Peak Wind Gusts

It was brief, but definitely windy out there for a couple hours this evening.  Here are the peak gusts.  Salem had the strongest in the lowlands with a gust to 51 mph.  Seems like most of the rest of us were in the 25-35 mph range.

Another nice effect was that it was a “Chinook” wind, or a warming wind.  You might be surprised to know the original use of the term described the wintertime warm and moist wind that comes in from the southwest along the Pacific Northwest coastlines of present day Oregon/Washington/British Columbia.  At some point those folks in the Rockies stole it from us!  Well, not really since it continues on and becomes the warm westerly downslope wind eventually.  In the end they both produce the same thing…a dramatic warming and snow on the ground (or ice on the trees) rapidly melts.

Okay, on to mild and wet over the next week.  This won’t be a great 6 days ahead for skiing.  I expect rain more than snow at the ski resorts Saturday-Tuesday so no sign that we’re suddenly going to see some ski acreage appear.  But models are all in agreement with cooling after Wednesday next week.


Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen


44 Responses to Peak Wind Gusts

  1. Boring Oregon says:

    So I see we have some very mild rain coming up next week. Will it still be cold enough for snow at Timberine or will they get washed out?

    • Tyler Mode in Battle Ground says:

      Cold enough today and probably tomorrow. Then much warmer Monday and Tuesday. Cooler starting later Wednesday.

  2. Tyler Mode in Battle Ground says:

    Post Wednesday, nice westerly flow, snow level around 3,000’…I’ll take it!

    That’s great snow pack building after the warm rains of Tuesday and Wednesday.

  3. paulbeugene says:

    Euro 00z has 7.5″ of rain in Eugene falling in next 198h. (7.4″ SLE, 6.8″ PDX)

  4. Joshua Downtown PDX says:

    Thank you, Rob and Paul for your input lately. I think you are almost unanimously the most respected posters outside of Mark. Open up the floodgates.

    • Rob - S.E. Portland says:

      You’re welcome. I definitely put Paul a few steps ahead of myself. There may be a lot more input and analysis to come as we are moving into an active pattern with a lot of “fun, exciting” potential….

  5. schmit44 says:

    12/4/2015 Oregon (All) Temperature Summary

    High:57 at Port Orford (US( 89 ft) & KB7QWZ Garibaldi(10 ft)
    Low: 49 at Gold Beach (US 1(60 ft)

    High:24 at Mt Hood Meadows(7300 ft)
    Low: 15 at Burns Municipal (4144 ft )

    Largest Diurnal Change: 23 degrees
    CW8140 Spray (53/30 ) (1772 ft )
    Burns Municipal (38/15) (4144 ft)

    Heaviest Rainfall:
    1.80″ at YACHTS Yachats(72ft)
    1.70″ at SOUTH FORK BULL(2690ft)
    1.59″ at EW7604 Salem(688ft)
    1.50″ at NORTH FORK(3060ft)
    1.31″ at EW7764 Corvallis(367ft)
    1.31″ at CANNIBAL MOUNTAI(1939ft)
    1.30″ at BLAZED ALDER(3650ft)
    1.22″ at WILKINSON RIDGE(1346ft)
    1.17″ at Timberline Lodge(5880ft)

  6. Rob - S.E. Portland says:

    00z WRF has a PDX-EUG gradient of 13-15mb on Thursday morning. Crazy. Not aligned ideally perpendicular, but that is a serious gradient…I’d like to see the low 1) more compact, 2) moving more northward as it tracks inland through Washington for a better W-E gradient alignment… Looks like 25-35kts sustained winds over PDX> 31-41mph sustained. At least it’s not a baggy, double barreled low with a splitting trough/energy. Since this is within 1 week on this run, we need to keep an eye on this to see if future runs show this, or if other models latch onto this solution. The jet is deeply suppressed to the south and this is a pretty decent wind storm pattern that can quickly spin up a deep low…00z GEM has 4 deep lows to keep an eye on well inside 130W. Of course then there is rainfall Ensembles GFS/ECMWF crazy amounts 5 inches perhaps.

  7. Josh "the snowman" from Gladstone, OR says:

    Look at that bright white cloud shield. Someone is getting a good soaking overnight. Looks aimed right at the pdx metro area.

  8. paulbeugene says:

    18z GFS has heavy rains focused over Willamette Valley, with 5 inch/24 hour amounts Tues into Wed next week. Somebody is going to get a lot of rain. Will have better idea by Sunday who is going to get washed out.

    • JohnD says:

      Good job Paul! Thanks for your always insightful and informative overviews. Much appreciated! Fun progressive pattern ahead!

