2pm: A “Regular” Minor Wind Event & Wrapup

That was a bit underwhelming, should have stuck with original thoughts last night.  I never saw more than 8,000 PGE customers out of power at one time.

While not a total bust (we still had “Wind Advisory Level” gusts, just barely)…most of the metro area has only seen gusts in the 35-45 mph range.  Not a single 50 mph gust in the lower elevations.  We’ll see these gusty winds die down over the next few hours.  Peak pressure gradient from Eugene to Olympia was only 11 millibars, barely a windstorm event and as weak as the WRF-GFS showed this morning (it forecast about 10).

Seattle is getting nailed at this hour, SEA went from light east so southerly gust 56 mph in a short period of time!

Peak Gusts as of 2pm:

PDX: 38
Hillsboro: 38
Troutdale: 40
Aurora: 44
Salem: 41
McMinnville: 55
Chehalem Mt: 57
The surface low is making landfall right about now at Forks, Washington as a sub- 980mb pressure.  Here is a map from the pre-dawn hours from the NWS showing the model forecasts as of the 6z runs.


Winners:  GFS/RGEM/GEM  These models generally did well with track, with the usual minor flip-flopping on low location around in the final runs beforehand.

Winner: HRRR low pressure track.  It did quite well, but it did over-forecast the inland wind speeds.

Winners:  In general ALL models did well with low pressure intensity…within 5 millibars or so of reality through the past 48 hours.

Loser:  NAM and NAM-MM5  It was far too south on more than one run.  In fact at one point yesterday the low was almost over Portland!

Loser:  ECMWF  (This one hurts!) While not a disaster, the ECMWF was too far offshore on the track a couple days ahead of time, then over-compensated and pushed it slightly too far south in the end.

On tap…tons of mountain snow and then warm spring sunshine for a few days later this week…

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

28 Responses to 2pm: A “Regular” Minor Wind Event & Wrapup

  1. Jason Hougak says:

    ❄️❄️❄️POWDER ALERT… Easily the BEST skiing since December…👀Wow!!! The snow was light and dry with a stiff NW wind and low 20’s at Timberline. Base continuing to build. All said and done Timberline will be closing in on 3 feet, amazing. Current storm cycle is at 2 feet at 4pm. It’s been nothing but steady rain, hail and rumbles of thunder up here in the foothills the past couple hrs. ❄️❄️❄️👍🏼👍🏼

  2. CorbettTez says:

    So didn’t you just make a big proclamation the other day about the “end of the East winds for the year!” ??

    Since then we’ve had several days of gusts in the upper 40’s and now this upcoming “warm spring break weather” will be accompanied yet again by strong East winds!? Which basically means cold and miserable in the gorge while everyone else enjoys springtime. Maybe we could delay with the big proclamations until spring actually arrives in the future! SO frustrating!

    • Mark Nelsen says:

      Yes, east wind continues off/on in the spring, but the days long episodes with cool temperatures are over with. Warm sunshine in March is sometime accompanied by strong east wind in the Gorge.

    • Hal in Aims says:

      there is a reason there are no limbs on the east side of the trees in the gorge……..

  3. Tyler Mode says:

    Cold and raw day! 44 and raining.

  4. Wendy-Silverlake, WA says:

    So the best thunderstorm ever just went over us. We are talking dime size hail (and yes I did take pics). While you could still see the flash from the lightning the thunder was amazingly loud, loudest I think I’ve ever heard. Totally made my day!!!!!

  5. Tyler Mode in Battle Ground says:


    Here is night 2 of the aurora. This night featured a few outbreaks with some slower points between.

    Enjoy, and please share the link if you like


  6. “Marchember” continues for another day here- but brighter skies are on the way starting tomorrow(I think). Yesterday before the storm moved in I had a glimpse of the low snow level on the mountains. By Wednesday I should get a clear view of the wonderful sight there.

  7. Jason Hougak says:

    ❄️POWDER ALERT❄️… ❄️POWDER ALERT❄️… 18″ last 24hrs at Timberline!!!😀

  8. Longview 400 ft says:

    Currently 35.6 under clear skies.

