An Old Friend Returns; Another Leaves

January 12, 2016

10pm Tuesday…

Ahhh, a rainy and chilly day today.  It’s like an old friend is back.  A classic midwinter day in Western Oregon and Washington.  Rain totals as of 10pm:

PLOT_Rain_Metro_Autoplot

The astute weather geek will notice 3 times as much rain west metro compared to the eastside.  That’s likely due to southeast/easterly flow in the lowest 2-4,000′ of the atmosphere giving the areas closer to the Coast Range a bit of an upslope lift.

It’s pretty obvious that we’re going to see PLENTY of rain over the next 10-15 days.  Take a look at the 00z GFS meteogram:

KSLE_2016011300_tx_240

Possibly some breaks at times, but in general most days will have at least some rain.

So our rain is back…but that cold east wind is about to go away!

For the past 18 days, yes, since the day after Christmas, that cold Gorge wind has been blowing.  For a few of those days it was light, but most of the time it has been raging and very cold.  Today we saw the strongest wind of the past week…84 mph at Vista House and 67 mph at Corbett.  Take a look at the peak gusts at Troutdale and Crown Point the past 7 days:

Why is the wind going away?  Because an area of low pressure is finally moving through our region instead of just swinging by offshore.  Check out the surface pressure map for right now with surface low pressure offshore, then again at 10am tomorrow morning.  It moves east of the Cascades, giving us strong onshore (southwesterly) flow.  That means a surge of west wind through the Gorge by midday at the latest.  Those of you in The Dalles and Hood River will see the low level clouds break up by afternoon (sunshine!) and temperatures should soar up to around 50 degrees for the first time in 3 weeks!

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen