2 Evening Questions: When Will the Wind Stop? What About Ice/Snow?

8pm Sunday

I was in 3 different public places today in the Gresham/Troutdale area.  The question was the same :  “I’m tired of the wind; I hate it.  WHEN is it going to stop?”

Answer:  Friday the cold east wind will be gone.   Bonus:  At least it won’t be quite as strong Tuesday-Thursday.


Today was day #4 of strong easterly wind across the central/eastside metro area.  That doesn’t count the previous day (Wednesday) when it wasn’t as strong out there, but everyone in the metro area saw at least SOME wind.  It appears there will be 3-4 more strong east wind days.  I drove by the Vista House wind sensor today; it’s bent a little more back against the building and far from horizontal.   There were plenty of people walking (stumbling & crawling) around though!

Wind Metro Peak Gusts East Wind


  1. Cross-Cascade pressure gradient is now the strongest we’ve seen so far for this event at 8pm.  Over 12 millibars from Portland to The Dalles.  The wind is just as strong now as anytime since Thursday and will remain in the same range through at least midday Monday.
  2. There have been power outages that come & go as more trees fall.  Expect more of those tonight and Monday, then fewer downed trees with more reasonable wind Tuesday.
  3. Peak gusts continue in the 70-80 mph range in Corbett area and 45-60 mph range in “upper” Troutdale.  I see two home weather stations have gone over 50 mph up there today.  I think this is the first time I’ve seen it gust above 80 mph on multiple days at that Corbett sensor that has been in place for 4/5 years.  This is an unusual event even for such a windy place.
  4. The weather we’ve seen this weekend continues through Thursday for all of us…valley sun, mountain warmth, & a mild coastline.
  5. There is no sign of a stormy weather pattern, lowland snow/ice, or flooding in the next 7-10 days.  Our slow start to storm season ’17-’18 continues.

Check out those morning lows in the calm locations…some of these are the coldest of winter so far:

Looking farther ahead…I’m confident we’ll be back to showers/rain/clouds/mild temps by Friday. Of course then the question is:


Answer:  A very small chance, it’s unlikely we get ice/snow this time around…whew!

All models are in great agreement that a cold front swings through here in Friday.  That reverses the pressure gradient quickly.  In fact I expect a mild & gusty WESTERLY wind through the Gorge by Friday afternoon.  This is not the usual ice-storm setup with a low coming up from the southwest.  In this case the front is sweeping in straight from west to east.  It wouldn’t be cold enough for snow anyway since the air overhead will be very mild.  At this point models show some weak precipitation arriving Thursday night and early Friday.  Assuming we don’t drop down to freezing Thursday night we’ll be too warm in the metro area for freezing rain.  Assuming precipitation makes it into the Gorge early Friday morning and the wind hasn’t reversed yet, there could be a very brief period of freezing rain out there (central/east Gorge only).  Lots of assumptions though.  I’d give the chance of freezing rain in the metro area about 10% right now and a 50/50 chance of something brief in the Gorge.  So again, this isn’t the setup for an ice/snow event in our area.  Don’t change any of your plans for Friday.  It’s most likely we just have some light rain and Friday ends up around 48 in the afternoon.

Beyond that some snow will likely fall in the Cascades Friday (a little) and then rain or a mix of rain/snow at the ski resorts over the weekend.  Another shot of snow is likely the early part of NEXT week and then…the bad news…models are pushing another warm ridge overhead as we head into Christmas weekend.  That’s almost two weeks away.  Here’s the ECMWF ensemble average of 500mb heights on Christmas Day.  Don’t place bets on a snowy Christmas!


Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

24 Responses to 2 Evening Questions: When Will the Wind Stop? What About Ice/Snow?

  1. Nahtalkin says:

    Brian had the little graph up again showing how rare this dry spell is according to weather statistics. Well no mention of the near drought weather in the late 1970’s, it was either 76-77 or the next winter that we had this kind of cold dry weather all winter long, not just 10 days or so. Virtually the whole winter was a long dry spell like this that we have been have here lately. So I say to all your graphs and statistics: Liars figure and Figures lie!

  2. Anonymous says:

    I put fresh snow tires on my daughter’s and my wife’s cars and I want snow, dang it!

  3. JohnD says:

    “Fake cold” or not–it felt absolutely wintry/frigid in E. County where I was today! Also want to say GREAT pix Tyler–as always. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Roland Derksen says:

    Hey, I finally felt some wind today- a light breeze this afternoon. Some higher clouds have been moving in and out recently, so maybe a shift toward more typical December weather is starting.

  5. FOVH says:

    Looks like the Vista House gauge went belly up? It’s not frozen is it?

  6. Tyler Mode in Battle Ground says:

    Beautiful morning at Ridgefield Wildlife Refuge…more pics to come.

  7. W7ENK says:

    Oooh, purrrrdy!!

    • Ken in Wood Village says:

      That looks great but wasn’t that from 06Z GFS? It all but took all that away now 😦 I’m just hoping 18Z GFS looks better. Oh, what website did you use to see this? I have a few websites but this one doesn’t look familiar. Maybe it’s a paid site?

  8. Joshua Downtown PDX says:

    12z runs are again terrible. Precipitation for this week and next is eroding to next to nothing. The ridge of high pressure is basically stationary from the 21st to the end of the model runs. Record dry December?

  9. Jason Hougak says:

    The high in the gulf needs to move further west. Alaska needs to get cold and aNW flow needs to develop to deliver the goods!

  10. JohnD says:

    Not good news overall for those of us who pull for low elevation wintry weather. We are in prime time now and every day/week that goes by–with nothing compelling upstream–continues to erode optimism. Could be one of those ho-hum winters here. Wouldn’t be the first time. Way too early to throw in the towel yet though.

  11. Jason Hougak says:

    06Z 😳

    • Ken in Wood Village says:

      Wow, what a difference a run makes on the GFS. Last night when I went to bed I was disappointed but this morning. All I can say is WOW. Let’s just hope the GFS keeps it up.

  12. Nahtalkin says:

    Andy Carson says “High pressure continues to do silly things to our typical December weather.” Isn’t he a “Silly Man”?

  13. Jack says:

    Significant wind pickup this evening, some strong gusts. Probably the biggest winds of the week here. Camas, WA, 600′ elev.

  14. ocpaul says:

    Spent 3 days at Yachats. Strong (25-35 mph) winds. Weird to not see west winds at the beach. Mark, I will never say ‘whew’ to not getting snow. That’s for ‘geezers, pre-wheezers’.

  15. Katherine cory says:

    I’ve noticed some low clouds hanging over Larch Mountain and the mountains above Camas. How are those not being blown away by the super strong winds we’re getting out here in east county?

    • Those clouds are actually being pushed or blown westward from the east slope from north Central Oregon back to the east slopes of the Cascades and eventually right up to the crest or slopping just over them. This is the same reason the central and eastern Gorge are socked in low clouds/fog.

  16. JJ78259 says:

    After the big snow storm last Thursday first since 1985 where San Antonio received 18 inches of snow we are heading back into golf weather for Christmas low 70s and sunny! I was in Portland for our Company Christmas Party over the weekend that east wind was howling today glad to be back shorts tomorrow!

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