  9. runrain says:

    Quite a different weather day here in Phoenix. Watched the Mariners lose to the Reds in spring training today. The outfield grass area was completely full of beach towels and their occupants under mid-70’s and sunshine. Mostly northwest folks at the game.

  10. I echo similar comments about the storm here in Vancouver BC. Definetly not as strong as the previous storm, though it did have its moments in the late afternoon. Rain was lighter than expected overall as well. Now I’m looking forward to seeing the end to this dreary pattern!

  11. Jason Hougak says:

    Windy here in the foothills but not too outta the ordinary up here. A few higher gusts did take me by surprise but nothing like what the HWW showed on Friday with 80mph gusts possible.
    Bring on the mtn snow!!!

  12. rubusleucodermis says:

    Definitely qualified as a windstorm up this way, as Mark already mentioned. Atypically for a windstorm, this one seems to have been worse for Seattle than for those of us on the west side of the Salish Sea. Last Thursday’s event did more damage for us; so far I have been without power for only a few minutes today, compared to over 6 hours on Thursday.

  13. W7ENK says:

    An Advisory was excessive, IMHO. Peak wind gusts in the areas I witnessed today (Milwaukie, Oregon City, Lake Oswego and Tigard) were in the upper 20s to 30 mph, maybe 35, max. Sustained winds were either non-existent or in the 10-15 mph range. Based on the obs, this sounds about normal for all over the area for today’s storm.

    From NWS verbiage:


    By and large, this did not happen.

    • BlazerFan32 says:

      Only made it to a gust of 33 mph here in Southeast Tacoma at 1:05 PM. McChord Air Force Base made it to 55 mph. Gray Army Air Field also at JBLM made it to 58 mph. Hoquiam Bowerman Airport made it to 62 mph, and Destruction Island also hit 70 mph by early this afternoon. The highest overall that I did see was I think 89 mph at Naselle Ridge east of Long Beach. I think Clatsop Spit hit 81 mph too.

      One thing was for sure, it was surely a quick hitter as KOMO TV up here mentioned it would be. The UW WRF GFS model had it forecast to move between the mainland of Canada and Vancouver Island by 6 hours after it had made landfall somewhere between Hoquiam and Astoria.

      In general it did look like it was not much of an event in the Portland metro area and vicinity. 🙂

  14. Debbie in Fairview says:

    Just got considerably windier out in East county after getting calmer about an hour ago.

  15. WEATHERDAN says:

    Hooray DST is here Sunset tonight is 7:16 PM. Now let Spring commence. Peace.

    • rubusleucodermis says:

      A dose of warm spring sunshine sounds nice about now.

    • Jackfrost says:

      I prefer brighter mornings and miss them. Makes spring so much nicer if we had brighter mornings the best time of day.

      People are stupid. Even without DST the sun would still be up till 8pm and light outside till 9pm or even 9:30pm depending on cloud cover/mountains blocking the light.etc

      Farmers would really be grateful for the brighter mornings as they would use way less artificial light to do morning chores as farmers get up way earlier and are likely up right now.

    • Jackfrost says:

      Did I mention there is ZERO energy savings? How about a compromise?

      Clocks half hour ahead and leave it there permanently so it will still be bright just a little bit longer but the morning people will be pleased too!

    • WEATHERDAN says:

      Most people have little time for recreation at 4:00 AM. However in the evening in Summer it is nice to have the extra hour of daylight. What I would hope for is year round DST. Then there would be no clock change to disrupt the citizenry. And we would have a 5:30 PM sunset in December. As for the farmers there are so few today because of corporate farms and most Americans live in Metro areas. So I am not so concerned about them. Heard on ABC news last week 10 states are considering going to year round DST. Peace.

  16. W7ENK says:

    Aaaaaand… it’s over.

    300 PM PDT SUN MAR 13 2016



  17. High Desert Mat says:

    Breezy to gusty in Redmond all morning long and just now starting to die down a bit.

  18. Hal in Aims says:

    ok…….bring on Spring……….

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