Stormy Saturday Update: Looks Slightly Weaker

Noon Friday

Just a quick update to let you know things still look about the same for tomorrow, although models have backed off SLIGHTLY on the amount of wind we get and position of the surface low.


  • Gusty south wind spreads onto the coastline late tonight, then it’ll be windy all day tomorrow out there.
  • Strongest wind at the coastline will be in the first half of the day…gusts 55-70 mph are likely.
  • Gusty south wind arrives in the Portland metro area and western valleys from Longview to Eugene right around sunrise.
  • I expect a wide variation in peak gusts since it’s springtime; strong wind overhead mixes down in “bursts” in this setup.  Wind will come and go all day long.  35-50 mph speeds likely for most of us.
  • A few very exposed spots (Chehalem Mtn, top of West Hills, top of Mt. Scott etc…) could see gusts over 50 mph.

This isn’t a big storm, but a pretty good “wind event” for April.  Some limbs/trees will fall of course and there will be plenty of power outages.


Take a look at the ECMWF & GFS model forecast of low pressure location at 11am tomorrow:

The storm is pretty far offshore, and just barely to the 130W longitude location we like to see lows travel to give us a windstorm.  Models have also trended SLIGHTLY farther offshore with it.    The 12z WRF-GFS is similar; here’s a closer view at 11am tomorrow:

For comparison, last year’s April storm was a little stronger and well inside that critical 130West line:

This is the main reason I’m not too wound up about a big windstorm like last April 7th.  The GEM (Canadian) model is still pushing a pretty strong wind field onshore though.  Check out midday tomorrow:


The NWS has upgraded the High Wind Watch to a High Wind Warning for the western valleys of NW Oregon and SW Washington.  Typically you need 58 mph gusts for a HWW to verify, but I think that’s unlikely for 90% of us.  They are concerned about a few pockets of strong overhead wind mixing down to sea level at some point during the day; we’ll see how that plays out.  My gut feeling is that the airports (official observation locations) will likely be in the 40-50 mph range tomorrow.  Those speeds are still the strongest we’ve seen this entire storm season…it’s been a quiet year!

Ahead of the storm, enjoy the warmer temps today, satellite imagery shows some pockets of clearing finally arriving.  It should be a warm afternoon with showers not returning until sunset or beyond.

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen





45 Responses to Stormy Saturday Update: Looks Slightly Weaker

  1. Pat -n- GardenHome says:

    Where is my fork?

  2. K says:

    Gusts are now beginning here in the West Hills.

  3. Sprayandpay says:

    Plus you can tell by the lack of activity on the blog. If this were a real wind event this blog would be lighting up like a PBX phone system.

  4. Sprayandpay says:

    Barely a breeze and the barometer is rising. Windstorm canceled it looks like. Thanks NWS for jinxing it.

  5. Ken in Wood Village says:

    The low looks very impressive on the satellite picture. Looks like the EURO makes it down to 969mb right now. Things should start getting interesting soon. I noticed on the satellite picture that a line of showers are growing, wonder if these could build up to thunderstorms. I may have to go West to see stronger wind…lol

  6. Jason Hougak says:

    The wind is ripping up here in the foothills

  7. Lee Wilson says:

    oh, and sure feels like the tropiocs too….erg.

  8. Lee Wilson says:

    We just went from high win watch ti, high wind warning .
    looks like a great kite flying day 🙂
    but just incase, we haethe generator on stand by.

  9. EY (Oak Grove) says:

    I want this to be about as strong as last year, or at least a little weaker but not much…

    That said, I don’t think it’s going to be a monster of a storm. The system appears to be further north than model guidance suggested it would be at this time and MUCH further off shore than I’d like to see for even a ‘good’ windy day. That said, it IS April, so we’ll see some incredibly windy pockets, but I’m no longer holding my breath on this being anything other than ‘huh, that was breezy.’

    That said, I’m also the kind of person who tries reverse psychology on nature. So take EVERYthing I say with a grain of salt.

  10. Ken in Wood Village says:

    Just wanted to let you know that buoy 46036 has a pressure of 989mb and the storm is SW of the buoy. According to the Windy website, the pressure of the low is now 975mb. Not sure how accurate that is tho.

    • K says:

      Buoys have rapid pressure falls, but the ones I found stopped reporting at 4:50. Wonder why?

      • K says:

        8:10 our time, that is.

        • Ken in Wood Village says:

          I’ll look at stuff in the morning. I’m heading to bed, a little tired. I’ll probably be up close to 5am. My cat seems to think that’s the time to wake me

  11. K says:

    South winds are kicking up for some reason? It should be east, but my station says south. What a conundrum. Can someone explain?

  12. GTS1Kft says:

    Fine time for the NWS website to go down…

    • GTS1Kft says:

      and now it’s back.

    • K says:

      Well, it’s practically customary for something to go down every time we have a significant weather event, isn’t it?
      I don’t think we’ve met, I’m a long time lurker who finally decided to join the blog. Nice to meet you!

  13. K says:

    People out on the Weather Forums think the Willamette Valley will get hit tomorrow. So does the NWS, Mark, and Rod. The HRRR and HRRRX looking so much better. Cool stuff. I think gusts 40-55 here and down the valley.

  14. K says:

    HRRR and HRRRX look much better. So do the ensemble models (ever slightly so).

    • Ken in Wood Village says:

      I also noticed something else. Did you look at the precipitation? The way it looks, it looks like we could see thunderstorms. At least that’s what I think.

    • Sprayandpay says:

      You can pretty much tell if your on the receiving end of the threat by comparing the activity on The Weather Forums dot com and here. If the threat is up more towards Seattle that forum lights up like crazy if not then they talk about gardening stuff and OT posts.

      If the threat is aimed down here then this blog starts lighting up or is dead.

  15. ocpaul says:

    I’m betting the system moves further west or north and ends up being nothing more than a breezy rain storm.

    • K says:

      NWS and forecasters seem pretty sure and the storm is strengthening as planned. Not much change in models either. I think 40-55, or at least 35-50 will pan out tomorrow, particularly in Salem and Corvallis, as well as the West Hills.

    • Sprayandpay says:

      I think ocpaul is right.

  16. Shawn Weagle - Garden Home / SW Portland says:

    Mark, I wasn’t there when the warning was issued, but I’m guessing the NWS office lowered the criteria due to concern of new blossoms/leaves knocking more trees and branches down than usual. Plus, as you mentioned earlier, trees haven’t really been tested yet this season.

    • K says:

      Shawn, are you from the NWS? Because if so that’s super cool!

      • Shawn Weagle - Garden Home / SW Portland says:

        Yep, that’s me!

        • K says:

          That’s great. You guys are honestly so great and knowledgable about the smallest intricacies of our weather. Anyways, I noticed that the warning was changed to include gusts of 55 later today and into Sunday. Does that mean the whole night?

  17. K says:

    Bufkit Warehouse shows that model minimum average is 45 mph and maximum is 55, so 40-55 seems to be still good. I don’t think models will flip too much. What does everyone else think?

    • Shawn Weagle - Garden Home / SW Portland says:

      I agree… this track is pretty close to what I had in mind when we put out the initial special weather statement Tue night. Maybe juuust a little bit further offshore. I think Mark is pretty spot on when he says 35-50 for the Valley. I do think there will be a couple overachievers though.

    • Ken in Wood Village says:

      K, sorry I haven’t been online for a few hours but I have been dealing with a really bad headache. I thought some sleep could help it (it did, a little). I’ve been looking at the models and it does look like the storm will be weaker (but things still could change). I also looked at the satellite pictures, it doesn’t look all that good right now but I’m thinking things will change with that in the next few hours. I do see something on the water vapor loop. If you look at the low, you can see decent amount of a dry slot inside the low. I have seen this in the past. Once that cold front moves through the area, that’s when we will see a good amount of wind. If you read the NWS decision, they said that we would get a second round after the front moved through. I will agree with them on that part because the area were there is no rain, the wind is able to speed up because it doesn’t have to push through the rain.

      Back in 2014 we had a big wind event (I don’t remember the month but I do remember it being 2014 because I lived in Tigard at the time). I kept telling people at work that we would have some big wind but it had been raining a lot and not a lot of wind. The front came through and the rain stopped. I went outside with a co-worker to have a smoke, it was dead calm and it warmed up. We finished our smoke and went back in. Not more than 5 minutes went by when I looked back outside and the wind picked up, and did it ever pick up. It was like night and day.

      I think that could happen with this storm.

      Again, sorry for not being online at such an important event….hehe 🙂

      • K says:

        Ken, no problem! I hope your headache is much better. I am looking less at the models right now and more at satellite. I feel that if NWS says 45-55 than I should trust them, but I do feel 40-50 may verify. But who knows? I’m still excited, as the event is far from cancelled- the storm is just a bit weaker.

        • Ken in Wood Village says:

          Thank you for your thoughts about my headache 🙂 I’m riding the satellite pictures too. As much as we look and look at the models, mother nature does what she wants to do. We can only think we know what will happen but in the end, she has control of what will happen…hehe 😉

        • K says:

          NWS and others confident in the windstorm, as models have not changed. Whew! Perhaps I shouldn’t pay so much attention to Accuweather. Are they accurate?

        • Ken in Wood Village says:

          LOL, I have found that Accuweather isn’t all that accurate…lol. I’m not sure were they are located but the people from the NWS are from the Portland area. They know what can happen with these types of storms. Bottom line, I wouldn’t rely on Accuweather…lol 😉

    • K says:

      Pressure dropping here, down to about 1000 mb.

      • Ken in Wood Village says:

        Cool, the NWS said in the decision the Low was at 986mb and dropping about 1 to 2mb per 2 hours.

        I have been looking at the water vapor loop and to my untrained eye, it looks like there is a second low. I could be wrong tho 😒

  18. Paul D says:

    The leafless trees ought to be less affected by the wind.

  19. K says:

    The NAM has come back a bit stronger.

  20. W7ENK says:

    Either way, it’s kind of interesting that this is happening on the exact same day as the “unusual” windstorm last year. If it happens again next year, I’m going to start referring to it as “The 4-7 Glitch.” That’s a Matrix reference, if you didn’t catch it…

  21. alohabb says:


  22. K says:

    40-55 seems good. I’m still excited, I think this may do some damage because it’s spring.

  23. Ellen Wallace says:

    Last year my top gust was 15mph. I live in east of Kelso. I don’t know how tomorrow is going to go but we’ll see…

%d bloggers like this: