Missing a Central Coast Radar This Evening

This evening is a good example of why we could use a radar on the central Oregon coastline.  Take a look at the satellite pic with radar overlay at 2pm:


You can see there have been a few lightning strikes along offshore, but we can’t see ANYTHING on the radar.  The Medford radar is too high up and can see only just offshore the southern coastline.  Eureka radar can see off of Brookings a bit.  The Portland radar doesn’t go that far southwest, which leaves us a bit blind for weather approaching Florence, Waldport, Newport, and Lincoln City.  But obviously some sort of heavy precipitation must be out there if a few lightning strikes are popping up along the approaching cold front right?  We’ll find out just before it arrives on the beaches.

Then at 4pm it looked like this:


Just the edges of the precipitation band are starting to appear very high up on Portland radar as it approaches the coastline.  We’ll see what arrives…

Sure would be nice to have a view of action moving onto the central Oregon coastline!  I mentioned this back in mid November in a posting about our terrible coastal coverage.

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

95 Responses to Missing a Central Coast Radar This Evening

  1. My son does snowboarding. He broke his arm on the BUNNY SLOPE last year at Timberline. I hope that by Jan 9 the bunny slope is open up there.

  2. schmit44 says:

    What a difference one year makes. 54 degrees warmer

  3. I’m surprised to see the 00z GFS/WRF has not backed off with the wind storm. Really impressive wind gusts on the 4km model. This would be a quick hitting intense damaging wind storm for Salem-PDX…. Forward speed is great… Track/trajectory is ideal…. yeah, if we see future runs not back off on this and deepen it below even 970mb, we’re in for it….We do need the ECMWF to come to an agreement too. Does this mean the ECMWF blinks and trends towards the possible wind storm scenario? ….

    • 00z GEM has 2 lows, one up near Vancouver Island, the other into northern California…. similar to the NAM….. Really you’d have to think the WRF is an outlier, but its consistency run after run can’t be ignored either…. ECMWF will set things straight…..

  4. Wendy-Silverlake, Wa says:

    December 8 and almost 9:00 and it’s 59 degrees outside. Crazy.
    I’m hoping with all the wind the next couple of days my sleigh and reindeer stay on the roof.

  5. ….El Niño Watch….
    Update prepared by:
    Climate Prediction Center / NCEP
    December 8 2014

    ENSO – neutral conditions continue.*
    Positive equatorial sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies continue across the Pacific Ocean. There is an approximately 65% chance of El Niño during the Northern Hemisphere winter, which is favored to last into the Northern Hemisphere spring 2015.*

    Last weeks SST Departures were:
    Niño 4: 0.9ºC
    Niño 3.4: 1.0ºC
    Niño 3: 0.9ºC
    Niño 1+2: 0.4ºC

    The new latest weekly SST departures are:
    Niño 4: 0.9ºC
    Niño 3.4: 0.8ºC
    Niño 3: 0.7ºC
    Niño 1+2: 0.0ºC
    *Interesting that we’re now seeing moderately strong cooling across the Equatorial Pacific except for Niño 4 region which held steady. Obviously if that were to continue I’d have to think the 65% chance of El Niño fully developing would be reduced with a Positive-neutral ENSO more likely.

    Latest ONI value(September-November): 0.5ºC
    This is borderline between Positive-neutral and weak El Niño.

    Full technical and detailed information can be found here:

  6. Wind storm? GFS/WRF has insisted on this possibility for Thursday especially for the central and northern Willamette Valley. A very tight and intense gradient couplet swings inland from roughly Albany to Kelso. PDX-EUG gradient peaks at a dangerous -12 to -14mb. 4km Wind model shows 65-70mph+ gusts from roughly noon to 6 PM. That would be a quick and intense damaging wind storm. The GEM is similar with the track, trajectory and strength as the GFS, but it weakens the low rapidly as it moves north towards the Olympic Peninsula.

    However, the NAM and ECMWF are at complete odds showing a much weaker wave moves inland along the central Oregon Coast with little to no wind impact. The jet is just way too splitty inside 130 W to near the OR/CA border and the ECMWF/NAM are picking up on this. I can’t see the spitty nature going away anytime soon either. What will 00z runs show tonight? Will we see models converging on the idea of a wind storm Thursday? Will the GFS/WRF continue with that idea? Does the weaker ECMWF or NAM begin to move towards the GFS solution? or does the GFS trend weaker? A lot of possibilities. I’m almost banking on the GFS being weaker. We shall see.

  7. Marc (East Vancouver) says:

    Mark having fun getting people excited with some of his posts on the Facebook group. He showed an 18z map showing gusts of 70mph in the valley.

  8. 7 day forecast looks very wet!

    • Marc (East Vancouver) says:

      Are you looking on the website or the on-air 7 day? The online version is not updated yet.

  9. PurpleHaze says:

    Man looks like we are going to have two boring winters in a row!

    In case people forgot in between the two short but severe cold periods last winter it was yuko pattern with no real progressive weather patterns.

    I hope this January isn’t going to be like last one which was socked in with spooky fog for most of the month and no snow for the mountains.

    What I DO LIKE is at least we are going to have some mild pacific storms which is a slight improvement over last year where storms fell apart as quickly as they showed up and they were mostly upper level events. Nothing deep or organized.

    • Dave in South Salem (500') says:

      Last winter was boring? January was, but December? We can’t complain too much if California is going to get most of our moisture this month…

    • Sapo says:

      Well last winter we had the February storm, which was great!

    • dharmabum says:

      “Is life not a thousand times too short for us to bore ourselves?”
      ~ Friedrich Nietzsche~

    • PurpleHaze says:

      Please reread! I said January! Snow Wizard on the Western Forums have recently made an excellent point on how our Januaries since the 1980s have been pretty pathetic.

      December has actually become our new January and January our new December.

    • Boydo3 N. Albany elev. just under 500' says:

      Ancient Mexican proverb…”wherever you are, you are there”…

    • dharmabum says:

      It’s your life, I’m just passin’ through it.

  10. W7ENK says:

    OMFG, it’s beautiful!!

    Too bad it won’t verify…

  11. I hate to say it, but similarities between 2002-03 and 2004-05 are really starting to emerge right now.

  12. paulbeugene says:

    GFS mm5 has windstorm Thurs 10am, gusts 60-70mph plus…but Euro has almost nothing noteworthy. Awaiting 12z euro

  13. Tyler Mode says:

    37 with high and mid level clouds this morning. Hoping for a nice sunrise.

  14. schmit44 says:

    12/7/2014 Oregon (All) Temperature Summary

    High:69 at Gold Beach (US 1( 60 ft)
    Low: 53 at OCNSID Oceanside(22 ft)

    High:31 at BARNHT(894 ft)
    Low: 17 at CROW FLAT (5172 ft )

    Largest Diurnal Change: 29 degrees
    PRARIE CITY (52/23 ) (3753 ft )

    Heaviest Rainfall:
    0.22″ at WAMIC MILL(3320ft)

  15. paulbeugene says:

    Looks windy Thursday morning/afternoon. GFS has fairly intense low center moving rapidly NNE over NW Oregon with sustained winds (not gusts) in Willamette Valley of over 35-40 knots.

    That would translate to gusts easily in to 50s mph in Willamette Valley, particularly in south valley. Still four days away worth watching for High Wind Watches/Warnings, etc.

  16. Marc (East Vancouver) says:

    Remember the people who said “it’s only November and we have an arctic blast.. Imagine what the rest of the winter will bring us!”… Yes, me too.

  17. CorbettTez says:

    Ok, so the East wind returns after a one-day reprieve. What do the models show as to how long this sticks at around? I have an installer scheduled for tomorrow morning to come out and try to put in a liner down our chimney for a new wood stove and requires them to get up on a 30′ ladder to do it!! Currently gusting to 40mph. Should I reschedule? Thoughts?

  18. Jason Hougak says:

    Through December 14, bring a new, unwrapped toy to the Timberline Lodge ticket office and we’ll give you a half price lift ticket!*

    We have partnered with Fox 12 to collect donations which will be distributed to over 130 local charities, in turn making sure that tens of thousands of children get a gift this Christmas. For more information and other ways to donate, visit the Fox 12 – Les Schwab Tire Center Toy Drive web page.

    *This offer is good seven days a week during normal operating hours through December 14. One half price ticket per person per day with a toy donation, no advance sales.

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  19. schmit44 says:

    12/6/2014 Oregon (All) Temperature Summary

    High:61 at BANDON( 79 ft) & North Bend Munic(16 ft) & BROOKINGS(79 ft)
    Low: 52 at Port Orford(0 ft) & LINCON Lincoln C(187 ft) & OCNSID Oceanside(22 ft)

    High:31 at Mount Hood Meado(6601 ft)
    Low: 17 at CROW FLAT (5172 ft )

    Largest Diurnal Change: 29 degrees
    DW2789 Milton Fr (58/29 ) (1358 ft )

    Heaviest Rainfall:
    1.99″ at HEBOWX Mt. Hebo(3160ft)
    1.60″ at NORTH FORK(3120ft)
    1.46″ at EW1814 Florence(98ft)
    1.35″ at CEDAR(2220ft)
    1.30″ at SADDLE MOUNTAIN(3250ft)

  20. I’m sorry to say but a coastal radar would be a waste of tax dollars. We have roads to take care of, schools to take care of, and other various things to make our state much nicer.

