It ended up being a decent windstorm for us. Not a really big storm, but not just a windy day either.
- 76,000 PGE customers out at the height of the storm.
- Peak gust 49 mph at PDX, 51 mph at Salem
- This was the strongest October windstorm in my career here in Portland (23 years)
- My forecast windspeeds at 10pm last night were a little high. I said 45-60 mph gusts and most spots were close to 45. That said, at the time there were no watches/warnings/advisories up for wind and none showed up until 3am, so I don’t feel too bad.
Here are the peak gusts…
A 60 mph gust didn’t make it onto the map in the SW hills of Portland and a 47 mph gust in the Felida area north of Vancouver. There was a 70 mph gust reported down at sea level at the Port of Vancouver. That doesn’t appear to reflect reality, so I’m calling cow dung on that one. Especially with Vancouver Airport 43 mph just a mile or two away!
Spread out over the entire area, this storm was stronger than anything we saw last winter. Yes I know in mid February there were gusts over 50 mph in a swath right through the middle of Portland, but most other locations had stronger wind today. Couple that with leaves on the trees and that’s probably how we got so many more lines down.
The low track and intensity was pretty good, although models were a bit too high on the central pressure, it ended up close to 980 millibars instead of the 985-990 models forecast. Wind speeds were slightly too strong on the wind gust graphics from the WRF-GFS and ECMWF, although close enough! Pressure gradients were forecast well (16.9mb EUG-OLM), although peak wind generally showed up well before the peak gradient from Eugene to Olympia. The EUG-PDX gradient peaked at 9.9mb.
Hope you all had fun tracking/following it! And of course I hope that you all get power back on soon too. It’s going to take awhile…
What are YOUR thoughts on the storm? Go ahead, my feelings aren’t easily hurt.
Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen