A Busier Day: Tornado, Funnel Cloud, & Cat 5 Hurricane

10pm Tuesday…

I thought yesterday was busy, but today was just plain crazy.  Back in the old days (20 years ago) I might have appeared on 1-3 TV newcasts per day, maybe with a radio hit or two as well.

Today I was in 6 newscasts, plus regularly tweeting, facebooking, & keeping up on other internet activities.  It can get crazy!

So today we had our 2nd Oregon tornado of the year (first was in central Oregon earlier in the year).  This one was east of Lacomb, which is well east of Lebanon.  Way out in rural Linn County.  It was a classic westside “barn-buster”;  No deaths, injuries, or damage to homes.  Just 4 barns damaged along with some trees.  An EF-0 is the weakest tornado one can get.  Thanks to the Portland NWS for all the hard work doing their storm survey.  Here are the results:


Here’s how it compares to some other recent tornadoes in our area

Tornado Categories

We received two different videos of funnel clouds both there and near Molalla.  So an exciting day.  I saw nothing on radar that showed much wind shear or rotation with the Lebanon storm.  Part of the reason (other than it was such a weak event) is that Lebanon is a long way from the Portland radar.  The lowest elevation radar beam is up around 9,000′ or even a little higher by the time it’s over Lebanon; that means it’s quite easy to miss rotation in the lower parts of the cloud.

Tornado Why We Cant See Eugene

Our very wet week continues, take a look at rain totals so far (since Sunday PM) in the Cascades…apparently models were right on showing 5-8″ in spots in the North Oregon Cascades

Mark Rain Cascades East Metro Today

Mark Rain Cascades East Metro Today2

And the rain has made it all the way down into south Cascades…very good.

Expect one more soaker tonight and then showers should taper off a little Wednesday afternoon.  Thursday will just be a light shower day.

By the way, it’s beautiful but deadly and dangerous…Category 5 Hurricane Maria is directly over the west end of St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands right now.


Wow, imagine a 175 mph wind.  Remember those gusts we feel up at Vista House in winter are maybe 100-120 at most.  Think what that storm is doing to the island right now.  It’s headed for Puerto Rico Wednesday.

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

36 Responses to A Busier Day: Tornado, Funnel Cloud, & Cat 5 Hurricane

  1. Boring 550' says:

    I’m gonna go out on a limb here and predict that we’re going to have a pretty snowy winter, especially the first half. I’m basing this purely on the fact that we just had a system in the middle of September that almost resembled an arctic front. I think that’s a sign of how easy it’ll be for us to get snow this winter. I also wouldn’t be surprised if we get an early snow in November.

  2. High Desert Mat says:

    Winter weather meeting right around the corner!!

  3. Brian in Leavenworth says:

    Hello everyone, I don’t post much here, since I live in Central Washington, but I always appreciate Mark’s insight and I do visit from time to time. I also visit the Western site. I know it is a slow time, but I hope someone reads this. I know those that subscribe to WeatherBell won’t need it, but there is a new site called https://weather.us/ that has more ECMWF information then I have ever seen on a free site. 

    For example, for the Euro, I can not only select Oregon, I can also zoom into any county, and select a lot of different parameters, more than 50!.  It also goes by 3 hour increments, instead of the usual 24 hours that you usually get from other free sites.  It also lets you see each of the different ensemble members as well.  It also has a good separate section for all the ensembles, and lets you see a graph for your individual town.  I haven’t played with all of the tools yet, but it looks to be the best free site that I have ever seen by far.

    Go here, see Multnomah County and all the different parameters. This will be a fun web site to visit during Winter.


    • Joshua Downtown PDX says:

      Thanks, Brian. I found this website recently as well. Do you know if there is a way to have the data displayed numerically as opposed to charted? Can’t wait for my yearly visit to your neck of the woods for New Year’s Eve.

    • Joshua Downtown PDX says:

      Never mind. Found it. I don’t love the way the information is presented. Cool to have the EURO in any capacity for free though.

  4. Jason Hougak says:

    Fresh turns from the top of Palmer to the Timberline parking lot today… woohoo!!!

  5. Roland Derksen says:

    Looks like some “Indian Summer” weather is headed our way next week!

    • Nahtalkin says:

      I am having the same wonderful thoughts, ah the best time of the year, so fleeting but incomparable.

  6. JERAT416 says:

    When all the snow that fell this week at Timberline and below suddenly melts, will it be enough to noticably affect river levels?

  7. cgavic says:

    Sunshine in Sandy this morning.

  8. …looking at how many palm trees are still standing in Puerto Rico, can you imagine how the forests of the northwest would look if 155mph winds hit here??…

  9. PhilS says:

    Does anyone here know where I can find historical Doppler radar images/animations?

    For example, there was apparently a large storm that passed over the Portland area Wed morning at around 4AM. Where can I find Doppler images for that time frame?


  10. W7ENK says:

    FYI, NWS made a second visit to the site of yesterday’s tornado in Linn County and have upgraded their official determination from an EF-0 to an EF-1. This, based on their discovery of more severe damage that lends itself to wind speeds stronger than 73 mph.

  11. W7ENK says:

    1.15″ of rain at my place since midnight.

  12. Alohabb says:

    Getting another super strong cell in Aloha just dumping rain. Heck of a way to test the gutters!

  13. Alohabb says:

    Driving from Vancouver to Aloha and got absolutely nailed on I-5. Lighting thunder and massive streams running down the freeway. That was a drive!

  14. Boring 550' says:

    49F and pouring rain at 3:45pm on September 20th. That doesn’t happen too often.

  15. W7ENK says:

    That was one helluva thunderstorm that rolled over Downtown a little while ago. Had one lightning strike hit so close, it shook all the windows and I felt it rumble through the floor of my office!

    I haven’t seen it rain like that in quite a while, either. There had to have been a couple inches of standing water in the parking lot right below my windows…

  16. Rain has really been going south the past 24 hours or so. Only 0.43″ total since the rains began up this way (0.21″ overnight). Still nice to see things gradually getting moist. Had a brief thundershower yesterday afternoon.

  17. Roland Derksen says:

    No tornado here, but a pretty heavy shower of rain late last night. i have now 1.93 inches of precipt. for the summer (June 21-sept21). So it still will probably end up the driest summer on record, but it could be close if we get any more of these sudden downpours.

  18. Nahtalkin says:

    All that overtime pays for those great vacation experiences!

    Does anyone else like the computer generated mirror image graphics at the bottom of weather report? Those are just so clever, NOT! Right up there with the silly school buses and jumping Leprechauns on St. Patrick’s Day.

  19. pappoose in scappoose says:

    Really hard to imagine a 175/215 mph wind.
    I don’t think our body bracing techniques would keep us standing.
    Get underground or you’re taking flight!

  20. W7ENK says:

    0.06″ of rain Sunday,
    0.66″ of rain Monday,
    0.34″ of rain yesterday,
    0.76″ of rain between midnight and 6am this morning.

    1.82″ total so far, and there’s still a bunch of rain offshore yet that hasn’t moved through.

  21. JERAT416 says:

    Great update mark! What about the fires? Still burning or are they going out now?

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