Evening Model Runs…More Interesting

10pm Friday…

An interesting evening in the weather center hitting REFRESH numerous times to get the latest maps/models.  Here is the latest:

MarkWarnings_High Wind


  • High Wind Watch is up for all of Western Oregon north of Eugene
  • Damaging wind is POSSIBLE Sunday, but not a “done deal” as of this evening
  • The setup is quite “good” if you want the strongest southerly windstorm of the season.  Bad if you don’t like power outages and downed trees
  • Big question still:  Is this a regular “gusts 35-45 mph” storm or “gusts 45-65 mph” (storm of the season) storm for the lowlands.  Right now I’m thinking the first is just about guaranteed, but it might be higher.
  • Confidence on timing = HIGH  Sometime midday/PM Sunday
  • Confidence on damaging wind event in metro area = MODERATE for now



All 00z models are in except ECMWF.  That’s the one model that was farthest west (offshore) this morning.  If it makes a significant move closer to the coastline Sunday my confidence on a damaging wind event will go up. (Edit at 10:15pm)  Well, it did move farther east, so now models are much closer together.  The 00z ECMWF has the low reaching the western mouth of Juan de Fuca strait at 980mb.  I see a 12 mb pressure gradient from Eugene to Olympia, which isn’t a big windstorm, but plenty windy!


All these models have at least some sort of wind event for the metro area and valleys.  WRF-GFS was a little weaker for us and farther offshore, giving us 13 millibars EUG-OLM. That’s like the ECMWF


That’s not major storm material, but widespread gusts 40-50 mph.  Of course in that case the abnormally high PDX readings the past two years mean a 55-58 could be seen there I suppose.  Check out the track I plotted over Wolf Read’s analysis of past “classic” windstorm tracks.  The WRF track is the thick yellow highlighter:


The NAM-MM5 was very strong (image below)…that’s a windstorm for us with the low much closer, making landfall around Long Beach instead of up around Forks like the other models.  21 millibars from Eugene to Olympia with the real damaging wind up in SW Washington.


RGEM (Canadian) looked almost exactly the same as the WRF-GFS, in fact the lowest central pressure was around 980 mb. as well.


It is interesting (and helpful if you want a powerful storm) the low is deepening on all models as it passes by.  That’s very important for strong wind.

These storms are always so tough to forecast and each one is slightly different.  For example the Inauguration Day Storm in January 1993 took a similar path and was of similar strength to what the WRF forecasts yet left gusts only in the 40-50 mph range in the metro area.

More updates the next 36 hours if this impending storm holds together!

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen



46 Responses to Evening Model Runs…More Interesting

  1. Andy in Vancouver says:

    Man things are quiet in here. Any info on what the minimum central pressure might be curently? Looks like it’s heading for the sweet spot for good winds. Is it going to be windier than forecast?

  2. W7ENK says:

    Models diverging further this evening.

    Biggest piece of eye candy is the NAM

    978 MB low, landfall around Astoria. lololol

    Realistically, all the other models have the low much further West, and making landfall much further North. Shaping up to be quite the non-event for us, yet again.

  3. pappoose in scappoose says:

    Windstorm Update: Could This Be a Big Fizzle?


  4. Latest HRRR, RAP models following the NAM/MM5. 00z GEM between the WRF/NAM. Hmmm… Onto the 00z EURO!

  5. JohnD says:

    Hopefully a big wind pattern is not favorable. No one pulls for destruction–even amid the extreme need for vigilance.
    Thanks for Rob’s–and everyone’s–efforts in times like these. History has shown….

  6. 00z WRF is a bit weaker and tracks up towards Forks. 35-45kt gusts shown over PDX. The 40-50mph forecast stands if the WRF is right. The track isn’t that bad…. So now it comes down to which model is handling the cyclogenesis and depth the best.

  7. 00z MM5-NAM upped the ante this evening. It takes a strong, very compact 978-979mb low into Astoria/Long Beach which a much better possibility of damaging winds now into the Willamette Valley and PDX/Vancouver metro. This run features a classic track and trajectory for a PDX wind storm. Ideal alignment of isobars. IF the WRF follows suit we’ll see the Wind Advisory upgraded. That’s a big IF as of now.

  8. Boring Oregon says:

    You’ve been… THUNDERSTRUCK!

  9. This was a pretty good day here until 4pm when heavy showers (initially with hail moved in) The temperature dropped to 42.5F in the rain- fairly chilly after reaching 54 earlier in the day during a sunny break. I wonder what will hapen tomorrow with that next low moving in- I don’t want to see another windstorm. The winds on Thursday morning caused a tree to crsh into someone’s bedroom just east of our city resulting in a fatality.

