Oregon Coast & Central Oregon: Worst Radar Coverage in The Country

Cliff Mass up at the UW just blogged about something the meteorological community already knows in Oregon…we’ve been left out in the cold with radar coverage.  Take a look at the image:


Isn’t that terrible?  A lot of “weather action” goes on in the lowest 5,000′ of the atmosphere.  From Newport south along the coast we can’t see ANYTHING below about 8,000′.  That is the worst coastal radar coverage in the entire country!  Amusing that NOAA moved their headquarters to Newport; right in that location!  One would think that might have inspired a change but it hasn’t so far.  Another spot is central Oregon.  In fact during most snowstorms in central Oregon the radar is blank…like yesterday.  They had 4-7″ of snow and we wouldn’t know it except for observations on the ground.  It’s amazing that 100,000+ people live in the area yet they don’t have decent radar coverage.  It is true that in the summer we can basically see where the thunderstorms are over there due to the height of the storms, but low level details (below 6,000′) can’t be detected in the Redmond/Bend areas.  There is actually a 3rd populated are that has pretty bad coverage…Eugene.  The radar beam is way up around 10,000′ down there as well.  You’ll notice when weather systems approach from the south, even though it may be pouring in Eugene, real light stuff just gradually shows up on the radar. That’s pathetic as well.

What to do about it?  Contact your senator/congressman I suppose.  Cliff implies that Oregon’s delegation wasn’t interested 7 years ago when the coastal radar in Washington was first discussed.  At the time he was pushing hard for two radars, one at Ocean Shores (where it is now), and one near Florence (OR).  A third on Pine Mtn. SE of Bend would have been nice!  But that’s just dreaming.  Apparently due to lack of interest he gave up pushing for the Oregon coastal radar.  It would be interesting to see if there would be more interest now that NOAA is centered down there.

Now that you’re depressed about our radar coverage…Enjoy the sunshine this weekend!

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

129 Responses to Oregon Coast & Central Oregon: Worst Radar Coverage in The Country

  1. Jason Hougak says:

    Freezing weather has reached clear down to the gulf coast,

  2. Boydo3 N. Albany says:

    Still thinking, hoping the Cascades get some pass level snow this weekend to add a bit to the snow pack (if it doesn’t all go away before then)

  3. Jason Hougak says:

    💤 no new blog entry… weather must be boring…
    Mt. Hood did have sum amazing alpenglow this evening. Sleet still holding strong in the shade here. Already 33F.
    How’s it going Mat? That Redmond icebox getting a lid overhead yet… or can you still see the mtns.?

  4. W7ENK says:

    I’m sort of lamenting the fact that we didn’t get any snowfall on Thursday, and a little jealous of those that did. We could have just had 5 days in a row with snow on the ground in Portland. In November. We could have also challenged some record lows. It may have also set the stage for more wintry precip in Portland come Wednesday.

    But instead, no dice. 😦

    I do have a feeling that won’t be the end of the East winds and ice for the winter…

    • Tyler Mode says:

      Still a trace on the ground here.

      It’s funny how I see this little left over snow doesn’t affect anyone’s daily life really.

      To me however, it’s impressive to have this little snow on the ground for so long. I’ve seen several inches melt in a matter of hours.

  5. Temps in the Willamette Valley running a couple degrees cooler than this time yesterday as an inversion begins to set up.

  6. Don Sherwood 200ft. says:

    21 Monday. 23 Sunday. 20 Saturday. Sherwood.

  7. Tyler Mode says:

    I’m headed up to the gorge today to photograph the falls and experience the wind! Taking my mom as she has never experienced either of those 🙂

    Starting the morning off at 21 here.

  8. schmit44 says:

    11-16-2014 Historic day in Redmond, OR today with the coldest temperature of all-time reported in the month of November at -19°F

  9. Jason Hougak says:

    NovemBrrrr… hey Mat, trip check in Redmond shows -2.0F at 9PM. Hope you and the fam are staying warm. Sisters is 1.4F, while Santiam Pass is a balmy 17.2F @ 4800′, can anyone say inversion!

    • High Desert Mat says:

      The fam is staying warm. High didn’t make it much above 20 today. Low was freezing grrrr. Actually my cat ran outside last night and I ran after her and found her 2 min later hiding under my back steps meowing and shivering. Thank god I found her otherwise I know she would be a popsicle right now. She hasn’t tried to run out since.

    • pappoose in scappoose says:


    • Jason Hougak says:

      “That’s what I said”

  10. kcteach (SW Gresham) says:

    Went to Hood River on Saturday for the night. A couple of cars flipped on the way within about 6 miles of HR. So much of I84 doesn’t get any sunlight to melt the ice. Low of 10 degrees last night. Love HR but some slow driving coming home, even with 4 wheel drive. Saw a fresh accident today with a car that slid into a tree and the guy with a bandage on his head and ambulance on the way. Crazy winds pushing my 4Runner all over the road.

    • pappoose in scappoose says:

      Sounds like fun!

    • David B. says:

      “slow driving coming home, even with 4 wheel drive”

      Always a wise policy. Every car had 4-wheel stop. 4WD doesn’t buy you a thing when it comes to braking (though amazingly many fools seem to believe it does).

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