting in a car at the base of the steps on Vista House. The 83 mph gust at Vista House is not reliable (too weak) because the anemometer is swinging around on its mast. It is bent at quite an angle and not working properly for that reason. The 80 mph gust at Corbett Elementary School is the strongest gust there since I’ve been involved with it. At least since 2009. We’ve seen stronger wind gusts at the other locations on the map; mainly during the east wind storm of January 2009 (click on link to see speeds). At that time the Corbett sensor gusted to 79 mph and we saw 50-60 mph gusts spread well into Troutdale, Gresham, and even East Portland.
The cold pool east of the Cascades really thickened the last 24 hours…did anyone notice Redmond went from a high of 58 yesterday to 27 today? That’s quite a change!
Looking ahead, the wind will die down quite a bit the next 48 hours as a weak system moves through our upper-level ridge. But the ridge won’t go anywhere and will just bounce back Thursday-Sunday. With little or no erosion of the cold pool eastside, the strong east wind will return through the 2nd half of the week. This should keep persistent fog and low clouds away from most of the metro area for lots of sunshine through the weekend.
Models all show the ridge at least somewhat disappearing next week. ECMWF is a little wetter than the ridgier looking GFS. In a nod to the ECMWF I finally put rain in the 7 Day forecast for next Monday. We’ll see if that really shows up.
Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen