Rare August Storm On the Way Saturday Morning

4pm Friday…

A storm is developing as expected off the Northern California coastline and will sweep northward off the Oregon and Washington coast tomorrow morning.  This setup appears to be just about unprecedented in our area at this time of year.  I could only find one example back in 1972.  Mid-August that year a sudden windstorm arrived with very little warning along the Oregon/California border.  Southerly wind gusts in the 60+ mph range sunk many boats and 12 fishermen died.  Luckily nowadays we have much better satellite/radar and numerical modeling of storms.  Yet, this may be the one “out of season” storm we talk about for years to come.  We’ll see.

The Latest Highlights

High Wind Warning on the Oregon and southern Washington coast for Saturday morning:

MarkWarnings_Wind_Coast_Valleys2

Wind Advisory for the Willamette Valley and lowlands of SW Washington for Saturday morning”

MarkWarnings_Wind_Coast_Valleys

Expect the wind to arrive in Salem/Portland sometime between 8am-10am.  Note those peak gusts…I’ve never seen/forecast gusts over 30mph at the beaches in August!  I can’t believe Hood-To-Coast relay has all those tents/tables set up along with a very high stage/backdrop too out in Seaside right now.  If our forecasts are correct, I can see quite a bit of damage tomorrow morning out there when gusts 50+ arrive.  I’m also concerned for the safety of runners moving through the North Coast Range after 8am.   Many of those roads have trees overhead and even just a breeze and rain combined can bring down an old alder tree.  We haven’t seen a gusty south wind since March.  Be careful out there!

Meteorological thoughts…

There is still a chance we don’t get gusts over 50 at the coast and over 30 in the valleys…models could still back off with the last runs this evening.  That said, satellite imagery sure looks impressive off the California coastline.

I did notice on this morning’s runs the ECMWF has the low tracking slightly farther offshore, which could help to reduce the wind in the valleys.  Yet this time of year the airmass is well mixed so stronger wind above will surface easily, counteracting weakness in pressure gradient or low location.

12z WRF/NAM/RPM all show a closed (or mainly closed) low coming right up against the Washington coastline by midday, around 990-993 millibars.  They all indicate gusts 60-75 mph at the coast.  Hard to believe that will happen in August, but we sure wouldn’t argue with that modeling in winter.

We’ll see what the 00z models show.

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

20 Responses to Rare August Storm On the Way Saturday Morning

  1. schmit44 says:

    **TOP 7 YEARS AT PDX FOR 80 DEGREE DAYS*
    Year 2015 at PDX now is in 2nd place all-time for 80+ degree days. We currently are tied with last years total of 77 days. We need 8 more days in the 80s during September to set a brand new record.

  2. pappoose in scappoose says:

    Thar She Blows! Quick men, gather up the women and children…move them to a safe place.

    http://www.atmos.washington.edu/~ovens/loops/wxloop.cgi?wv_enhanced+12

    • flurball says:

      This will be interesting. A deep low in the summer without the cold air aloft to add support like you would typically get in the fall or winter , but at the same time warmer air aloft to provide more mixing downward. A great lab experiment. Oh if I only still had my Bunson Burner.

    • pappoose in scappoose says:

      NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE PORTLAND OR
      901 PM PDT FRI AUG 28 2015

