Thunderstorms Arrived, Now Mainly Gone

9:45pm Wednesday…

For awhile things were getting exciting in the weather center with 3 different severe thunderstorm warnings for storms over the Cascades.  That was in the 4:30-6pm timeframe.  We saw large hail and then Hans Wipper from Skibowl sent us the best video of the day showing unusually large hail bringing traffic to a halt on U.S. 26 in the construction area west of Govy.

It appears the main lifting has moved north as we head towards 10pm.  So we are probably done with the storms, for sure if we don’t see something in the next 2 hours.  Here’s a chart showing all the cloud to ground strikes:


Everything was on the far east side of the metro area and then up into the Cascades.  Now I know almost everyone heard thunder and/or saw lightning strikes.  I know for a fact that our transmission tower was struck in the West Hills (engineer saw it), so it’s obvious lightning detection isn’t perfect.  Most likely there was plenty of cloud to cloud action too.  Hope you all enjoyed a little taste of the warm season.  We’ll have some short videos on our 10pm show as well.  Here’s a great pic from Happy Valley.  I love the play of the clouds obscuring Mt. Hood, the trees, the strike, and the scotch broom blooming.  Very nice.  Pic by Nathan Zaremskiy


Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

13 Responses to Thunderstorms Arrived, Now Mainly Gone

  1. Boydo3 N. Albany says:

    Uh oh, check your radar and lightning data tonight…. 🙂

    • Boydo3 N. Albany says:

      A third of an inch of rain in the last 1/2 hour with several cloud to ground strikes… FUN!

  2. My alter ego says:

    So far 2016 looks a lot like 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015, warm. Of course it might not stay this way but right now it certainly looks like another warm Summer headed our way. 74 and mostly Sunny at 3:00 PM. Peace.

  3. Joshua Downtown PDX says:

    I forgot how refreshing only 10 degrees above normal feels. April is running an easily record breaking 7.7 degrees above normal at PDX so far. Quite a bit above our mean average for May actually. Had our 7.7 degree anomaly been on the cold side this month, we would have a mean temperature of 43.7. Almost exactly average for February. Just another illustration of how silly stupid warm it has been this month.

    I have no data to back this up, but my observations lead me to believe that downtown has to be running at least a couple of degrees above PDX for the month. Yikes!

  4. W7ENK says:

    Yesterday was actually a great thunderstorm, as thunderstorms go. Had it been after sundown, the light show would have been absolutely phenomenal! Right about 5pm I heard my first roll of thunder, and the thunder basically didn’t stop rolling for almost 2 hours. It was continuous, one roll lead right into the next, which lead right into the next, so on and so forth. I’ve only experienced that two other times, once in Central Minnesota and again in NE Ohio.

    Beautiful, crazy, massive mammatus with that storm, too. I’ve never seen them quite so impressive before! (Not up in the sky like that, anyway.) 😉

    This map shows both CG strikes and CC.

    As you can see, the vast majority of lightning was off to my East, but numerous times I watched lightning arch across the whole sky — zigzagging and crawling back and forth all over the place — directly overhead.

    It was interesting to see how PDX air traffic was diverting in all sorts of unusual directions, threading their way around the storm cells. I don’t think I’ve ever seen departures heading due South right over the top of Milwaukie before, and certainly not at such a low altitude.

    I ran video from both the dashcam in the car and from my HD on a tripod, hopefully I caught some great shots in there. The intent is to timelapse the storm, my little laptop is currently taksed with processing about 5 hours worth of Full HD video from between both cameras… We’ll see how it all comes together.

    Storms again tomorrow?

    • runrain says:

      I sent a similar pic to Mark today, taken at probably the same time as you took this one. It was a fascinating sky and amazing how long-tailed the cloud to cloud lightning was.

  5. runrain says:

    I watched the storm yesterday in Happy Valley. Lots of lightning and thunder but all of it cloud to cloud from my vantage point. And the most unusual thing was that half the claps of thunder were not preceded by visible lightning. It seemed that the lightning discharges were unusually high in the clouds in this storm.

  6. Hal in Aims says:

    the “overhyped forecast” performed just fine here……….

  7. No lightning (or thunder) here, but the showers arrived sometime after 4am in the general vicinity. (I awoke to it about 5:20 myself). Barometer was down to 29.70 around 8pm yesterday, but started rising with the marine push last night before I went to bed.So overall, I’d say things went as forecasted.

  8. Paul D says:

    Awesome picture!!

  9. JackFrost says:

    Another overhyped forecast. Now that’s it’s post storm which models handled it the best and which models handled it the poorest?

    I have a sneaky suspicion the Euro is the winner?

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