Afternoon Wind Storm More Likely

All models and the NWS are now hopping on the Windstorm Express!

Here’s the latest at 8:40am…

  • Gusty south wind will arrive in the western valleys around Eugene by noon
  • It then spreads north to the Portland metro area sometime in the early afternoon
  • Southerly gusts 45-60 mph are likely.
  • National Weather Service has issued a High Wind Warning for the Portland Metro Area and valleys.
  • We haven’t seen widespread gusts in this range in quite a few years…especially if lots of us get over 50 mph.
  • Coastal gusts will be in the 70-80 mph range on the central coast, maybe a bit lighter on the north coast.  Same timing as valleys
  • Prepare for lots of power outages and some trees knocked down
  • As the wind starts to arrive around noon, temperatures may jump close to 70 briefly…enjoy that!
  • Wind will be much calmer after 7pm

12z models are in agreement, even our weak RPM shows wind gusts around 50 mph through the whole valley now.


The 12z NAM has stronger gusts than the 00z showed:


The 12z WRF-GFS isn’t out yet.

I’m still a little concerned about the mature-looking low.  Totally wrapped up in itself which isn’t generally a good sign.  But it won’t be weakening much and its movement will be accelerating.

There are very few cases of a deep low moving so close to the coastline at such a steep angle (south to north).  Generally lows track more SW-NE.  I scanned a bunch of past storms and found just one that was similar in track and depth…March 1, 1974.  Here is a link to Wolf Read’s summary of that storm.  It produced a gust to 61 at PDX and 64 at SLE.  The center of this low will be a bit farther north though.

I’ll be at the OMSI What Will the Winter Be Like meeting until around noon, then probably post after that time.  By the way it’s free, from 10am to noon, and in the auditorium.

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen


25 Responses to Afternoon Wind Storm More Likely

  1. The Bad Forecaster says:

    Just a slight wind picking up here in Southeast Tacoma as of 2:47 PM. NWS Seattle has issue a high wind warning for here and that is the first in longer than I can even remember. Current wind SE-11 and pressure is falling through the floor (rapidly) at 29.29 inches. I have not seen it that low for quite some time either. Obvious warmth is coming up from the south as it is 60 degrees so far outside which also the high so far for today.

  2. JJ78259 says:

    Keep those updates coming Mark my favorite wind storm was in 1995, tree fell against the house and out of power for 14 hours.

  3. vernonia1 says:

    wind is definitely here…lights flickered twice

  4. B1900 Pilot says:

    Picking up some higher wind gusts here in Bethany area. Gusting 25 mph.

  5. 1000+ without power in Marion county. Rel humidity dropped 33% in one hour. Wind gusting in 40s

  6. Gusting to 40 in Salem now. Mary’s Peak has hit 91mph.

  7. Jake@BlueLake says:

    “I’m still a little concerned about the mature-looking low”.

    Given the excitement of getting a decent weather occurrence in Portland, it is hard for the layman weather watcher to read this. Asking anyone since I know Mark is busy today. Is he concerned it may take the punch out of this OR put more punch in it?

  8. Wind just picked up in Salem

  9. vernonia1 says:

    WOW love this….showing all of the OR/SW WA coast

  10. schmit44 says:

    Follow the storm coverage on Facebook with Mark Nelsen and 873 other weather amateur/professionals. This group has been active since March 15 2011. Just ask to join if you’d like to participate.

  11. paulbeugene says:

    Was a more turbulent plane ride from Seatac to Eugene than I am used to this morning. Interesting cloud formations along the way, cool to fly through the dry slot. Winds should start down here in about 40 minutes.

    if PDX-EUG gradient of 10mb happens, that would be very significant, per Wolf Read blog.

  12. Muxpux (Castle Rock 175') says:

    So what’s te reasoning for the drop off of wind speed north of PDX? Geography? Location? Placement of the low? Combo?

    • Benjamin (West Salem) says:

      Location I believe. The strongest winds with these storms are always to the south of the Low pressure system. Really any one north of Olympia will not have real strong winds with this one, cause they will stay north of the low.

  13. W7ENK says:

    Gonna be an interesting day!

    It already has…

  14. IanO says:

    When does this qualify as at least a tropical storm?

  15. Yeah, I remember the March 1974 event. Was waiting in line for gas during the energy shortage days!

  16. halverbk says:

    Thanks for the late update, Mark, with the forum in a short while. It will be tough for the crowd to focus on the presentations. Sounds like a much bigger issue than the thunderstorm we had during the forum a few years back. Daddy needs a new weather station to use today!

    • Boydo3 N. Albany says:

      There’s nice campground on Cape Blanco that has a few campsites facing the ocean. That would be impressive…HANG ON TO THE TENT!!

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