Saturday Storm Forecast

4pm Friday…

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.

Important Notes:

  1. 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!
  2. This IS A MAJOR STORM for the north Oregon coastline.  Even in winter this would be a biggie.
  3. 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






31 Responses to Saturday Storm Forecast

  1. Steven James says:

    Everyone I know is a little freaked out about tomorrow’s storm … I tell them it’s no worse than anything we’ve seen before.

    Every time the media overhypes an upcoming storm, it fizzles.

    So if we set our expectations low, nature will surprise us.


    • SortingHat says:

      That’s usually how it works. With the 2008 storm (storms) things were looking pretty bleak and we almost lost hope until things surprised us.

      Then as we were expecting more that January (2009) was pretty dissappointing even for the mountains.

  2. GTS1K' says:

    oh dear, scooter is distraught…

    …and off topic…

    It’s the forecast(s) being referenced here – not Jason’s purported wish for chaos. That’s something you brought to the table.

    I wonder why you did that. eh?


    will the high winds hit kelso washington ?

  4. pappoose in scappoose says:

    646 PM PDT FRI OCT 14 2016

             125-130 MPH. PATH LENGTH 0.7 MILES. MAXIMUM 
             PATH WIDTH 225 YARDS.
  5. Lurkyloo says:

    Good gosh, it’s raining cats and dogs and possum here in NE! Whew! Thanks Songda. Not.

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

    Wow. Just picked up .4″ of rain in 15 minutes from this current squall moving through – rain rate of 4.97″/hr at one point. Up to .74″ for the day and still coming down. Lots of red on the radar, cells seem to be “training” out of the SW.

    • Dave in SW PDX (235') says:

      Unreal – .87″ & counting. Now that’s what you call a downpour. Is Songda here yet?

  7. longbeachrob says:

    Looks like they cancelled the run over the Astoria Megler bridge

  8. Jason Hougak says:

    Seems like 2 days of weather forecast bust. Aside from the rainy day Thursday, today was stormy all day with strong gusty winds and heavy rain showers. I heard several rumbles of thunder and I have read about the tornados at the coast. Who knows what tomorrow will bring.

    • Scooter says:

      Did you forget already all the excitement you expressed last evening? Whole cities without power, filling gas cans for generators, limbs and branches down on the State highway. And two tornadoes to boot. What the hell do you want, mass destruction and chaos?

  9. Holly in Eastmoreland says:

    A real gully washer in SE Portland right now.

  10. Lee Wilson says:

    Setting up Halloween Blow ups was a real “blast” 🙂
    Now to take a video with a camera to night as the winds howl.
    Perfect for Halloween.

  11. Lee Wilson says:

    I take my Dog Out for his walks…he Looks at me like “Are you Nuts HUman”?

  12. GTS1K' says:

    Is this on???

    check, check….

    after yesterday’s (dare I say it) semi demi hemi quaver bust, perhaps the weather gods will further mess with the 3cast and stuff it right up the valley.

    Stuff happens….

  13. longbeachrob says:

    I had to sneak outside and clean the gutter on the barn today. Water was running over the edge in the middle. The gutter guy used those dumb clips instead of the gutter spikes, so it sags. But, hay, it is a barn. LOL

  14. Pete says:

    It is Sunday – and still on, at last word.

    “We also realize that two strong storm fronts will be moving through this week, prior to the race. However, the weather on race day looks like typical rain and wind for the Oregon Coast in October. We have been receiving input from ODOT and NOAA about the current weather patterns. At this time, we do anticipate the event to move forward as scheduled. See you there (with raincoats on)! *UPDATED: 10.13.16”

  15. W7ENK says:

    Hold onto your butts!!

    • longbeachrob says:

      I thought I was going to end up in Kansas! Hahaha. 4 am the cell phones all go off and scare the hell out of everyone for one of about 3 Tornado warning.

  16. longbeachrob says:

    Should be fun tomorrow for the runners on the Astoria – Megler bridge. LOL

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