March Comes In Like A Lion: Peak Gusts

3pm Tuesday…

It wasn’t exactly a windstorm, but that cold front sure brought strong gusts to the Willamette Valley!  More of a blustery March day I suppose?  Maybe it seems different because it’s so much brighter this time of year.

Most of these gusts (not all) occurred as the cold front passed through between noon and 1pm.  The PDX gust was the highest since the windstorm on December 21st.  I should have said some gusts 40-50 mph instead of sticking with the 30-40 mph.  Power outages were relatively minimal for a wind event in the metro area.  PGE only peaked around 5,000.  We generally see 30,000 or more for even a weak windstorm.  Possibly the strong gusts only surfaced in a few spots?



43 Responses to March Comes In Like A Lion: Peak Gusts

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

    First snow of 2016 will most likely happen in December. November will be on the cusp still of a fading El Niño. Reminds me of my fading basketball skills that occurred in my 20s. The kind of erosion akin to a Columbus Day storm in Newport. I digress. Anyone seen this movie called the hole. Good horror movie. Reminds me of the last 2 winters, although I screamed more about the weather than about this movie. Anyone seen such a horror story? As the east coast continues the cool, we continue the not cool. We continue to fathom warm jans and febs, cool aps, mays, and julios. Oh how I wish we could see the sun rising above the west hills over snow capped, um, west hills. The kind of thing that makes Robert frost jealous. The kind of thing that makes me irate. Good night all.

    • Boring Oregon says:

      The sun rises in the East.

    • Josh "the snowman" from Gladstone, OR says:

      Setting, rising, upsizing, downsizing. The sun is a mythical beast. Just like Mr. Nelsen. A master of meteorology, a semi-master of foothill-ology. The type of guy you take out for beers and ends up peeing in the parking lot. The type of guy you take home to daddy. To daddy cakes.

    • Well, as Frost wrote it: “Some think the world will end in Fire, some say in ice. From what I’ve tasted of desire, I hold with those who favour fire. But if it had to perish twice, I think that ice is also great- and would suffice.”

    • Boring Oregon says:


    • W7ENK says:

      Maybe you were still passed out on January 3rd?

      That was in 2016. See, many people don’t handle their alcohol as well as they used to when they age, either. It takes longer to recover…

  2. GTS1K' says:

    Is the NWS radar messed up or is it me?

    Wait that didn’t come out quite right…..

  3. runrain says:

    Lots of brilliant blue sky over downtown Portland right now. NWS said if there is ample sun this afternoon that could be a significant factor for thunderstorm development. Hmmm…

  4. schmit44 says:

    3/2/2016 Oregon (All) Temperature Summary

    High:71 at Central Point (I(1267 ft) & LITTLE BUTTE CRE(1702 ft) & Medford Viaduct(1359 ft) & Rogue Valley Int(1312 ft)
    Low: 53 at Port Orford(0 ft)

    High:34 at Mt Hood Meadows(7300 ft)
    Low: 16 at Mt Hood Meadows (7300 ft )

    Largest Diurnal Change: 41 degrees
    LITTLE BUTTE CRE (71/30 ) (1702 ft )

    Heaviest Rainfall:
    2.16″ at RED MOUND(1753ft)
    1.85″ at EW4856 Brookings(1365ft)
    1.82″ at QUAIL PRAIRIE LO(3183ft)
    1.44″ at FLYNN PRAIRIE(1543ft)
    1.24″ at HEBOWX Mt. Hebo(3160ft)
    1.21″ at BROOKINGS(79ft)
    1.18″ at Brookings Airpor(459ft)
    1.14″ at CEDAR(2220ft)
    0.99″ at TIDEWATER(2035ft)

  5. W7ENK says:

    While everyone else was getting strong winds yesterday, it was nice, sunny and calm in Downtown Portland.

    Thanks once again, Dome!!

    • It’s the West Hills. During strong southwest winds, Downtown Portland and the NW District are in their lee and miss most of the action. Happened all the time when I lived in NW PDX.

    • Josh "the snowman" from Gladstone, OR says:

      It isn’t just the west hills. It’s the hills of lake Oswego, west linn. Small gap by 205, then you have the hills of Oregon city and beyond that stretch down towards wilsonville almost. It is a pit and we all know it. Down sloping screws anyone here especially those that live right along mcloughlin or near. I luckily live about 400′ up the hill near the Gladstone/Milwaukie line and we actually see heavy snow then downtown Gladstone has graupel. I’ve seen it 5 times in the 18 months I’ve been here. Really is crazy.

