Gorge Wind Storm Dying Down

9pm Monday…

The most damaging east wind storm in the western Gorge the past 9 years is finally ramping down this evening…slowly.

Pressure gradients from Portland to The Dalles have dropped dramatically from 12 millibars earlier to only 7.3 now.  Generally the higher the number the stronger the wind.


Windspeed has been slow to respond, but it should continue to drop tonight and be in a more manageable and typical 50-60 mph range tomorrow through Thursday.  Maybe even lighter if we get lucky.

We haven’t seen such high wind for several days since the January 2009 event.  Take a look at the past 7 days down at Rooster Rock:

Mark Gorge Wind 7 Day Gusts

I don’t have all the numbers from Corbett but they were similar, peaking around 80-88 for several days.  Keep in mind that in most winters at that location gusts above 75 are rare.  Last year I think it hit 80 or 82 once.

The Vista House wind sensor is gone.  It was beat up for a few days and then wasn’t there when I drove by this morning.  Probably out in Troutdale somewhere…note the last few wind reports around sunrise.  It made one last stand at 7:06am and then that was it.


The damage hit home today when a friend’s home was demolished by a fir tree last night.  While she was sleeping the tree crashed into her home,  impaling her in the abdomen.  She is still in the hospital and I pray for a speedy recovery.  I do know she’s a tough one!  I’ve always considered the east wind a nuisance (enough to move a couple of miles out of it) and somewhat interesting since it brings ice/snow, but that’s it.  This is the first time I’ve seen someone nearly die from that wind.  It gives you a different perspective as a forecaster…

This is the first time since that 2009 event we’ve seen lots of trees have falling for 3-5 days on homes, powerlines, and roads in a relatively small area up there.  It’s interesting windspeeds have NOT been exceptional in the Troutdale/Gresham area…just incredibly annoying.  That’s different from the 2009 event when the 60 mph gusts spread all the way out to Orient/Gresham/Troutdale areas.  But the weather setup has been the same otherwise:  A sharp upper-level ridge, extremely warm overhead airmass, and 10-12 millibar easterly gradient through the Gorge.

Looking ahead, the wind is still expected to stop Thursday night.  West wind will be breezy through the Gorge Friday.

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen


15 Responses to Gorge Wind Storm Dying Down

  1. Diana F. says:

    Holy smokes, Mark, I had to re-read the part about your friend being impaled. Because it’s not often the word “impaled” is contained within your Blog.

    The Viking’s Blogs I follow, YES. The Weather Geeks Blog I follow? Uh, no.

    And oh my lord, the sheer terror your poor friend must have gone through! I do wish her well in her recovery. And after such an Event, THAT is what you call Lucky-to-Be-Alive!

  2. Dave Brown says:

    Over the 30 years I have lived in the Venersborg area and experienced east wind along with those in the gorge / east I-205 crowd, this is the one time I can remember that we have gotten almost NOTHING. Is it possible that this was a major meteorological anomaly? Maybe that explains the intensity of the gusts, etc? Selfishly though, I hope it stays this way. 😉

  3. Ken in Wood Village says:

    Well, at least the GFS is being consistent now with the cold air coming from Canada!!!!

  4. WEATHERDAN says:

    After a short bout of light rain our current weather returns by the 20th. Lots of fake cold but dry. Very El Nino like in a La Nina Winter. Very strange indeed.

    • I wouldn’t dignify a run of December days with highs in the forties and even fifties with the adjective “cold,” fake or otherwise. Maybe if the ridge re-forms it will be colder? (Though I don’t think the models calling for it to do are currently predicting so.)

  5. Jake in Gresham says:

    Someone was asking for free weather websites?

    Top 10 Free Computer Model Websites by Quincy


    Also really like this one for wind


  6. Jason Hougak says:

    Gorge winds… yeah we got that. Weather pattern change discussion. It’s been a week with above freezing temps on the mountain. These computer models are enough to make a person go crazy. So wishy washy each run. Whatever reason did money get approved for spending on something not reliable. I’d love to give that ridge a kick west. The 00Z was very cold but dry .97″ of precipitation.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Mark, hope your friend fairs well and has speedy recovery!

    This indeed as been a strong wind gorge event:


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