The strongest October storm we’ve seen in years will hit the Oregon Coast midday Saturday, and some of that wind will make it inland as well
Storm # 2 arrives tomorrow and the timing has speeded up. A deep area of low pressure races up the coastline, much stronger than yesterday’s low. That means a strong south wind will follow it, first arriving at the coast, then spreading inland quickly.
Here are my forecast windspeeds:
COAST: South wind gusts 75-100 mph 10am-4pm
VALLEY: South wind gusts 45-55 mph Noon-5pm This is quite strong for October and should be a little stronger than the storm that gave us 75,000 PGE outages two years ago in late October.
GORGE: Light wind
EASTERN OREGON: South wind gusts 40-60 mph, midday through afternoon, especially central and north-central Oregon.
The wind backs off quite a bit by evening, then all quiet Sunday.
- This is not a MAJOR STORM for us in the metro area and western valleys, but with leaves on the trees there will be plenty of outages and a few trees down. It should be our strongest October storm in many years though and a very windy afternoon!
- This IS A MAJOR STORM for the north Oregon coastline. Even in winter this would be a biggie.
- This is nothing like the Columbus Day Storm, just a similar track.
Technical info: Models are in relatively good agreement on the movement of the surface low now with the 12z NAM and GFS sending a 970-975 millibar low up to the NW tip of Washington by Saturday afternoon. The 12z GEM was around 967 mb but slightly farther north. The ECMWF keeps moving slightly farther north with each run and now it is relatively “far” offshore as it passes by Astoria around noon. It makes landfall on the NW tip of Washington at about 967 mb, like the other models.
So we’ve got quite a deep low pressure center quite close to the coastline on the “classic” track, but the really intense pressure gradients are north and west of the Portland metro area. You can see it pretty clearly on the WRF-GFS run for 2pm tomorrow from this morning:
That means more of a “typical” wind storm from Salem north to Longview. The cross-sections and meteograms from the WRF also support no huge storm in the valley. In fact south of Salem the wind only looks to be in the 30-40 mph range. For this reason I’m not going to crazy on windspeed and the Portland NWS is doing the same with their 45-60 mph gust range. Still, as we saw two years ago, 45+ mph gusts can do a lot of damage with (most of) leaves still on the trees.
We’ll be keeping a close eye on evening models to see if there is any change in the forecast track or intensity.
Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen