9pm…Storm Wrapup

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

48 Responses to 9pm…Storm Wrapup

  1. Jason Hougak says:

    Weak El Niño or not I always hold onto the fact that this is weather and it’s anybody’s guess or prediction until it’s all said and done.
    I can’t wait for the next record snowfall. My neighbors talk of having four feet on the ground in the 70’s.

  2. WEATHERDAN says:

    Nice sunny day and 59 at 1:00 PM. All but assured of having our warmest October ever. Consensus of presenters at OMSI weather conference on Saturday was increased chances of warmer and drier than normal this Winter for us. Though long range forecasting is constantly getting better going 4 months out is not much better than an educated guess. Still I believe that it will be somewhat warmer than normal this Winter. Maybe a little snow here and there but probably nothing like last Winter. But I guess we won’t really know until next March. Peace.

    • William Holbert says:

      In Washougal we had Hail,very blustery.Max wind I had was 36 MPH. We are 2 miles from Columbia Elevation 537′ . We also experienced power outage briefly,20 seconds or so.Than again another flicker.Had to reset TV. Really a wild day with Hail Covering our front yard and deck.

  3. schmit44 says:

    10/26/2014 Oregon (All) Temperature Summary

    High:63 at CW5925 Coos Bay( 49 ft) & HEPP(311 ft) & DUNES(120 ft) & Rye Valley(I-84(2230 ft)
    Low: 54 at Port Orford(0 ft)

    High:27 at Mount Hood Meado(6601 ft)
    Low: 20 at HOWARD Mt Howard (8150 ft )

    Largest Diurnal Change: 24 degrees
    Burns Municipal (52/28 ) (4144 ft )

    Heaviest Rainfall:
    2.50″ at RED HILL(4400ft)
    2.30″ at BLAZED ALDER(3650ft)
    2.10″ at NORTH FORK(3120ft)
    2.06″ at LOG CREEK(2800ft)
    1.80″ at MT HOOD TEST SIT(5400ft)

  4. High Desert Mat says:

    Hey Jason, what about the Halloween of ’03? If I recall we had wet snow in the morning of November 1st and I was living at NE 20th and Couch in Portland. Pretty much sea level. So I would assume that snow was sticking and piling up at ‘500 feet and above as well. What a great winter that was.

    • David B. says:

      I remember that year. It got really cold in late October, lows well into the 20s. Snowed a few inches in Bellingham but absolutely nothing in Seattle where I was living at the time.

      It was basically a super-early Arctic Blast. Bellingham had a day or two of cold dry east winds.

    • W7ENK says:

      I was living down in K Falls then, I was freshly in my “new” apartment. A few of my Portland friends drove down for Hallowe’en, which was on a Friday. It started snowing HUGE wet flakes at around 9 or 10pm, sticking everywhere but the pavement. We (as young 20-somethings) ran all over my neighborhood, playing in the snow like kids.

      Saturday was cold but clear, roads were patchy ice. We spent the day shopping for tire chains for my friend’s 1989 Buick LeSabre Estate Wagon, actually found some at Bi-Mart that fit. I had a party that evening and the cops showed up at 10:04pm on a noise complaint, though we were all inside and everyone from the apartment building (just 3 units) was over at my party. Cops said they stood outside for a few minutes and didn’t hear anything. No citations issued, but still lame.

      Sunday evening it started snowing HARD just as my friends piled into the wagon to begin their drive back to Portland. They showed back up about 45 minutes later, they couldn’t see the road and didn’t think they were going to make it, so they crashed at my place for another night. Woke up Monday morning to about 4-5 more inches of snow, the road was plowed and there was a waist-high, hard as rock snow bank blocking the driveway. I walked down to the street and watched the local school bus slide to a stop at a 45 degree angle at the corner, all the kids running into the adjacent yard to get out of the way, then climbing on the bus. I thought that was ridiculous, and I couldn’t get my car down to the road anyway, so I decided to bag going to class. Friends left around noon after blasting through the snow bank Chevy Chase style. 😆

      Good times!

    • High Desert Mat says:

      That winter as well was a weak el nino with sst’s I believe at .3-.5C above average. Also el ninoish that it was active thru first week of ’04 and then the weather stalled and nothing else happened the rest of the winter.

    • W7ENK says:

      Yeah, I’m kind of leaning towards a 2003/2004 redux, or maybe 1995/1996. Not necessarily with the same sets of extreme events recurring, but perhaps similar. Imagine January 2004, only remove much the snow, leaving just the ice, and for not quite as long. I think it was January 1996 that had a lot of ice, too.

