Unusually Strong East Wind Thursday

We’ll see a surprisingly strong east wind event here in the Portland Metro Area the next 24 hours; at least for early fall.  In fact the NWS has issued a wind advisory

MarkWarnings_High Wind

The Highlights:

  • Gusty east wind arrives in the western Gorge and foothills of the Cascades after midnight.  Those of you in those areas may wake up to trees blowing around, or your lawn furniture flying.  This includes Battle Ground, Hockinson, Sandy, Welches, Estacada, Boring etc…
  • The wind will spread across the rest of the metro area around sunrise or soon after
  • Peak gusts are likely between sunrise and 3pm
  • 55-65 mph in the western Gorge
  • 40-45 mph eastern metro area (east of I-205) and foothill locations mentioned above
  • 30-35 mph anywhere else in the orange area
  • These speeds are more typical for late fall, not the 11th of September.  So we’ll probably see scattered power outages, some fruit ripped off trees, cornstalks flattened in the windy areas, and a few trees down.
  • The rest of the lower elevations, coastline, & eastern Oregon will just be breezy, nothing too wild.

Details:

Cold high pressure is sliding south through the Rockies, bringing the first snow of the season for those areas.  The air spreading out from that high pressure is pushing northeast wind across the Pacific Northwest right now.  The easterly wind has made it into the east end of the Columbia River Gorge at 6pm.

I’m impressed by the strength of the pressure gradient and winds just above the surface tomorrow.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen a 7-8 millibar gradient through the Gorge in early September.  That’s what the UW WRF-GFS model is forecasting.

Take a look at the cross-section from the WRF-GFS:  

New Scene

You read it in reverse time-wise.  Time runs along the bottom, from this morning at 5am on the right side to Saturday afternoon at 5pm on the left side.  The bottom is here at the surface, and the 700 up top is around 10,000′ elevation.   The green colors are relative humidity above 70%.  Obviously after midday today the atmosphere was going to be quite dry…no clouds in sight through the weekend!  The wind barbs are a bit simpler, they flow with the wind direction.  Each barb is 10 kts and the triangle means 50 kts.  You can see the rapid increase in wind overhead tonight in the area I’ve circled.  By 5-8am Thursday winds are blowing 50-60 mph several thousand feet above the ground here in the metro area;  I’ve never seen the 50 knot barbs over us before Halloween!  The result is the possibility of damaging wind in spots tomorrow, especially since we don’t usually have east wind this strong while leaves are on the trees.

The real strong stuff only sticks around 10-12 hours, but then dry easterly flow (more like last week’s) continues through next Monday.  

There is one bonus…if your power goes out for a few hours when it’s sunny and 75 degrees, is that really such a big deal?  Better than when it’s icy and 25 degrees!

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

24 Responses to Unusually Strong East Wind Thursday

  1. Garron near Washington Square says:

    Cliff Mass’s latest blog about the blob, while entertaining, will be interesting to watch as the developing El Nino and warm waters off our coast converge. Will we have endless summer again this year? The latest info suggest we will…

    http://www.cliffmass.blogspot.com/

  2. John Liu says:

    Just give me weather! Interesting, changing, fun weather. Not endless hot sunny days. I like this wind. I even liked bicycling into it on my commute home today.

  3. W7ENK says:

    VOLCANIC ACTIVITY STATEMENT

    DTG: 20140911/1947Z

    VAAC: WASHINGTON

    VOLCANO: ST. HELENS 321050 PSN: N4611 W12210

    AREA: US-WASHINGTON

    SUMMIT ELEV: 8363 FT (2549 M)

    ADVISORY NR: 2014/001

    INFO SOURCE: GOES-EAST. PILOT REPORT.

    ERUPTION DETAILS: RESUSPENDED VA DUE TO HIGH WINDS

    OBS VA DTG: 11/1900Z

    OBS VA CLD: SFC/FL085 N4635 W12300 – N4615 W12205 – N4611 W12212 – N4623 W12306 – N4635 W12300 MOV W 10-15KT

    FCST VA CLD +6HR: 12/0100Z SFC/FL085 NO ASH EXP

    FCST VA CLD +12HR: 12/0700Z NO ASH EXP

    FCST VA CLD +18HR: 12/1300Z NO ASH EXP

    RMK: NO ERUPTION IS OCCURRING. A PIREP INDICATED BLOWING VA TO FL085 AT 1750Z. STLT IMAGERY SHOWED A NARROW PLUME EXTENDING 20 NMI WNW OF THE

    http://www.wunderground.com/US/OR/006.html#VOL

  4. Lauraholic says:

    My windchimes are busy today. I am loving this!! =)

  5. Aleta says:

    Winds have been whipping around since midnight in Gresham. I’d say the gusts are at least 40 mph at my place.

  6. W7ENK says:

    UNUSUALLY STRONG AND WIDESPREAD EAST WIND WARNING
    NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE PORTLAND OR
    542 AM PDT THU SEP 11 2014

    http://inws.wrh.noaa.gov/weather/alertinfo/18680140

  7. schmit44 says:

    9/10/2014 Oregon (All) Temperature Summary

    Warmest:
    High:94 at EW4856 Brookings(1365 ft) & RED MOUND(1753 ft) & EW1735 Central P(1285 ft) & CW6811 Grants Pa(947 ft) & ILLINOIS VALLEY(1389 ft)
    Low: 68 at RED MOUND(1753 ft)

    Coldest:
    High:44 at HOWARD Mt Howard(8150 ft)
    Low: 23 at DIMLKE (4726 ft )

    Largest Diurnal Change: 57 degrees
    KLAMATH NWR (83/26 ) (4531 ft )

  8. paulbeugene says:

    X-class solar flared directed toward Earth, perhaps a chance to see northern lights in mid latitudes PM Friday…if not for the full moon

  9. Tyler Mode says:

    Humidity is down to 50% now, the lowest of the day.

    It’s like someone flipped a switch here.

  10. Wow. 00z 4km now has 50kts down to 975mb. It just gets a notch stronger with each run. Also of note is the dramatic ramping up in winds in about a 1-2 hour period. Impressive and fun! Wind Advisory looks to verify nicely, but is there an outside chance at a High Wind Warning? Eh, I can’t quite go there yet, but 50kts projected now at just 1000′ aloft(975mb = 1060.5′ in the atmosphere to be exact.) could be a game changer. We’ll have to see how things look as this event in developing.

  11. Tyler Mode says:

    The east wind has arrived in Battle Ground.

    Just had a random gust to 10 mph. Temp went from 57 to 60 and my humidity dropped from 82 to 68%

  12. Tyler Mode says:

    65-70 mph winds at Crown Point…and near 70 temps? Sweet!

    Curious to see when the wind picks up tonight. How low will the temp go before things get kicked up.

    Offshore just picking up…

    http://wxweb.meteostar.com/cgi-bin/meteogram/metgram_pdiff.cgi?ICAO=KPDX+KDLS

  13. I can feel it coming in the air tonight. Fall, that is…

  14. Should have planted my corn earlier, I guess. Lost some last weekend. Still a couple of weeks from harvest.

    • Mark Nelsen says:

      When I lived in the windy parts of Corbett it flattened my corn a couple of times. If it is regularly wind (Iowa), the corn has strong roots, but when light winds all summer turn to one day with gusts 50+…that doesn’t work.

  15. Larry says:

    Is a Vista House trip a good idea? Looks like it may be.

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