  6. The first day of March was a relatively warm Lion day, with high and low temps a solid 5-10 degrees above average in many places. According to the legend, that should mean a “cool Lamb” pattern at month’s end; namely, Fall-like Canadian high pressure with high temps only in the 50s across most of the region despite full sunshine and a dry airmass.

    • I hope to see that dry “Canadian” air here well before the end of the month: So far for 2016, I’ve counted 43 days (including today) with measurable precipitation. Last year at the same time had just 30. If the forecast for the next several days is correct, I’ll have 50 days the following Wednesday

    • W7ENK says:

      Karl, your aspirations are nonsensical and often times contradictory… I just don’t get it.

    • GTS1K' says:

      Erik, that was gratuitous…

      …but, then you knew that.

    • JohnD says:

      ….uhhhh “boredom” maybe?….
      My dear wife is from Massachusetts (born and raised); trust me, I have heard it all. Subtlety is our game here. Punctuated by intensity! “What goes around, comes around”. We do get ours. Sometimes it just takes a while!

    • W7ENK says:

      At least I’m in good company, Germantown…

    • GTS1K' says:


      I know, right?

  7. Jason Hougak says:

    Timberline broke 400″ for the season with a base sitting at 117″. That’s a nice base and hopefully with a cool March it will help keep the slopes skiable til May🙏🏻. 98-99 had a base of over 300″.

  8. Jason Hougak says:

    Today’s GFS looks rather cold and showery for mid March. Hoping to get some March snow in La Pine for my vacation coming up. Was rather breezy today. Mark what are you thinking about the super El Niño to La Niña flip flop. My gut feeling is we are going to get hammered next winter. Timberline went from 35 at 3pm to 23 at 9pm, nice cold front… too bad it has limited moisture. We can’t even get a winter WX advisory for Oregon Cascades.

  9. Tyler Mode in Battle Ground says:

    40 mph with the front, then 44 mph with the squall that dropped some hail. Another observer near my station hit 58 mph.

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

    Not a windstorm? Some of the craziest gusts I’ve seen in a couple of winters today. I was working in the St. John’s area today and I swear there was a 70 mph gust. Intermittent heavy rain squalls, a little thunder, rainbows?? Good storm in my book.

    • High Desert Mat says:

      70? Good one. Not even on the coast I don’t think. Quit smokin the Oregon green for a bit.

  11. Paul D says:

    Lots of tree branches in the roads on the way home. Of course the one time during the day that I had to be on a building roof at work was when the rain was dumping down in buckets…. 😦

  12. Adam in SE says:

    Wind’s cranking up again here in SE Portland. Radar shows another squall line coming through.

  13. Anonymous says:

    The wind is still blowing out here in Forest Grove.

  14. Erin says:

    We had some strong gusts and hail in Mountain Oark. Lights flickered, debris flying, and trees swayed. A little nerve wracking!!

  15. T09 - Happy Valley says:

    Had some pea-sized hail in Happy Valley not too long ago.

  16. GTS1K' says:

    Blowing as hard or harder than it has all day right now!

  17. Garron 1/3 of a mile from Hillsboro Airport says:

    Some fun on the radar maps right now. Shower one about to hit the west side of town, maybe an hour later another soaker working its way on shore with some lightning!

  18. CorbettTez says:

    Any East wind in the forecast for tomorrow in the Gorge areas Mark?

  19. High Desert Mat says:

    No leaves on the trees certainly help as well Mark.

    Sure has been a windy day over here too. Wind sucks, I don’t like it at all. Dust blowing everywhere today and ALL DAY!!!! GRRRR

    • Dust storms, probably my least favorite form of weather, and high on my list of reasons why I left the desert and don’t plan to move back ever.

    • Jack says:

      Having lived in the desert, do you think the wind storms were worse in desert environments, when compared with wind events in the Columbia Gorge and Portland Metro area?

  20. rexine trotter says:

    Mark, you need to talk about the northern part of the coast! We kinda feel left out! Thanks!

    • Jackfrost says:

      If it’s not part of the Portland area it obviously doesn’t exist. Pics please ! wink wink nudge nudge

  21. BruceInTroutdale says:

    Peaking even harder here now in Troutdale than before!

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