      Basically, I’m thinking PDX ice storm in January. Cold sets in on the evening of the 19th with minimal snowfall (flurries, graupel, dusting,) as the arctic front passes, clear and cold 20th-22nd, maybe we flirt with flurries one more time. 23rd clouds move in early and cap daytime heating, approaching low draws reinforcing cold air down the Gorge. Moisture overrides late in the afternoon, North of Vancouver starts as snow that quickly changes to rain, Northern Willamette Valley (Portland metro) gets ZR except the far West side, and Wilsonville/Woodburn-South sees just cold rain. Day and a half or two days of ZR in Portland before the cold air scours out completely, 0.75 to 1.25 inch ice accumulation, heavier the closer you get to the Gorge.

      I’ll mark this on my calendar, let’s see how I do. 😀

    • David B. says:

      @Mat – Yeah, I remember thinking that year it was a waste of an Arctic Blast to have the only one that winter come so early in the season that the highs were in the mid-40s and the lows in the mid-20s, when it could have come a month or two later and been a whole lot colder.

    • High Desert Mat says:

      @Jason… We did have another arctic blast that winter. We had a prolonged arctic event around Xmas that year that went thru the first week of the new year. I remember lows just kept coming in to the south around Eugene to Salem and then would putter out and die which in turn didn’t scour out the cold air as they headed northeast over Pendleton. Cold air was drawn thru the gorge more that year than any other year I can remember. Alot of surprise snow/sleet events that year. Can you verify that Mark? It was close to when this blog started so I cant really look it up.

  5. Jason Hougak says:

    Next weekend lowering snow levels to pass level… hopefully this pans out.
    Snow is possible down to 500′ by Halloween. In 92 or 93 we had wet sticking snow in Boring late Halloween night. George ( Cascade Foothills) had nearly 6 inches of heavy wet snow. Folks where I live now still talk about the Halloween dump every year. That was over 20 years ago now! Crazy how fast time passes by.

  6. right wing says:

    I live in Boring and I didn’t lose power I consider myself Lucky.

  7. right wing says:

    The rain wasn’t too impressive from the storm however the wind was brutal. It seems the wind was bad for the power
    lines around town nor my driveway that was an absolute mess after the storm due to fur trees nearby.

  8. I agree with Mark’s thoughts and Storm Wrap-up.

    Very strong, gusty winds? Yes. BUT not exactly a Wind Storm. Although I had many gusts 42-47mph it more what I like to call a Wind Event. Since no gusts officially reached 50mph in the Portland/Vancouver metro area I put it as a High End Wind Event (G 40-50mph) Further south it was a bit stronger putting them briefly into ‘Low End Wind Storm’ category.

    I made my own scale to gauge from and to categorize such events.
    Low End Wind Event G 35-40
    High End Wind Event G 40-50
    Low End Wind Storm G 50-60
    High End Wind Storm G 60+

    It was a nice warm-up for sure. Although with a PDX-EUG gradient of 9.9mb what went wrong? That is a very steep and sharp gradient which given ideal conditions we could have seen gusts well over 70mph. Was it that the low was too wrapped up well into its maturity stage? Slowly weakening as it moved inland to our north? or were pressure rises a bit off from what was forecast?

    It is likely a combo of all three. It is not often, in fact rare that we see a low developing at such a deep southerly trajectory taking the ideal track like this. If you ask me we dodged yet another bullet and may have wasted our chance this Fall/Winter at the “big one.” Hard to know right now of course. Hopefully we’ll have more deep lows to track inside 130 W and see development well to the southwest in the “sweet spot”

    • SW says:

      Hi Rob,

      Any thoughts on Pete P. saying a strong analog year to this winter is 1968-1969. I mentioned in the blog a day or so ago that it seem statistically unlikely. With last year being in the 1972, 1980 category (in my opinion), it could be another 10, 20 years before we see a 1968-69 scenario; or I guess it could be this year!


  9. Jason Hougak says:

    Did see a number of transformer blow and light up the night sky

  10. Jason Hougak says:

    Got power back little after 10am.
    Spent an awesome night in the dark with Halloween decor and candles, stormy night with wood stove. Told spooky stories with kids. Put them to bed and went to pickup generator so wife could prepare food for party today.
    I quite enjoy no power with stormy nights, but they are much better during a raging snow storm… till then I’ll keep on dreaming!

  11. Hal in Aims says:


  12. W7ENK says:

    Peak gust at my location was SSE at 27.0 mph. That’s pretty good, considering my neighborhood is mostly sheltered to the South by a stand of 100’+ tall Doug Firs.

    Finally got back home about a quarter past 1am and a very large area including my neighborhood was without power. PGE had a line crew working on a main feeder down by the railroad about a mile away. So dark and so quiet, falling asleep was easy. I have no idea what time power was restored overnight, but everything was back on when I got up.

    Over all, that was a good little storm! 🙂

  13. The folks at work are overly “app” dependent when it comes to weather. Over the years, the analysis you provide along with all the WX blog critter comments have given me the reputation at work of being the guy to ask when it comes to tricky PNW forecasts.

    It’s like showing up to work with a box of Voodoo donuts. No, I did not make the donuts but I do know where to get a superior product. If you want a good donut go ask Jeremy…

    There is one drawback however. Circa 2014, weather is rarely a surprise. The excitement of not knowing is pretty much gone. It’s like the Mall Santa telling you what you are getting for Christmas. No Xbox for you Jonny, you will be getting a cat sweater.

    On more than one occasion my fellow workers have been exited about an impending “app” snowstorm. Jeremy, how much snow are we going to get? GFS and NWS say 6-8 inches. ECMWF/EURO and Mark say 38 and rain. Cat sweater for you.

  14. MasterNate says:

    We are caught under a steady stream of persistent showers stretching from McMinnville to the cascades. Dry to the North and Dry to the South.

  15. Hal in Aims says:

    big mess to clean up…….don’t think we lost any trees…..will check after getting the driveway and roof cleaned up…….

  16. Jason Hougak says:

    This is not going to be the start of a base as it looks snow level is going to jump again under this stubborn warm air mass.
    I’m thinking we are going to have a late winter ski season, will limp along and not pickup till mid January, then pattern shift into a prolong period of moist NW flow of powdery goodness!

  17. Jason Hougak says:

    Owe ya the SNOW is BACK!!!!!!!
    Still no power in George

  18. David B. says:

    Nothing epic, wasn’t an Inaugural Day or Hanukkah Eve storm, but it was the first good blow of the season. Saw flashes from shorting power lines but my power never did more than flicker once or twice.

  19. pappoose in scappoose says:

    29 °F and snow!

  20. pappoose in scappoose says:

    Was about a half hour period when I expected to hear a tree come down. Don’t think I lost any. Did hear some of the breaking/cracking wood noises coming out of the forest though.

    Coulda been worse. Glad it wasn’t, don’t have to spend the day cutting wood.
    Had a great time tracking/following it!

  21. Jason Hougak says:

    Lost power bout a quarter to five. Drove down road to get generator from work to find road blocked by down lines and tree. Was able to pickup generator by 9:30pm. Driving back found PGE left lines cut but removed from road, must have bigger fish to fry than us mountain folks. 11:30 still no power but have the generator running.
    ” You call this a storm…?”
    Hey checked out Tline cam and it’s snowing, they are finally getting measurable snow.

  22. Judy Waldal says:

    If you want a story go my sister-in-laws.The house and shop were hit by three trees. The thing of it all her husband died 2 years ago and she has to sell this house they lived in for 30 plus years. She was almost done with the repairs that renters and age had on the house, She and her sister were in the house at the time the trees were coming down they were just at the last stages of finishing it up. She has exhausted her saving to get it done and she has a very high deductible, she was going to put it on the market next week. contact me to get a hold of her.

  23. Jason says:

    I enjoyed the windstorm until it ripped a section of my fence off…to the large orange colored big box store I’ll go tomorrow.

  24. schmit44 says:

    10/25/2014 Oregon (All) Temperature Summary

    High:79 at DW7237 Pendleton(1145 ft)
    Low: 59 at KN1X Eugene(433 ft)

    High:38 at Rim(7050 ft)
    Low: 29 at CROW FLAT (5172 ft ) & Timberline Lodge (7001 ft ) & Mount Hood Meado (6601 ft ) & Rim (7050 ft )

    Largest Diurnal Change: 42 degrees
    Rome (74/32 ) (4049 ft )

    Heaviest Rainfall:
    2.49″ at QUAIL PRAIRIE LO(3183ft)
    2.20″ at BIGELOW CAMP(5120ft)
    2.18″ at CEDAR(2220ft)
    2.06″ at HEBOWX Mt. Hebo(3160ft)
    1.78″ at EW3367 Coos Bay(98ft)
    1.60″ at EW4856 Brookings(1365ft)

  25. Muxpux (Castle Rock 175') says:

    Had stronger wind here in kelso overnight 21st to 22nd, 38 vs 36. Very dry storm, looked amazing on
    The coast radar, looked like a hurricane!

  26. Joshua says:

    Solid wind. Not enough rain. Too warm. 6/10.

  27. Sarah says:

    You’re the best!! I feel so happy/blessed/honored to find your blog with your weather geekishness! There is absolutely nothing better now and forever than letting natural (I.e., uncontrollable) forces do their thing. Thank you for a wonderful, addictive (in the best way) blog.

    • pappoose in scappoose says:


    • SW says:

      Yes, it can be fun to read this blog, especially when the models are showing something of interest. Rob and Paul are great for giving analysis, and sometimes putting a little hope into our drab winters. Model ridding can be kind of fun… sometimes.

      Enjoy, and if your a snow lover, don’t get excited about anything more than a day or two out!


  28. Aleta says:

    My power just came back on. Not bad though, only out for 4 hours.

  29. JERAT416 says:

    Fun storm, just enough to make us excited!

  30. Peak gust at my home in Bellevue 56mph

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