Category 5 Hurricane in Eastern Pacific

The National Hurricane Center announced today that Major Hurricane Marie is the first Cat 5 storm in the eastern Pacific in 4 years.  Take a look at the water vapor imagery…


That’s a beautiful hurricane!  At 8pm winds are 150mph and it’s about 475 miles SSW of the southern tip of Baja California.  So this storm will pose no threat to land in the form of wind, storm surge, or rain.  It will track well out to the west south of the upper-level ridge that is along the western USA coastline.

But the tremendous waves & swell generated by this storm are forecast to arrive along the beaches of southern California in about 48 hours.  ww3-enp_epac_060_regional_wv_ht

The wave watch model above shows 9 meter waves, and the local NWS offices in California are warning of localized erosion, flooding, and some damage.  Of course I suppose the surfing will be great!

Up here in the Pacific Northwest it’s possible some of this moisture will enhance our showers next weekend.  Or it may stay to the south in northern California, or it may stay well offshore.  We’ll see.

The past few days there was another blowup in the comments.  It happens about every 6 months…yawn.  I didn’t even notice for the first two days because the weather is so slow, but then I see it got resurrected and brought into a new posting!  Geez, what is wrong with people!  I’ll be honest, I think at least 60% of the readers find it entertaining, at least that’s what I hear on the street and via emails.  In the past I’ve let it go a bit, or banned a few people for a couple months (last spring).  

But this time was a little different.  When the entire newsroom receives emails about it, then it becomes my problem, not just a few offended posters.   I’m not willing to damage my career or relations with my bosses over folks picking on other posters or someone going all “Mt. St. Psycho” with profanities and threats.   Or having drunk people on the blog posting about who knows what.  And really the only reason people went at it this time was because only this blog allows anyone to engage with others directly.  This was used as a battleground.  And Weather Daddy doesn’t like that!  As a result I’ve added 5 names to 2 others that are on “semi-permanent” moderation.  That means you can comment, but I have to hit the approve button.  Technically you are not banned from here, but I can’t trust you to not get out of control.  The sad part is that I actually enjoy every one of you and several of you bring really good info to this blog.  

So nothing personal, but it’s just too much chance that it’ll come back to haunt me at some point.  I’m cutting my losses ahead of time.

Remember that there are at least 2 good Facebook discussion groups here in the Portland area.

FOX12 Blog Discussions is run by Brian Schmit:

PDX Wx Analysis by Rob Grimes:

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

57 Responses to Category 5 Hurricane in Eastern Pacific

  1. WEATHERDAN says:

    93 in Salem at 3:00 PM. Low humidity and nice North breeze so not too bad. 28th day over 90 at my house in South Salem this year. Record is 34 in 1958. Maybe 2 more this week to give us 30 days for the Summer. I expect 4-6 more days in September. So We will probably hit 34-36. NWS has us as 26 days so far. 67 days over 80 and 28 nights staying above 60 is one hot Summer. And we have several more weeks in which we can see some hot weather. Our average high is now 81.

  2. Garron near Washington Square says:

    Ok, I tallied a few locations for 90 + degree temps, and averages for the summer/spring so far. (May thru August) Medford has had 59 90 + degree high temps, The Dalles 42 so far. Eugene sits at 27, Salem 26, Hillsboro 18, Portland 15.
    July average temps; for Medford Hi: 97 Lo: 63, The Dalles Hi: 92 Lo: 64, Eugene Hi: 88 Lo: 54, Salem Hi: 87 Lo: 58, Portland Hi: 84 Lo: 60, Hillsboro Hi: 85 Lo: 55
    August averages; Medford Hi: 92 Lo: 61, The Dalles Hi: 92 Lo: 65, Eugene Hi: 88 Lo: 55, Salem Hi: 87 Lo: 58, Portland Hi: 85 Lo: 62, Hillsboro Hi: 85 Lo: 55.
    Also, I counted the # of 98 degree F + days for Medford and The Dalles, as there were quite a few that were 98/99 degree days, that I thought they should be included with the 100 degree tallies. Medford has had 25 such days, and The Dalles has had 17!

  3. Garron near Washington Square says:

    Wondering if we are still on track for at least the warmest July/August on record? July PDX averaged a high of 84 ave. low 60. So far, August’s average high is 85 and low of 62. The last few days of the month may bring that down a tad.

  4. vernonia1 says:

    Thanks Mark. So sad that you have to babysit the blog. No way would I have that kind of patience. Hope we never lose this blog…it is such a great overview of the weather….photos….& info.


  5. No Snow says:

    Mark, it’s time for our annual bet. No snow sticking at Pioneer Square for 2014. Ruth’s Chris is the wager.

    Are you in? 🙂

  6. Timmy_Supercell (Klamath Falls @ 4200') says:

    Viewing the last 20 summers, 2014 is looking pretty good. The last summers to have this many days over 90 degrees were 1996 and 1998.

    of 90+ degree days by year in Klamath Falls

    2014: 27 (so far) (a few more in the forecast..)
    2013: 21
    2012: 15
    2011: 5
    2010: 12
    2009: 21
    2008: 11
    2007: 9
    2006: 15
    2005: 13
    2004: 10
    2003: 21
    2002: 13
    2001: 14
    2000: 8
    1999: 12
    1998: 30*
    1997: 7
    1996: 30*
    1995: 10
    1994: 21

    It’s interesting that my first summer here (2011) is one of the coolest summers in quite a while, and 3 years later I’m getting one of the most significant summers in the area.

    • Timmy_Supercell (Klamath Falls @ 4200') says:

      There was supposed to be a “#” sign.. it turned into a giant hashtag!

  7. schmit44 says:

    8/25/2014 Oregon (All) Temperature Summary

    High:94 at MT. YONCALLA(1822 ft) & DW5789 Eagle Poi(1463 ft) & EVANS CREEK(3257 ft) & EW1735 Central P(1285 ft) & MERLIN SEED ORCH(1144 ft) & PROVOLT SEED ORC(1180 ft)
    Low: 63 at BLALOK(277 ft) & JUNIPR(359 ft) & CW3255 Dayville(2441 ft)

    High:53 at FISH CREEK(7900 ft) & PRAWS 2 (HURRICA(8754 ft)
    Low: 31 at CRANE PRAIRIE (5500 ft )

    Largest Diurnal Change: 48 degrees
    PROVOLT SEED ORC (94/46 ) (1180 ft )
    EW2055 Prairie C (82/34) (3547 ft)

    Heaviest Rainfall:
    0.34″ at Pendleton, Easte(1493ft)
    0.22″ at BALD MTN(5592ft)
    0.13″ at Ontario Municipa(2188ft)

  8. paulbeugene says:

    Down here in Eugene:

    11 days so far in August with 90+ temps, with 2 or 3 more this week
    16 days in July of 90+

    May end up with 30 days 90+ as of end this month, with September left to go.

    1958 holds the record for most 90+ days in Eugene, with 31 days.

    With mean trough setting up over Pac NW to end August and start September, will have to wait till second week of September and beyond to get to 90F again.

    Chances are the 1958 record will be broken, as EUG averages 2 90+ days in September.

    When is the last time that a high wind warning in PDX verified in PDX, based on the criteria for issuance (sustained winds 40 mph or higher for one hour or more, and wind gusts of 58 mph or higher for one hour or more)?

    If one expects both criteria to be met (peak sustained wind and peak gusts), then it has not happened since the Dec 1995 storm, almost 19 years ago.
    Prior to that, it happened in Jan 1990, Nov 1981, Mar 1971, Oct 1967, Feb 1965, Mar 1963, Oct 1962, Apr 1957, Dec 1951, Oct 1950, Dec 1945, Oct 1934, Jan 1880. (this is based on the exhaustive storm summaries from Wolf Read/Storm King). There are some nuances regarding the differences between wind instruments used in the past and today but I did not waste time considering them.

    I find it hard to believe that there were no HWW-grade storms in PDX during the 54 years between 1880 and 1934. That aside, we are SO overdue for some wind action, especially in PDX.

    Only four weeks away from start of Extratropical Storm Season in PDX.

    • paulbeugene says:

      Of course I neglected to mention they probably did not issue warnings in same fashion prior to the end of the meteorological stone age in PDX (ending Jan 1950)

    • Benjamin (West Salem) says:

      The Dec 2006 wind storm (in my opinion) met and even surpassed the high wind warning criteria in many places in the Willamette Valley. Prior to that I would say the 95 storm.

      It’s also possible that I remember it as being stronger then it really was.

    • Timmy_Supercell (Klamath Falls @ 4200') says:

      Thanks for the post. It’s been a toasty summer (especially July) all around the PNW!

      The last summer with so many days over 90 was back in the late 90’s down here.

    • W7ENK says:

      That December 2006 storm was a dud for most everyone East of the river, as was the December 2007 Coastal Gale. My peak wind gust during that storm (12/2007) was 23 mph at 3 in the morning going into day 2. I didn’t have a station set up in 2006, but I recall a short burst of craziness around 5:30 in the evening, complete with flying tree branches and a line fuse blowing out directly over my car while stopped at an intersection – bright blue-green flash, loud boom a cascade of white sparks.

      2006 missed us to the North.
      2007 missed us to the West.
      Nothing notable since.

      We are overdue for a good wind event.

      My primary concern for the upcoming winter is an ice storm. ZR is the one winter weather phenomenon I can do without. IMO, it’s the most dangerous, and we’re overdue for a good ZR event, too. I don’t think we’ve had a decent one since January 1996, unless you count Jan. 2004? I don’t have much of an opinion about 1/2004, as I was too busy digging my front door out from under 3-1/3 feet of fallen snow that had drifted almost up to my roofline down in Klamath Falls.

      Either way, I’m not ready to let go of summer yet!!

    • Benjamin (West Salem) says:

      I agree! I’m not ready to let summer go either….

      As far as the wind storms go, yeah 07 was a dud for us in Salem also. That’s why I only mentioned 06.

      Let’s hope for a few more 90 degree days in Sept.

  9. Larry says:

    My sister and brother-in-law took their sailboat over to Catalina (from San Diego) last week, so I sent them a link to this post – thanks for keeping it real, Mark.
    FWIW, whenever I post something funny on here, it is usually just that – funny. Not meant to be hurtful to anyone. People post back stuff and we laugh. Hope everyone got what they wanted out of last week. And now, on with the countdown.

  10. JohnD says:

    Sad. Because some of these guys really are heavy hitters. Too bad their boyhood emotions still prevail.

  11. mommy2nolan says:

    Thank you Mark for stepping in. I rarely ever comment, but read the blog quite frequently. What I witnessed was nothing different than high school bullying. It was actually really disheartening seeing the venom that was spitting out of fellow members mouths. Don’t kick people when they’re down. Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. They don’t need you tearing them down.

  12. Karl Bonner says:

    I think the next round of drama is going to involve one or two moderated members harassing Mark via email, complaining that certain comments are being “unfairly censored” for no “valid” reason. I agree that some more moderation of this blog may be needed for professionalist reasons.

    But I have a sneaking suspicion that this community’s inherent tendency for certain members to squabble isn’t going to be snuffed out just by moderating comments. It’ll keep the drama off these comment threads, but some of that drama could find a new home somewhere very nearby. I wonder if Mark has taken preparations on how to deal with this element?

  13. WEATHERDAN says:

    Just got back from a weekend in Harney County at the Malheur Cave. Highs were in the 70,s with lows in the 40,s but it sure felt colder because I was camping in a tent. Someone in our group killed a rattlesnake 30 feet from our tent. It was partly cloudy most of the weekend and sure felt like Autumn. Now it’s back to Summer this week with maybe 4 more days of at least 90. 76 and sunny at 11:00 AM. Anyone remember last year in early September when we had those big TRW’s come up from the South with all that moisture.if wonder if this tropical moisture could mean big storms next weekend. Way too early to tell but it bears watching. Oh by the way, thanks Mark for cleaning things up. It’s just too bad that you have too do this every few months or so. Peace.

  14. cgavic says:

    A friend who moved over to sunny central Oregon got drenched yesterday aft.
    Now, the reason for my asking about the upcoming weekend, is due to the NWS Portland forecast (i like reading the discussion page) over the last two times of forecasting cloudy and
    and wet two days, two weeks in a row, ended up with sunny weather (I’m loving summer!). Hopefully it will happen again.

    • The Bad Forecaster says:

      You can learn a great deal from reading those discussion pages cgavic. I have been reading them since the late 1990’s at least. If nothing else they give you a great insight into what is possibly coming in the short term and long term.

  15. cgavic says:

    So……how strong and rainy and cloudy is this next system over the last weekend in august (school starts next week!).

  16. Garron near Washington Square says:

    Thanks again for the cool update. And want to congratulate Brian MacMillan on his new addition! What a cutie. For now, back to the 90’s we’re becoming so used to followed by tropical rains just in time for the holiday weekend….”HOPE I’M JUST KIDDING ON THE LAST PART”

  17. Shane in Vancouver says:

    So from what I’ve read, a moderate el nino is the current pattern for winter this year. That roughly means a rather uneventful and mild winter overall, correct?

    • Shane in Vancouver says:

      for the PDX area anyways i should add

    • The Bad Forecaster says:

      I have heard at least a moderate level Shane. I think the affects of a moderate El Nino spell out the the idea of below normal snowfall for our PNW region more than anything. Last year was neutral and it felt more like an El Nino at least up here in Washington. At Paradise on Mount Rainier less than 600 inches of snow fell and things were even worse below around 3,000 feet. Longmire in the park did not even get up to 100 inches of snowfall for the season at 2,762 feet.

