First Wind Storm in 6 Months Friday

4pm Thursday

As mentioned in last night’s post, the last time we saw a deep low tracking up the coastline to give us strong south wind was way back in October.  All morning/midday models are in and show a windstorm both at the coast and likely for spots in the valley too.  The NWS is on board with high wind warnings up for the coastline and wind advisories for the valley.  Read the previous post for more detail since not much has changed.


Our forecast hasn’t changed much for the coast.  The wind appears to come in two waves out there.  First wind arrives right at sunrise (6am) or just before, then a 2nd stronger surge during the late morning hours:


All areas south of Portland should turn windy by sunrise with general 30-45 mph gusts then spreading INTO the metro area by mid-morning.

Between 10am-2pm bands of heavy showers and thunderstorms should mix even stronger wind gusts down to the surface (where we all live) in isolated spots.   This is a setup where some neighborhoods could get a 50-55 mph gusts and others stay down in the 30-40 mph range depending on where the heavy showers show up.  We can’t predict that well, but plan on some power outages and a few trees down.

In this pattern with cold air moving in overhead, a few thunderstorms, and some twisting in the atmosphere, it’s quite possible we get a few reports of funnel clouds.  Keep an eye on the sky tomorrow!

The screaming message here is that Friday should be a very active day (mainly before 3pm).  And for the first time in 6 months we get a southerly windstorm west of  the Cascades here in the valleys.


For the geeks:

A tough forecast for Friday since once again the isobar alignment for strong south wind in the valley is far from ideal (for strong wind).  In the past, without high-res models, I would have just forecast 30-40 mph gusts at best tomorrow.  But all models are very insistent on mixing down the strong south wind that we know will be just a couple thousand feet overhead.  Multiple models are showing 50-65 mph gusts in the north valley tomorrow morning.  Just one example from the NAM below.  If these models are correct, then this will be the strongest April windstorm in the valley since the 1960s!

For good reason our forecast didn’t go that extreme, but I bumped up the numbers slightly from what we were forecasting last night at this time.  We’ll see how it goes!

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen


40 Responses to First Wind Storm in 6 Months Friday

  1. Trish Montesano says:

    Our school literally has our children playing outside during recess we’ve had 40+ mile per hour winds my patio furniture has blown off my front porch there’s construction debris all over the place where is the common Sense. We live in Wilsonville

    Sent from my iPhone


  2. Lee Wilson says:

    Dang droid is screwing up majorly

  3. W7ENK says:

    Power bumps continuing in the Downtown core.

    Power out in my Mom’s neighborhood as of 0715.

    Loud explosion and power is out in my neighborhood as of 0725.

    Coworker just got a call from his neighbor, power is out in South Milwaukie (unincorporated) and he has a tree down through his house.

  4. Lee Wilson says:

    Whoopeee ..I ain’t seen wind like this in a long time…
    Had to tie the sails on the Turbine so that it won’t over spin.

  5. Jason Hougak says:

    Really strong winds blowing already

  6. Paul D says:

    Blowing hard in Hillsboro. Already have lots of tree branches to clean up after its over.

  7. Lee Wilson says:

    This was a light blast.

  8. W7ENK says:

    The flag atop the Umpqua Bank building on the Downtown Waterfront just went from hanging straight down to standing straight out in a matter of seconds. Multiple minor power bumps over the past few minutes — just had a pretty good one as I was just typing that — and the trees outside my office windows are dancing around quite a bit. Gonna be a fun day!

    • Lee Wilson says:

      This was a light blast.

      Me Wife says we need to go and get party Favors…

      Hell No! I don’t feel like having a branch or tree falling on the car.

  9. Anonymous says:

    wow…blew hard out here….not looking forward to ‘stronger’ winds later this morning….

    • Jane - Forest Grove says:

      wow…blew hard out here….not looking forward to ‘stronger’ winds later this morning…

  10. Lee Wilson says:

    Holy smokes! We just got blasted.
    I am up loading video to yt as I key this.

    We have small branches scooting across the road.

  11. JERAT416 says:

    Welcome back Rob! I’m glad to see you here, and just in time for some excitement!

  12. stong says:

    I am flying tomorrow morning at 10:45am. What do you think the chances are that the flight will be impacted

  13. muxpux (Longview) says:

    I want to “chase” this. Any suggestions for locations?

  14. Jake-(Gresham near Nadaka Nature Park) says:

    For those new here. This is the measuring stick right here:

    Columbus Day Track:

  15. Jake-(Gresham near Nadaka Nature Park) says:

    Frankly I’ve quickly gone past the point of enthusiasm. This looks threatening at this point:

    I’m seeing a major storm for the West coast at this point.

  16. Wow, offshore pressure drops of -11mb/3hr. These are the sharpest drops I’ve ever seen!

  17. 00z MM5-NAM Wind Gust model

    Here is a side by side comparison I created from the 12z earlier to 00z tonight. Timestamp: 2 PM Friday. Look at the dramatic difference from just some 35-45mph gusts to a larger, widespread area of 40-55kts now! I would think if the 00z WRF and ECMWF follow suit with a stronger gradient and slighter better northeasterly trajectory of the low puling it closer to the Washington Coast that we’ll see High Wind concerns throughout the Willamette Valley/PDX metro and Southwest Washington.

  18. Lee Wilson says:

    Hmm..hope to capture some lightning.
    But right now..I am not feeling so good..I hope it’s not the flue as I would hate to miss this great storm due to an illness…that would stink…that and planning a birthday for our son who turned 6 on the 3rd, planning to have a party on the 6th.

  19. ron says:

    I have to drive south on 101 in the AM and then back north later on. Should be interesting!

  20. Anonymous says:

    The “tide” is already running out… north winds in the valley.

  21. Jason Hougak says:

    Windy day tomorrow and snow for the Cascades through the weekend below the passes into the higher foothills. Hopefully Timberline can pickup 6-12″ of April snow. Woohoo!!!

  22. ….meanwhile, in my neck of the woods… “The Storm Prediction Center has the Columbia Basin and the Blue
    Mountains eastward under a marginal threat of severe thunderstorms.
    Do not believe we will have severe storms, but some could be strong,
    especially from the Blue mountains eastward…”

  23. This should be fun!

    Thank, Mark

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