  9. paulbeugene says:

    Euro ensemble mean for precipitation in Willamette Valley between 5-6″ for the next 10 days. GFS in same ballpark for precip. It is going to be wet. Increasing confidence that there will not be much snow (at least what will stick around for a while) at pass elevation until about a week from now.
    Weather pattern will certainly be active with potential for some strong lows to develop. I am not seeing anything like a Dec 1995 type low. It is reasonable to expect that there will be some 975-985mb lows tracking SW to NE, with landfall anywhere from central Oregon coast north to the formerly known as Queen Charlotte Islands. Am not expecting region-wide high wind event at the moment.
    Euro 12z operational showed strong low barreling down from north G of Alaska, landfalling on south Oregon coast, with snows down to valley floor around day 8-9. I think that is far fetched and unlikely but it is looking better yet for overall cooler than normal temps in the two weeks prior to Christmas.
    The coldest weather (for overnight temps) at least for Eugene this winter probably already happened (Thanksgiving) but am looking for the Cascades to have their most cool and moist period of the winter thus far coming up after day 8.
    I think the chance of a white Christmas for the I-5 corridor is overall low in any given year, even less in an el nino year but with the way things are with timing, we may end up having Christmas fall toward the tail end of colder than normal period, and thus have a greater than normal chance for White Christmas this year (still a low chance however compared to other parts of the country).
    The best skiing of the winter for the Cascades (in terms of snow quality) likely to be prior to New Years. Odds are for the precipitation to become less after mid January relative to normal.

    • The formerly known Quenn Charlotte Islands are now called “Haida Gwaii”.

    • runrain says:

      Thanks for the excellent analysis, Paul.

    • Boydo3 N. Albany says:

      So you’re going with the idea of the dreaded “El Nino split flow” as winter should be ramping up in Jan-Feb? In which case the skiing gets good in the Tahoe region. Which makes my wife’s cousins happy since they have a house there. We shall see…

    • pappoose in scappoose says:

      “Unlikely” doesn’t worry me. It is in fact, good news.
      So you’re saying there’s a chance!

    • Rob - S.E. Portland says:

      Great analysis as always, Paul. Good to see you back in the swing of things are we move into a real active pattern.

  10. Jason Hougak says:

    Up here at Timberline warming by fire. First time for the season and enjoying it with my wonderful daughter. Snow is powdery and deep enough to cover the hard base.

    • Dave in SW PDX (235') says:

      Happy to hear you’re finally getting your snow fix, Jason. Hopefully I’ll be riding at Meadows later this month.

  11. High Desert Mat says:

    12z euro looks really similar to thanksgiving week. The low is stringer off the coast and maybe a tad cooler. Lets hope the euro is on to something. Days 7-10

    • High Desert Mat says:


    • Boydo3 N. Albany says:

      It’s been on to it for several days now. Never a lock but it looks to be good for snow in the mtns. starting about next Thurs. and staying that way for at least the next five in row. Maybe even Hoodoo gets in on the action!

  12. I do hope that weather conditions will get cooler in the next week (or whenever the latest forecast models indicate it). These high freezing levels with rain in the next few days sure aren’t helping the snowpack stay around.

  13. pappoose in scappoose says:

    Betcha they were yanking their clothes off!

    0342 AM PST FRI DEC 04 2015



  14. GTS1K' says:

    Hey Mark,

    What happened to your hints about wind next week – blown away?

    • runrain says:

      Yes. Waiting to hear the possibilities (or lack of) for that Tues/Wed system. Rob and Paul seemed to have their eyes and ears on that too. I know it’s a ways out, but always fun to look at the various scenarios.

  15. Jason Hougak says:

    Timberline has been below freezing since 6pm Thursday picking up 7″ til 5am this morning. 27F now and still snowing, that’s it time to go skiing!!! Snow level is below the base at Ski Bowl.

    • Jason Hougak says:

      Radar showing a fire hose band that’s been streaming across south of Porland into Clackamas county all night. It’s been a constant moderate to heavy band of rainfall all night. Temp here went from 46 down to 40 now.

  16. schmit44 says:

    12/3/2015 Oregon (All) Temperature Summary

    High:65 at Bullards Bridge( 23 ft) & Gold Beach (US 1(60 ft)
    Low: 51 at EW1135 Yachats1(32 ft)

    High:28 at WASCO BUTTE(2272 ft) & NRAWS 6 (CORNET)(6626 ft)
    Low: 13 at Rome (4049 ft )

    Largest Diurnal Change: 33 degrees
    WEST BIRCH CREEK (59/26 ) (1626 ft )
    CW5984 Pilot Roc (58/25) (1749 ft)
    DW5076 Ruggs (56/23) (2950 ft)

    Heaviest Rainfall:
    2.27″ at QUAIL PRAIRIE LO(3183ft)
    2.16″ at EW6494 Florence(64ft)
    2.10″ at EW7191 Selma(1394ft)
    2.10″ at BIGELOW CAMP(5130ft)
    2.06″ at ILLINOIS VALLEY(1389ft)
    2.00″ at EW4856 Brookings(1365ft)
    1.84″ at BANDON(79ft)

  17. Sapo says:

    Was fairly windy here in Tigard today. Didn’t get near 60 degrees, I think the high temp at my house was 50.

    Liking the 12z CFS today for some potential cold around/before/after Christmas, but other runs don’t show much and looking at GFS ensembles appears to be a cooler but not cold pattern coming up here in the next few weeks.

  18. pappoose in scappoose says:

    Sorry I couldn’t sail the chainsaw to ya Longview, but a 7 mph gust wouldn’t keep it in the air!

  19. 7:49 PM, still quiet here, power is on. Just checked the NWS forecast and the high wind warning which had been posted until 10 PM is no longer mentioned in my area. So this one was a big BUST for me.

  20. Mark Nelsen says:

    I’ve also been informed (by a Chinook descendant) that they generally pronounce it with a hard “CH” instead of SHINOOK like many of us do.

  21. Steven James says:

    Is it alright if I say … first!

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