      .SHORT TERM…VISIBLE AND INFRARED SATELLITE IMAGERY SHOW AN IMPRESSIVE SURFACE LOW PRESSURE UNDERGOING CYCLOGENESIS OFF THE
      SOUTHERN OREGON COAST NEAR 130W. BUOY 46002 SLP CONTINUES TO DROP BETWEEN 2-3MB/HOUR AND OUTPACE THE GFS AND EC FORECASTS CONSIDERABLY.
      THE 00Z NAM SEEMS TO HAVE PICKED UP ON THIS ADDITIONAL DEVELOPMENT AND IS AT LEAST CLOSER TO REALITY THAN THE 18Z GFS AND 12Z EC RUNS AT
      THIS POINT. THE NAM FORECASTS THE LOW TO BOTTOM OUT AROUND 990MB OFF THE MOUTH OF THE COLUMBIA RIVER AROUND 15Z SATURDAY BEFORE CLIPPING
      CAPE FLATTERY ON ITS WAY NORTHWARD. SUSPECT IT WILL DROP SOLIDLY INTO THE 980S. MEANWHILE…THE EC AND GFS HAVE CONTINUED TO TREND TOWARDS
      GRADUALLY SHIFTING THE LOW TRACK SLIGHTLY FARTHER OFFSHORE…WHICH EVEN WITH THE DEEPER DEVELOPMENT OBSERVED SO FAR…SHOULD HELP TO
      KEEP THIS STORM FROM REALIZING ITS FULLEST POTENTIAL IN THE WILLAMETTE VALLEY AND LOWER COLUMBIA RIVER VALLEY. WITH THAT SAID…THE RAP BRINGS THE LOW PRESSURE ONSHORE OVER THE OLYMPIC PENINSULA. THE RAP DID A DECENT JOB DEPICTING THE TRACK OF SEVERAL OF OUR STRONGER LOW PRESSURES LAST YEAR SO IT IS TOUGH TO DISCOUNT IT EVEN THOUGH IT IS CONSIDERABLY DIFFERENT THAN THE GLOBAL GFS AND EC MODEL SOLUTIONS. GIVEN THE UNCERTAINTY IN THE FINAL TRACK OF THIS LOW…ALL THE INHERITED HEADLINES SEEM REASONABLE AT THIS POINT. HOWEVER…WILL NUDGE UP THE MENTION OF WIND GUSTS ALONG THE NORTH OREGON AND SOUTH WASHINGTON COASTS AND ACROSS THE LOWER COLUMBIA RIVER VALLEY AND PORTLAND METRO AREA WHERE A FEW HIGHER WIND GUSTS SEEM POSSIBLE…ESPECIALLY IF THE LOW PRESSURE PUSHES ONTO THE WASHINGTON COAST.

  3. David B. says:

    I worry about those runners, too. When I was living in OR once I narrowly missed having some BIG branches hit my vehicle when driving back from the coast on US 26 during a wind/rain storm. It was scary enough inside a vehicle. I certainly wouldn’t want to be outside running in such a storm on that road.

  4. paulbeugene says:

    This is the report on the sudden windstorm of 16.Aug 1972
    http://www.nws.noaa.gov/om/assessments/pdfs/Crescent%20City%20Storm%201972.pdf

    • flurball says:

      The only thing better would be a picture of Jack Capelle with Tom McCall and Doug LaMear beside him

    • flurball says:

      My bad. It would’ve been Richard Ross or Ivan Smith on that date I believe and not Tom.

  5. This will be interesting! We have many trees with full leaves here in Cowlitz County! It could get fun! Wind is not good for the fire areas.

  6. Hey Mark Nelson is the Dalles supposed to get hit with the storm tomorrow also? I would like to know as I start special Olympics swim team so I know what weather coat i need to wear

  7. Mark Bergal says:

    Storms are exciting, regardless of the season. Its been an unusual Summer, so why shouldnt the conclusion be unusual too. I also dont think folks should assume that fall and winter will not have a share of weather surprises. No el nino is the same as the next. You just dont know, and do not discount the FA prediction of a lot of snow. Only time will tell.

    • Jason Hougak says:

      I couldn’t agree more.

      Wind will be much different for our foothill location this year. Longview Fiber Timber company sold to Weyerhaeuser Timber Company. They have been actively logging all year. The trees have sheltered surrounding properties from high winds. but now that’s gonna be different with no tree blockage.

    • Boring Oregon says:

      Now there’s no more trees to fall on your house Jason. 🙂

    • Jason Hougak says:

      Why don’t you take a look at some of my trees 4 foot at the stump and over 150′ tall.

  8. As says:

    I’ve noticed that leaves are already starting to change and local orchards are advertising early fall harvests. Does this mean that the early shift to spring and summer have prompted an early autumn as well? Are cooler temperatures here to stay?

    I’m happy for the rain, but nervous about the wind. I hope that everyone stays safe, and that there aren’t many power outages or serious damage.

  9. Steven James says:

    Just a note, the April 5th, 1972 Vancouver tornado was caused by a slightly similar setup.

  10. leer` Geddy says:

    1972 was also a El nino year too.

  11. leer` Geddy says:

    I suspect were getting this big storm and cool/wet pattern now because the rest of the fall/winter will be dead due to a strong and strengthening El nino, if that’s the case then we all better enjoy the active weather.

%d bloggers like this: