A Windy Day, And A Tornado That Never Was

The gusty southerly wind showed up as expected this morning, with peak gusts in the 25-35 mph range for most of us.  PDX hit 35 mph.  That of course prompted some scattered power outages, but those were pretty much gone by early afternoon.

Around 4pm we got an email from a viewer that thought a tornado may have gone through the part of Woodburn just west of the Outlet Stores.  So we sent a reporter down to check it out.  I assumed it probably wasn’t much, but you never know.  In the past I’ve found that unless several viewers call/email/tweet from a populated area like that, there’s a good chance that it wasn’t a tornado.  So I was surprised when I read two tweets (from other news organizations) that said there was a small tornado in Woodburn.  I said “What?”, fearing I had fallen woefully behind in the information business.  I checked the “pre-2010” channels of National Weather Service information, which involves checking Public Weather Statements and Storm Reports…Nothing.  So then I went to the “pre-2000” level…I called the NWS.  Of course they said “What?” too, noting they sent a team down to investigate but as of that time (5pm), there was no tornado.

Sure enough, damage pictures came in from our reporter Laura Rillos…

Woodburn Tornado 3 Woodburn Tornado 1

and showed what the NWS told us in a Tweet around 6pm…”Storm survey concludes down tree limbs on Butteville Rd (west of Woodburn Outlet Mall) was from 30-40mph straight line winds & NOT a tornado

It was just a heavy shower that sent out a strong straight-line wind.  A lot of drama for that, but it sure made two hours of TV pass quickly!

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

21 Responses to A Windy Day, And A Tornado That Never Was

  1. JohnD says:

    I just read in the “Portland Tribune” that the “What The Winter Will Be Like…” Conference @ OMSI will be on October 25 @ 10:00 a.m. Can anyone confirm that? I may have already missed it on the Blog.

  2. Austin_Eastvancouver says:

    So who won the wind contest mark? Was it 18mph? Huh huh

  3. WEATHERDAN says:

    66 and mostly sunny in Salem as of 1:00 PM. So far we have picked up .87 of rain this week.
    sure feels like Autumn. Peace.

  4. Jo R says:

    Yesterday we were at our daughter’s high school soccer game in Canby and were warned about a funnel cloud sighting SE of us. If sighted we were to take cover in baseball dugout. Just sharing!

  5. Paul D says:

    According to the 7day forecast graphic today is supposed to be sunny and 73……

  6. schmit44 says:

    10/15/2014 Oregon (All) Temperature Summary

    High:68 at Rye Valley(I-84(2230 ft) & ECHO(758 ft) & JUNIPR(359 ft) & HERMISTON(550 ft)
    Low: 56 at BROOKS(187 ft) & WYETH(102 ft)

    High:35 at Timberline Lodge(7001 ft)
    Low: 26 at CRANE PRAIRIE (5500 ft )

    Largest Diurnal Change: 31 degrees
    RED BUTTE (64/33 ) (4460 ft )

    Heaviest Rainfall:
    2.11″ at SOUTH FORK(2257ft)
    1.90″ at SNOW MOUNTAIN(6220ft)
    1.64″ at WILKINSON RIDGE(1346ft)
    1.49″ at WH6KO St Helens(79ft)
    1.42″ at MEARES Cape Mear(1421ft)
    1.41″ at HEBOWX Mt. Hebo(3160ft)

  7. W7ENK says:

    So, right… a funnel cloud reportedly touches down and does damage in Woodburn. NWS says no, it was straight line winds. Now, a photo of a funnel cloud surfaces that was taken in the same area, at the same time, and NWS says there’s no connection, still sticking to the straight line winds theory??

    Am I the only one that finds this a little odd?

    FWIW, I don’t believe in coincidence…

  8. W7ENK says:

    No tornadoes, only more burrito wrappers reflecting in the windshield..

    • Mark Nelsen says:

      There was one particularly nasty (and well-intentioned) comment replying to the “burritos” part of your comment but I didn’t let it through. I should point out this is a long running inside joke about a burrito wrapper reflecting in a windshield and has nothing to do with Woodburn or the ethnicity of the area. But I can see how the the comment could be perceived as racist otherwise.

    • W7ENK says:

      Oh… I didn’t even think about that. My apologies to anyone who may have interpreted my comment as racist. Definitely not my intention!

      I will dig back to see if I can’t find the post that spawned the joke… 😮

    • W7ENK says:

      Found it…

      It was the photo in this post from March 2013 that started the joke:

    • W7ENK says:

      And then there was this…


    • W7ENK says:

      And as for the (removed) comment, I question how “well intentioned” it truly was. I’d consider it inappropriate, rude and blatantly inflammatory — regardless of context — however…

      I just hope that after being brought up to speed, (the person who left the comment) now sees the err in their assertion and realizes that I’m actually the farthest thing from (first word in said description), but wholly proud to admit that (second word in said description) is in fact accurate. 😀

      No worries, I didn’t take it personally.
      Simple misunderstanding.

    • Garron near Washington Square says:

      Of course we are all hungry for burritos now! Thanks a lot!

    • Jethro (Canby ~187') says:

      I know what you mean, Garron. All this talk really makes me want to head to Luis’ Taqueria [in Woodburn] to get a really good burrito. By the way, Erik; thanks for posting the “funnel cloud / burrito wrapper” history — I always wondered where that reference came from.

    • GTS1K' says:

      Erik’s working on his comment count, too.


    • W7ENK says:

      Still holding 90th percentile in your blackened little heart…

      C’mon kiddo, keep it above the belt.

  9. Tyler Mode says:

    Pretty isolated damage, but yes, no swirling motion noted in the debris.

    Just a peak wind of 27 mph here in BG.

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