      Personally I would rather see a weak La Nina at least or even weak neutral cycle to have another shot of snow in the lowlands around here.

    • W7ENK says:

      I think this El Niño is going to fail to materialize. To qualify as an official El Niño (or La Niña), SSTs in the ENSO 3.4 Region have to stay at bare minimum 0.5C above (or below) normal for 5 consecutive months.

      In fact, I just looked, and it has officially failed. We went 4 consecutive months (April-May-June-July) hovering right at +0.5C, but over this last month SSTs have crashed back down to 0.0C, with the latest weekly reading at +0.17C

      So I guess this essentially means that El Niño is starting over from scratch again, or will be, once SSTs cross that +0.5C threshold.

    • Shane in Vancouver says:

      If el nino is basically starting over, or has ‘bottomed out’, then it would be very weak to possibly neutral which in turn means a pretty average winter here with high temps in the mid 40’s and rain basically every day. No real threat of high winds/damaging systems? Correct me if wrong, just a newb here haha. I’m personally hoping for a very stormy and exciting winter. The weather is always so neutral here compaired to the rest of the US and it would be ”nice” for a change

    • The Bad Forecaster says:

      Hmm interesting Erik. This chart shows a pretty even forecast into November. In fact it can’t get anymore even. I would still like to see a trend to lower and below zero even for a better chance of staying away from El Nino.

    • The Bad Forecaster says:

      When I say below zero, I mean the red line in the graph that is the “observed” line.

    • Karl Bonner says:

      Last time I looked at the models released by ENSO, about 90% of the members were still El Nino to warm-neutral.

      Personally I don’t think we have favorable chances of anything really mega-exciting in the 2014-15 season, but you never know…maybe we get a couple “exciting” weather events, instead of half a dozen or more like in a really active season. In an El Nino or “La Nada Tibia” (Warm Neutral) year, you usually expect storm activity to be more concentrated in the first half of the season, if there is anything interesting at all…

      One thing that we haven’t had in many years, is a stretch of several 60+ days before March 1. I think 2005 was the last February to have more than one or two 60s. We weren’t nearly as lucky in 2007, and the February 2010 east wind stretch had quite a bit of cool air slipping through the Gorge and holding temps down a bit. Maybe this is the year?

      Or is the big weather story of the season going to be a three-week-long inversion in the Columbia Basin? We got pretty close to a full 2 weeks last January – anyone here wanna top that?

      Or perhaps this is the year we get to test Erik’s theory from a few years ago, of getting widespread snow cover in the Columbia Basin right before a ridge/inversion event starts – and see if we end up with a “homegrown arctic airmass” forming right here in the Pacific Northwest!

    • Benjamin (West Salem) says:

      If this winter ends up neutral then I think we have a decent shot at seeing at least a few exciting weather events. I’m sure as we head into Fall we will hear more about it. If I remember right last year was neutral and 08/09 was neutral, as well as 03/04….

    • Karl Bonner says:

      Remember that cold neutral and warm neutral are two different things as well…the 08-09 “neutral” season was very close to counting as La Niña, and the two most recent winters were in the -0.3 to -0.6 range most of the season. I’d imagine that a typical -0.5 season would look a bit different than a typical +0.5 one, if you dug up the old data…

    • High Desert Mat says:

      Ben, I believe the winter of ’03-’04 was an el Nino winter. That same winter we saw snow falling the day after Halloween. And again a few times in November and then we all know what happened at the end of December and into January. Dont remember the exact data but I think we were in actual el Nino category with a +.5C or higher with the sst’s. Correct me if I’m wrong please.

  18. The Bad Forecaster says:

    Major CAT 5 hurricane near the Southern California Coast. Now that is surely something of interest even if it is down near Baja right now.

    I made mention to a few others outside of the blog here that the Eastern Pacific tropical season is really cranking away this year. It seems to be really enhancing the monsoon season over many of the Rocky Mountain areas but not every where this year. It has been brought to my attention by a private sector meteorologist that parts of Southern Idaho this month have had over 7 inches of rain so far with still 7 days to go in the month. Idaho Falls has had 13 thunderstorm days this month alone and I got a report of two tornadoes over in that region as well this month.

    What I am at least wondering here is that if we are seeing so much tropical system activity this season in the Eastern Pacific, then will the impending El Nino that the NOAA Climate Prediction Center be an El Nino for the record books if it happens? I suppose time will tell on that and for what it is worth it may be worthwhile to look back at hurricane frequency records compared to past El Ninos to really see if the strength of the hurricane season in the Eastern Pacific translates to the strength of an El Nino in the Pacific.

  19. carnyfriday says:

    That is an amazing looking storm! Its the only thing about Portland I don’t like. The rarity of really great storms. Once a long, long time ago, I wanted to be a meteorologist, but it was a frowned upon profession for girls.

    • The Bad Forecaster says:

      It surely is not frowned upon now carnyfriday. In fact I remember when I was at the Pacific Northwest Workshop back in 2010 in Seattle there was a special meeting before the main workshop put together by Meteorologist M.J. McDermott at KCPQ 13 up this way in Seattle. M.J.’s meeting was called “Women In Weather”. It was sort of like a luncheon according to M.J. who I talked to and had lunch with at the NOAA campus cafeteria in Seattle two days later.

      From my perspective, I could not handle the higher math to be a meteorologist but I found there were still ways I could contribute. I became a NWS Seattle weather spotter in 2002 and have been one ever since in their volunteer spotter program. In 2006 I joined the Community Collaborative Rain Hail and Snow Network which is now online across the nation and just a few years later I became an admin with that organization based out of Colorado State University. You too can join at and help Mark and NWS Portland get daily rainfall totals for your area.

      Last but not least surely, I got to serve two winters as a National Park Service Ranger on Mount Rainier and my primary duty while managing the snowplay area up at Paradise was to take the cooperative site weather observations at the Paradise weather station when I was on duty each morning. Some days it was easier than others to get to the weather station because of the enormous amounts of snow that can fall up there. In the middle of winter 15 to 25 inches of snow up there is pretty common and typically the snowpack piles up to 15 to 20 feet. Just driving to the ranger station up there at 5,420 feet can be a real challenge. It was surely a duty that was rewarding and I got to do public service for my country since I was unable to join the military because of my heart issue way back in 1988.

      Don’t ever let a dream fade away, there is always some way to make it happen. 🙂

  20. Shane in Vancouver says:

    I tried to get people to keep the peace and failed miserably. I hope that this blog can continue professionally and that we can all make it a really great winter season with plenty of legit analysis and convo! I also think everyone owes Mark a huge apology. I’ll be first to apologize

  21. W7ENK says:

    That is a magnificent looking storm! It would be really interesting to see that thing hold together and ride up the West Coast!

    Sure glad I missed the big blowup this weekend. I heard about it, but I spent my weekend down in Astoria salmon fishing at Buoy 10. Mark, I’m sorry you have to keep dealing with this. Hopefully this solution will work.

    • umpire says:

      So, Eric, did you catch enough to invite us over for the Labor Day bar-b-cue? Or did the dome follow you to buoy 10, becoming a “fishless dome”? 😉

    • W7ENK says:

      No dome, thankfully! It took a while, but we limited the boat. I can now say that I am no longer a salmon virgin, and what’s even better is my first one was an 18 pound silver! Both Laura and our guide/friend said that it was probably the largest coho they’d ever seen… So I guess if you’re gonna do it, do it right, right? 😆

      We also hauled in a 30 pound ‘nook, but that one didn’t have my name on it. I can’t wait to go again!! ^_^

      As for a Labor Day BBQ, we’ll be disappearing into the desert for the long weekend.

  22. schmit44 says:

    8/24/2014 Oregon (All) Temperature Summary

    High:94 at Medford Viaduct(1360 ft) & CW6811 Grants Pa(947 ft)
    Low: 64 at JUNIPR(359 ft)

    High:48 at HOWARD Mt Howard(8150 ft) & PRAWS 2 (HURRICA(8754 ft)
    Low: 27 at DIMLKE (4726 ft )

    Largest Diurnal Change: 49 degrees
    CW5507 Camp Sher (84/35 ) (3020 ft )

    Heaviest Rainfall:
    1.09″ at PATJENS(2170ft)
    0.52″ at PRAWS 2 (HURRICA(8754ft)
    0.45″ at ROBERTS BUTTE(4263ft)
    0.42″ at CW2627 Pendleton(1512ft)

  23. High Desert Mat says:

    53 here in Redmond now. Looks to be warmer the next few days before a cool down. Fall is right around the corner. Here’s to an exciting winter.

  24. geo says:

    Any chance that hurricane will have an impact on the Hawaiian islands? my son is stationed on Oahu.

  25. Mark Nelsen says:

    The 5 are Rob, Timmy, Brian, Greg, and Mat. Plus No Snow/Joshua, who appears to be one of you anyway!

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