  10. chiefWright (Marquam 350') says:

    Big strike less than 1000′ away; now hailing like crazy.

  11. Aleta-West Gresham says:

    Thunder in Gresham! Nice rumbles!!

  12. 4:44 PM Radar Update
    Nice squall with hail/thunder moving into Oregon City, West Linn, Gladstone

  13. EY (Oak Grove) says:

    House shaking thunder just hit me.

  14. W7ENK says:

    NWS backpedaling continues. HIGH WIND WATCH now dropped, substituted for the following…

    312 PM PST SAT MAR 12 2016



    • pappoose in scappoose says:

      Sure seemed like the warning came out too early. Question now is, did they drop it too early?!

      Flip/flopping like a fish outta water!

  15. A safe forecast right now is a Wind Advisory G 40-50mph. It could just end up being 35-45mph and just the same we could possibly see 50-60mph with a High Wind Warning. All models seems to agree on one thing, and that is a continued east-southeast movement aiming towards the Oregon/California until the wave reaches 40-42 N, 130-132 W of which it then undergoes intensification and turns northeastward. The critical point will be exactly where this occurs in proximity to 130 W. The trajectory looks fairly classic, so then it’s a matter of how soon does cyclogenesis occur and what will the depth be. It could be too soon and the low curls more north all the way up into central-southern Vancouver Island/Tatoosh Island. It could take place a bit closer to 130 W and turn northeast up the Oregon Coast with landfall Tillamook to Long Beach, or it could be in the middle between there somewhere from Ocean Shores to Forks. I don’t like the fact that looking at all 12z runs we do not yet have solid model agreement with track and depth. When you’re 18-24 hours out a potential medium-high impact weather event you think they would more or less mirror each other in those aspects. I would lean personally towards a Wind Advisory for PDX/Vancouver metro and the Willamette Valley wind gusts 40-50mph. We’ll see! Chehalis-Olympia northward is more likely to see gusts 50mph+ and damaging winds. All eyes on Water Vapor/IR Loops!

  16. EY (Oak Grove) says:

    I’d like to see something but at the same time… I don’t want a storm tomorrow. If it HAS to happen, can someone schedule it earlier for the day and hopefully not TOO many power outages?

    That’d be great…

  17. W7ENK says:

    The fizzle continues…

    12z run taking storm track farther West with a sharper curve farther to the North.

    Things not looking good for a windstorm anymore. Looks like even the Puget Sound Basin misses out of strong winds at this point. Just a wet, breezy day on tap for tomorrow, mainly in the evening.

  18. High Desert Mat says:

    Thanks for detailed analysis as always Mark. Hopefully its a big storm and the last one of the season. Ready for warmer and drier weather. Snowed for a bit yesterday and last night.

  19. Jason Hougak says:

    Calm before storm… finished mowing and cleaning up yard, now it’s bound to happen!!!

  20. Boring Oregon says:

    I’m ready for it to get warm so the Mason Bees start coming out.

  21. alohabb says:

    Cancelled for Hood River Valley…still on for Valley, but may downgrade to Wind Advisory tonight.

  22. W7ENK says:

    Oops!! It’s starting to unravel now, NWS has begun backpedaling by rolling out the cancelations…

    932 AM PST SAT MAR 12 2016




  23. paulbeugene says:

    Looking at the 12Z runs, seems bullseye for strong winds is SW Washington and Puget Sound for the moment, with the Willamette Valley getting gusts to 45-50mph. Anywhere from Longview N to Seattle could see closer to 60mph. Models suggesting storm deepening to 978-985mb around the time it arrives at Washington Coast.

    I suspect the models may trend a bit farther E/NE with storm track for the afternoon and evening runs.

    Willamette Valley not out of the woods yet.

  24. Jason Hougak says:

    Winter Storm Watch… High Wind Watch… now this is weather at a whole new level!!!
    Ski Areas will be effected tomorrow by the heavy snow and strong winds. Go today, tonight or Monday when it’ll be epic!!!

  25. Rebecca Gordon says:

    Anyone know at what wind speed skilifts close? Only day I can go snowboarding is on Sunday and NOAA is forecasting 80mph gusts at Timberline and Meadows. Seems high to me.

  26. Dave in SW PDX (235') says:

    Thanks for the warning, Mark. As much as I like a good windstorm, my fir trees have already taken a beating this winter, many large branches blown down on December 21st. I hope winds are less extreme this time, but my chainsaw is sharp and ready to go just in case.

  27. WEATHERDAN says:

    First, again. Peace

  28. Anonymous says:

    Is it possible I’m first (after going back to lurker mode for a couple of years)?

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