Evening Earthquake, East Wind, & The Next 10 Days

10pm Wednesday

Did you feel the quake last night?  The largest earthquake in our area in the past 2 years hit just a mile or so east of Scotts Mills.  That’s near Silverton.

A 4.0 sure doesn’t generally cause damage, except we did get one photo of a Christmas ornament fallen off a tree, and a tree fell off a bookshelf.  For some of us it was the first quake we’ve felt since that Spring Break Quake in March 1993.  This quake was centered within a mile of that one!  Check out all the 4.0 or larger quakes (over land) in our area since 1990

Let’s talk weather…

The easterly wind has spread back across more of the metro area this evening and gusts within the Gorge increased a bit too after a lull yesterday afternoon/evening.  Check out the past 9 days…ridiculous and the longest/windiest period we’ve seen since January 2009.

The very good news is that the airmass coming in with Friday’s cold front is MUCH colder overhead which will kill the inversion and kill the high pressure in Eastern OR/WA.  In fact by Friday afternoon I expect a breezy WEST wind through the other end of the Gorge.  Yes, Friday afternoon it should be calm at Vista House for the first time in 11 days!

The upper-level ridge over us will weaken a bit over the weekend, then strengthen again, but a bit farther west as we go through the next 7-10 days.  You can see the change from tonight’s 500mb map…

to 10 days out…Saturday of Christmas Weekend

During this time one or two cool systems will drop in over us from the north or northwest.  First will be Tuesday/Wednesday and possibly a 2nd late next week.   Neither will be all that wet, but bring showers and some mountain snow.  This setup will likely turn us a bit cooler as we head toward/into Christmas Weekend.  But models are in disagreement on exact placement of the ridge.  If it’s close to us we’ll just have sunshine and easterly wind again.  If it sets up farther offshore we’ll be significantly colder (arctic air) and that brings up the possibility of snow.  I’m leaning toward the first option for now.  It’s still a mainly dry pattern as I pointed out on my 12 Day Trend graphic this evening:

This is bad for ski resorts; we need new snow, and no significant snow is in sight for the next 6 days.  Christmas Break skiing/snowboarding will be limited, at least to start.  Hopefully that midweek system will produce at least a foot of snow.  We’ll see.

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

44 Responses to Evening Earthquake, East Wind, & The Next 10 Days

  1. W7ENK says:

    31 degrees with sparse little ice pellets bouncing of my windshield when leaving my house this morning.

    34 degrees with light melted drizzle on my walk to the office through the South end of Downtown about 40 minutes later.

  2. Ken in Wood Village says:

    I think I know why the GFS is so weird right now. If you look at the 00Z GFS World map, just about Dec.19th above the Philippines the model want to form a Typhoon. I see it has been doing that for the past 4 runs. I’m thinking the GFS doesn’t know what the weather pattern will do with it integrating with the Jetstream. At least that’s my thinking. What about anyone else??

    • Sprayandpay says:

      The GFS is always broken it seems. The Global Four Letter Word System. 🙂 Models schmodels. They are only as good as the operators are who feed the data. There was an old saying from my time about computers. ‘Garbage In, Garbage out”.

      Today’s generation is WAY too trusting of computers.

      • W7ENK says:

        So Kyle, you do understand that the computer models aren’t fed anything by any “operators,” right? They’re computers. They aggregate real-time data and crunch it through an algorithm that mathematically deduces solutions for output. There is no magic man behind the box or inside the curtain spoonfeeding data to the GFSs’ little computer mouth, it’s all done by computers. If it weren’t for those computers, our collective forecasting ability would still probably be on par with about 1965.

        We’ve got almost 55 years of experience build on that now, and look how far we’ve come.

        Get woke, son.

    • Ken in Wood Village says:

      The only reason why I asked about the Typhoon was because didn’t a Typhoon a few weeks ago make us have a High pressure build up over our area? What happens if the Typhoon doesn’t get that strong and doesn’t track into the Jetstream like the model is thinking? Wouldn’t that change everything for the model run in our area? You also have to remember, in the model run the Typhoon hasn’t even formed until the 19th.

  3. Jason Hougak says:

    You know as well as the GFS performs anyone of us could do better blindfolded.

    • Joshua Downtown PDX says:

      The GFS operational is drunk. Look at the ensembles. Still cool for Christmas week. That ridge is a stubborn son of a b though.

  4. Ken in Wood Village says:

    I knew that the GFS would do this again. I still think it’s just a hiccup. I believe it will change again. Just my thoughts.