    • Terrance Obrien says:

      To right wing in boring. You could not be more wrong. If that radar could save one life, and it would, It would be worth it. Most of that school money that you talk about goes to teacher pensions, the same people who can never be fired, the people will tell us no matter how much money we give them, will never be enough. Our great state is fine.

    • David B. says:

      A convincing argument against such a thing would be to argue it wouldn’t pay for itself. I believe it easily would, by enabling more accurate forecasts so that people could prepare for extreme weather events and avoid damages and losses.

    • Mike in the forest says:

      I want to thank the person that posted about the possibility of a major windstorm. It prompted us to take down a large tree that had a truck about to split off and damage our beautiful home and deck. After it was down we could see that the split was 4 or 5 times worse than expected. We are very lucky and thank you again ever so much.

    • I’m sorta confused about you first sentence. I’m still sure that Mark can predict extreme weather without it. We hardly ever get severe weather here anyway, its pretty neutral.

    • To tolerance O’Brien. First of all I agree with you about the teacher thing. Second I’m still not sold on how a radar could save a life. But look around our state is gorgeous in nature but in the city its not the greatest.

  21. Tyler Mode says:

    Nice view of the ice along the Wyeth trail above about 1,000′.

    This is NOT my trip report, but I found it informative:


  22. Tyler Mode says:

    First westerly flow in a while kicked in around 6 AM. Temp went from 42 up to 48 rather quickly.

    Its going to switch at Crown Point soon too, for the first time in over a week.


    • Tyler Mode says:

      The south wind finally broke through at Crown Point.

      39 at 10:17, 46 at 10:27

      It won’t last long as the GFS shows east wind returning overnight…

  23. ChiefWright (Marquam) says:

    I disagree with those who believe the need for coastal radar is low because there are fewer people who live there. There would be significant economic benefit to the Willamette Valley from improved hydrology and short-term forecasting.

    There’s even fewer people covered by the Langley radar, but Puget Sound has had a significantly better warning of incoming weather since it’s been installed. So has the Portland basin.

    Unfortunately the USG seems to be inclined to spend less in Oregon, not more. Evidence the impending closure of the CG station in Newport.

    • David B. says:

      Mark’s November article mentioned that Oregon’s congressional delegation did not have as much interest in pursuing a coastal radar for OR as Washington’s did for WA, which turned out to be your loss.

    • Mark Nelsen says:

      That’s what I was told by a supporter of a project up there

    • OK have fun paying taxes for it. I still really don’t see how it would benefit the economy. What would benefit the economy is attracting tourists so people can enjoy a clean state.

    • From a safety standpoint it should be a priority. “Seeing” storms before they strike has the potential of saving lives.

    • Mike says:

      Have you noticed what too much tourism does to a nice area? Too many places are blabbed on the information highways as it is. Why not leave things not so exposed for preservation?

  24. Muxpux (Castle Rock 175') says:

    Some of our best events have been surprises.

    I’m done trying to tell anyone what the weathers gonna do. The last 8 months have been “it’s supposed to rain” – been dry, it shouldn’t be more than a sprinkle or light shower – gully washer. Nobody believes me anymore. This last event I told everyone it wasn’t gonna snow, then it snowed. Sure it didn’t stick, but I did get to explain graupel to a lot of people, also, the difference ‘tween sleet, hail and freezing rain. Baby steps

  25. schmit44 says:

    12/5/2014 Oregon (All) Temperature Summary

    High:66 at BANDON( 79 ft) & EW3367 Coos Bay(98 ft) & Gold Beach (US 1(60 ft)
    Low: 54 at BANDON(79 ft) & Gold Beach (US 1(60 ft) & BROOKINGS(79 ft) & North Bend Munic(16 ft) & Gold Beach(16 ft) & Port Orford(0 ft)

    High:26 at NORTH POLE RIDGE(3480 ft)
    Low: 18 at CROW FLAT (5172 ft )

    Largest Diurnal Change: 26 degrees
    EW5447 Eagle Poi (61/35 ) (1348 ft )

    Heaviest Rainfall:
    1.79″ at EW4856 Brookings(1365ft)
    1.66″ at RED MOUND(1753ft)
    1.66″ at QUAIL PRAIRIE LO(3183ft)
    1.23″ at FLYNN PRAIRIE(1543ft)
    1.03″ at BANDON(79ft)

  26. Brian Leroy says:

    00z gfs is finally lining up with the euro weeklies with a ridge or split flow around he 20th.

    • High Desert Mat says:

      I think the weeklies have to do with how much poontang Brian is getting. Not much you say? That’s fine, it’ll all balance out in the end Brian. No need to worry just yet, you still may have a chance at getting lucky sooner or later.

    • Brian Leroy says:

      This is not about poontang chris grow up sir, im just making at statement about what I see. I respect ur opinion so no need for dispute over the little stuff, and I do here what ur saying, peace

    • W7ENK says:

      Chris? I think you meant Mat?


  27. A lot just like cover Oregon

  28. Marc (East Vancouver) says:

    Does anyone know how much the installation of radar would cost the taxpayers?

  29. CorbettTez says:

    OK, so obviously a bit off topic, but something drastic must’ve changed in the forecast with regard to the East winds in the past 48 hours! It was supposed to die off yesterday and we just had a 74mph gust at the Corbett school at 5:10 and it’s been routinely gusting to over 60 all day. Any ideas Mark as to when it’s really going to back down and or die off completely?

    • Mark Nelsen says:

      It did look like it was coming back stronger today, I mentioned that in my evening shows last night. TOMORROW should be calm up there.

    • Aleta says:

      Sigh, yep it’s back! Out of power AGAIN. Been out almost two hours. I heard a couple of booms when it went. Guess we’re paying for being so lucky for so many years!

    • CorbettTez says:

      Thank you Mark! Info about the wind is always much appreciated from you! As you are really the only source we have to get a heads up on when it will start/stop! THANK YOU THANK YOU!!! I know most on here are weather geeks and are all about the numbers and the whys and why nots, but some of us just want reliable info to deal with our daily lives! Pretty fun for some to come up to Crown Point and experience some extreme weather when it’s crazy windy and quite another to have to live with it when it is up at damaging levels on your property. Keep up the great work!!

  30. Brian Leroy says:

    We’ll all long gone by the time they get a new radar on the OR coast, it took over 15 years of nagging before the Langley radar was finally placed.

  31. That first “snow” event we had in November the NWS predicted 4-6 inches of snow in Portland! Now your telling me we need a radar where hardly nobody lives?

    • marinersfan85 says:

      You’re missing the point…

    • W7ENK says:

      Fiscal conservatives know nothing of social benefit for the greater good. It’s all about “me me me and my tax money, paying as little of my money into taxes and only using my tax money for my own benefit”, but then bi+ching about waste and abuse when nothing gets done. Oh, and blaming the black guy.

      Right Wing needs to move to a Red state where someone might actually care about their selfish opinion. Texas is a good start.

    • …And leave it to a socialist like myself to reprimand W7ENK for being politically uncivil.

      Back to weather….I’m hoping for a repeat of 1968, 1991 or 1992 come February this year. We’re long overdue for a long string of sunny 60s before March 1.

  32. Nobody lives in the ocean it doesn’t even matter.

  33. pappoose in scappoose says:

    Always irritating with weather approaching from the southwest, and we can’t see it until it’s almost on us.

  34. Dave in SW PDX (235') says:

    Time to write our congressional representatives and demand their help with a central coast radar. Should only cost 10 million or so:


    Maybe Santa will bring us one instead – we’ve all been good, right?

  35. No I disagree mark. Not a ton of people live there so I don’t want to pay taxes for a radar. Especially when the NWS can’t even predict right.

  36. Jason Hougak says:

    Erik I’ve been saying we’re due for another ice storm for months. Come on our last major ice storm was 2004 which crippled the city. Definitely over due. Glad you appreciate my posts.

  37. Jason Hougak says:

    Dec. 11-12 look pretty interesting, cold air mass from th e Pacific moving in.

    • Sapo says:

      For who does it look interesting? Which model are you looking at? The ECMWF definitely looks the coldest for this time frame, but definitely not Portland snow…more like 2,000-3,000′ elevation or so snow I think. But the GFS ensemble looked interesting this morning long range and the 18z GFS looks like a bit of a cooler pattern mid-late December. We’ll see

    • Mark Nelsen says:

      Models are trending warmer & warmer with late next week. ECMWF is totally dry now after Thursday and the snow level MIGHT make it down to 4,000′ on that model. GFS isn’t any colder as of 12/18z. There aren’t going to be any ski areas opening up NEXT weekend if that’s the case.

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