4pm Update: Peak of Storm Now

NWS reports a peak gust of 62 mph at PDX Airport.  That’s the strongest wind gust we’ve seen in that location since the January 2000 windstorm.  Some other very strong wind gusts out there at this hour.  This is what I have so far for the northern Willamette Valley:

PLOT_Wind_Metro_PeakGusts_MANUAL2 PLOT_Wind_Metro_PeakGusts_MANUAL

Some bad news.  Apparently the airport (ASOS) weather sensors do not have backup power so Hillsboro, Aurora, and McMinville stopped reporting.  That’s pretty bad for a wind sensor to stop reading in the middle of the storm!  Can’t they just buy a UPS backup?  So we don’t know for now if those locations were windier than the 3pm observations.

This wind is big-time overachieving for the gradient.  There is only a 5 millibar gradient from Eugene to Portland and 9 millibars from Eugene to Olympia.  Most of the time that would give us gusts to…20 or so miles per hour.  The speed of the low pressure and strong upper level winds surfacing are definitely more important this time around.

Another note, the outage numbers don’t appear to reflect widespread 60+ mph gusts.  Still only around 60,000 PGE customers out.  During the 2006 storm with “lighter” wind, there were 200,000+!  I have a feeling that we’re just seeing scattered spots with strong wind surfacing instead of a widespread damaging wind.

Nevertheless, a crazy afternoon!

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

43 Responses to 4pm Update: Peak of Storm Now

  1. Hal in Aims says:

    power went out about 5:40……after early morning (before daylight mostly) very strong east wind that brought down some large debris…..was a nice day until about 5:30 for about 20 minutes…..generator going….smoked salmon chowder warming on the wood stove ……..ahhh..fall/winter in the foothills……

  2. 85,000 PGE customers out.
    41,000 Clark PUD out.

  3. Paul D says:

    Power back on in Hillsboro and wind is dying down. We survived!

  4. Dringus says:

    Nice call by the NWS on this one. Let’s not forget they do things right sometimes.

  5. Jason Hougak says:

    I’m sailing… I’m sailing… Dr. Leo Marvin…

  6. Drew says:

    😦 my fence blew over. To make matters worse I found the wood to be water logged/rotted. Schwweeet. Now can we get some snow on the Mountain?

  7. Wendy-Silverlake, Wa says:

    They winds have died down here. Now in the teens gusting into the 20’s. Yesterdays winds were actually better than this one, at least up here.

  8. paulbeugene says:

    PDX had gust to 67

  9. John Liu says:

    Here in the inner NE the wind seems gusty rather than sustained. Not like 2006 when the trees were moaning and vibrating for what seemed like minutes at a time. Power has flickered, a few branches are down, some stuff has blown over in my yard, and my bike ride home was a little more exciting than usual. Hope it stays this way – interesting but not damaging.

    • PurpleHaze says:

      Same here. Winds gusty rather then sustained speeds. That seems to be the norm lately for wind. Very hard in the recent decade to get sustained wind speeds very good.

  10. Wendy-Silverlake, Wa says:

    My husbands stuck in Clatskanie. Pretty much all roads out of there are closed, Hwy 30 east of Clatskanie and Hwy 47 coming out of Clatskanie.

  11. bonine4336 says:

    I think the damage is more widespread than you think Mark. 8 huge Atlas Cedars along 405 were completely split in half. On the way home from our nursery I saw two different huge trees that had fallen on houses. My room mate at lloyd Center said she just saw huge boards, plywood and roofing blow onto cars parked at a light. Why there is less power out is kind of a mystery. In the 15 years that I’ve had a nursery at this site I’ve never seen sustained wind and that much tree damage. Very interesting.

    • Mark says:

      Just a guess, but most new neighborhoods in the past 20 years have underground power. Older neighborhoods – over time – lose trees or thin them out, etc… That adds up perhaps?

  12. Dave in SW PDX says:

    Arrived home from work to find my neighborhood without power (Garden Home/Metzger area). SW Pine and SW Locust streets are both blocked by large trees brought down by the storm. Strongest gust recorded on my Davis weather station so far today: 46 mph.

  13. Longview 400 ft says:

    Power out for almost an hour now. Still getting huge gusts of wind.

  14. Paul D says:

    Been powerless in Hillsboro for over 2 hours now. 130ft across the pond behind our house are houses with power. Not fair!

  15. Diana F. says:

    The top 20 feet of our 50 year old Cedar Tree (100 ft) just tore off and landed in the street with the sound of Zeus himself!

  16. W7ENK says:

    What was the date of that January 2000 windstorm? Everyone else seems to be forgetting that one, saying December 12, 1995 was the last time PDX hit 62 mph.

  17. MasterNate says:

    My high gust happened at 1:05 at 46 mph. Had several gusts 40+ and sustained 20-30 mph winds. No damage and still with power. Between Molalla and Canby, el. 250′.

    • MasterNate says:

      My location is somewhat protected by a small forest about 500′ away and by judging how the trees were bending at times, I’m sure the wind speeds were higher.

    • MasterNate says:

      Time correction. peak gust at 2:34

  18. We lost power here for 2 hours.

  19. Jon SE/PDX says:

    Power went out where I work in inner SE for about five mins. Just long enough to erase all my unsaved work… Building is creaking like crazy and trash is blowing all over Belmont

  20. Yeah, this storm isn’t even close to the 2006 event. That was like 8 hours of roaring winds on the E. side of the valley. Not to mention what it did in the Puget Sound.

  21. Aleta- West Gresham says:

    UPS backups really aren’t that expensive either! My did it’s job today! I was out just long enough that it would have caused my computer to go down.

  22. W7ENK says:

    Just got home. The tall trees around the neighborhood are screaming! Power still on, for now.

  23. GTS1K' says:

    It’s definitely “surfacing” here…

  24. Ryan says:

    This is fun!!!!

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