  5. flurball says:

    Killer ridge. Glad it’s not summer and wearing out my AC

  6. Jason Hougak says:

    I’d really enjoy a repeat Jan. 1950

  7. W7ENK says:

    Just fair warning: Don’t be too surprised if the next suite of model runs show an “epic” snowstorm for PDX again…

    Further fair warning: Don’t be too surprised if the following suite of model runs show an “epic” BUST for PDX again…


  8. Jason Hougak says:

    NWS showing 1,000′ snowlevels next Thursday, hopefully there will be enough moisture. Snow-forecast.com shows 22.8″ of snow Tuesday night at Timberline. That would just be awesome!

  9. Jason Hougak says:

    Climate Prediction Center shows much of the US including the PNW going below normal temps both in the 6-10 and 8-14 day outlook. It will be below also in the precipitation. That mega ridge will cause Alaska to be above normal. I guess we will see how it unfolds. I’m curious how the winter of 1949-50 developed. January to early February was the grand daddy of winters for us. The average max high was 32.8F. Average low was 21.2 and mean temp 27F. Lots of snow.

  10. Nahtalkin says:

    Sure have been enjoying all the clear nights for watching the moon pass through it’s phases. Now just a little sliver of a crescent rising just before sunrise.

  11. Mountain Man says:

    Just commenting so it’s works on my new service should I want to comment lol. Move along my weather friends.

  12. W7ENK says:

    It’s funny to see everyone getting all spun up about the models out at Day 10+ again. It’s been a while, I’d almost forgotten how entertaining it is to watch.

    Old habits die hard…

  13. Jake in Gresham says:

    One thing is for sure. The cold has moved up. Both the 06z run and the 12z run have the cold into the lower 48 by the 20th instead of the 21st. That was not there on the 00z and yesterdays runs.

    Lack of moisture is showing more and more (more Eastward) but the arctic air looks to be locked in on arriving. Where exactly is the question now.

    It looks like the GFS is doing the dreaded flip flop all the while inching closer to appearing to bring the goods. The Europeans really need to upgrade the ECMWF farther out. I love its detail but it’s a blip on the screen in terms of duration time compared to the GFS.

  14. Joshua Downtown PDX says:

    The 12z models sure do take the wind out of the sails. Brutal change with the ridge being closer to us. Not surprising really.

  15. Hmm… from this morning’s forecast discussion for my area:

    For being a Day 7 forecast, there is strangely good agreement in models depicting Fraser Outflow initiating late next Wednesday or on Thursday, bringing even colder but drier continental air from the interior of British Columbia.


    Only two of the 06z GFS`s 20 ensemble members shows over 1 inch of snow at SEA and BLI next Wed. In other words, the odds of significant lowland snow appear very low right now through the middle of next week.

    • Roland Derksen says:

      Yes, sunny and quite cold is the forecast for my location on Wednesday. I really don’t care if we get a lot of snow out of this or not, however.

  16. W7ENK says:

    The wind sure did pick up again last night, it was about as strong as it’s been so far over these last several days.

    New workstation, much faster processor, a metric buttload of RAM, 1TB internal SSD… the snowflakes on this page are coming down more like intense hail from a severe thunderstorm!!
    Kinda funny, actually. 😂😂

    • If trains stop at a train station, then logically what happens at a work station?

    • Ken in Wood Village says:

      I haven’t seen all the 12Z yet but I think your right about us getting colder. The models have been consistent with that around Wednesday or Thursday. It’s still a week away and I’m hoping maybe we could get a little more moisture into the forecast 😉

    • Ken in Wood Village says:

      Oops, that last post from me was for the post up above this post. It’s harder to make comments to people via your phone…lol

    • W7ENK says:

      Trains stop at the train station.

      Work stops at the work station — at 9am when I go on break. It resumes soon thereafter, it’s just a short layover. 😀

      Still hailing on the blog page, BTW. lol 😆

  17. Joshua Downtown PDX says:

    It is looking likely that the week of Christmas will be pretty cold. Not fake cold either. There does not appear to be much precipitation to work with though. Maybe some flakes in the air or a light dusting if we’re lucky. Still a long way out for things to change.

  18. Alohabb says:

    No tax incentives for Multnomah county yet but i did hear about a measure to tax the wind.

  19. Jake in Gresham says:

    Mark, any word if people on the East side get tax incentives for wind turbines on their homes and cars yet?

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