Windiest Day of the “Storm Season” In Portland

March 8, 2018

7:00pm Thursday

What a blustery March day!  The wind was a bit stronger than I expected along the coastline, but reasonable inland.

Peak gust at PDX was 42 mph around 8:30am…I slept through it since I work the late shift.

Wind Peak Gust PDX

Hard to believe but that IS the highest gust we have seen since last April’s windstorm.   This winter has been marked by a real lack of southerly wind events or storms.

Here are some other gusts in the metro area.

Wind Metro Peak Gusts Today

All of the airport locations were between 30 & 50 mph.  That’s a bit stronger than I expected and pretty impressive for a weakening low pressure system moving up the coastline!  I forecast 30-40 mph gusts.  Those numbers only include the southerly wind, not the earlier strong east wind coming out of the Gorge.

Now out on the central Oregon coast it was quite strong.  70 on the Yaquina Bay Bridge and 60-70 within a few coastal towns.

Coast Peak Wind Gusts

Once again this was one of the strongest events of our storm season.

Coming up we have the nicest/warmest weather of our early spring season.  After leftover clouds and maybe a shower tomorrow it appears high pressure will build over the western USA through Monday.  A deep upper-level low develops well offshore and pumps warm air up over us.  This can be a classic setup for very warm spring temperatures.  As of today models are showing 850mb temps up around +7 to +10 both Sunday and Monday.  What happens if we combine that with offshore wind and mainly sunny skies (especially Sunday)?  Past cases tell us we should top out between 67 & 73 degrees in this setup.

An issue for some of us is that the east wind will be blowing all 3 days of our early spring warm spell.  It’s not going to feel as warm in Troutdale, Camas, & into the west end of the Gorge.  Gusts are likely to be in the 30-50mph range out there.  But that’s what happens in March when you get an easterly wind.

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen