EF-O Tornado Confirmed in Portland

By Rod Hill on 03-Jul-19 00:55.

Monday July 1, 2019

National Weather Service confirms EF0 tornado, Sunday at 5:24 pm, lasting 6 minutes, 3 miles N/NE of downtown Portland. Winds estimated at 80 mph, a 1 mile storm path width max width of 40 yards. No injuries, storm survey below:

Survey Summary: Tree damage observed, with several large branches down. A few large trees with shallow roots were uprooted along Going St. between 16th Ave. and 21st Ave. Power pole was leaning over on Going St. and 21st Ave. Some shingles torn off roofs at 13th Ave. and Wygant St. as well as 18th Ave. and Going St. Gutter was also torn off house at 18th Ave. and Going St.  A few bricks came off of a chimney at 25th between Prescott St. and Skidmore Street. 

Public Information Statement
 National Weather Service Portland OR
 339 PM PDT Tue Jul 2 2019
 New information has extended the damage path to 38th Avenue and 
 Shaver Street. No changes to rating or strength of tornado.
 EF Scale Rating:        EF-0
 Estimated Peak Wind:    80 mph
 Path Length:            1.60 miles
 Path Width  (Maximum):  40 yards
 Fatalities:             0
 Injuries:               0

Tuesday Weather Shift To Bring Needed Rainfall

By Rod Hill on 13-May-19 10:16.

Monday will bring one more warm, sunny afternoon with highs in the 70s before a cool, showery weather pattern returns Tuesday. Right now, rain is likely to develop Tuesday afternoon and mostly end by the evening hours. Valley rainfall tomorrow could reach .25 inches with highs in the low 60s. More rain is expected to develop Wednesday. Starting tomorrow, each 24-hour period will see at least a chance of showers.

Forecast models show mostly cool days with no 80 degree temperatures through the 30th of the month with up to 2.00" of needed rainfall in the weeks ahead. This pattern shift if true, is great news in terms of delaying the up-coming fire season.

Rod Hill

Summer Outlook 2019

By Rod Hill on 01-May-19 22:06.

The outlook from the National Weather Service May through July projects all of the western United States to see above normal temperatures when averaged over the three month period.  The map on the right shows a below normal rainfall pattern for the same time period for north-western Oregon and western Washington, while much of the country is likely to see above normal rainfall as indicated by the green shading. 
Summer Outlook - NWS
The May outlook shows temperatures and rainfall may be closer to normal than a warmer and drier June and July.  If true, our summer season will get hotter and hotter, starting in mid to late June and building through August. 
There is some hope that the summer of 2019 will be less hot than one year ago.  The weak to  building El Nino pattern that is taking hold, historically leads to no more than twenty 90 degree days in Portland.



By Rod Hill on 26-Feb-19 23:24.

THE NWS has issued a Winter Weather Advisory for Portland, Salem and all areas in purple on the map. This next round of snow starting mid to late evening and continuing through tomorrow morning may drop 1-3" of snow. The best chance of more than an inch will be in the hills and south of Portland. Obviously, each snow forecast has come true, but so far nothing has covered all areas. Maybe tonight is the night?


By Rod Hill on 24-Feb-19 14:55.

Below is the surface map mid-morning Monday from the GFS model. Note the  L center is
cutting across Crater Lake.  The position of the low puts our region in the snow zone,
with Portland on the northern edge of accumulation.  If this position holds, I would expect:
1.  Little to no snow north of Portland or Vancouver / heaviest amounts up to 4 or 6” south
toward Salem and Albany and the east side around near Mt. Angel and possibly as far north
as Sandy and east Multnomah county.  
2.  Portland downtown, north to Vancouver and west to Hillsboro may see nothing or 1-2”
at most.  Heaviest snow will fall late tonight, ending before noon Monday.  Daytime highs
around Portland will rise into the mid to upper 30s during the day and possibly 40 degrees
in some areas.  
3.  Keep in mind, some forecast models show 6-8” of snow.  Keep an eye on Salem, Silverton
and other south to east locations for a possible snow bulls-eye.


Snow Likely For Portland

By Rod Hill on 08-Feb-19 00:00.

Confidence remains high that lowest elevations of the I-5 corridor from Albany to Vancouver
will see Friday evening rain with snow levels near 1,500 feet and surface temperatures 
holding in the mid 30s through the midnight hour.  Total moisture Friday night will be near
.25 inches, which would drop 4” of snow near the snow level. 
SATURDAY MORNING & NIGHT:  All moisture to fall as snow showers or fairly steady snow. Surface
temps are uncertain, but Portland and Salem may hold above freezing through mid-morning. 
A developing low center will deepen during the day as it drops south, which will bring cold
air advection and likely freezing afternoon temps at sea level, leading to widespread sticking
snow, including at the coast.


Low Center To Bring Gusty Winds

By Rod Hill on 05-Jan-19 14:49.

A low pressure track this evening (Saturday night) will bring a period of gusty winds, heavy rain and possible thunderstorms.  Weather alerts for possible high winds have been posted by the NWS from 8:00 pm until 4:00 am Sunday. Worst case scenario shows a period of 1-3 hours of high south to east wind gusts in the valley between 40-50 mph.  However, the low center may not be strong enough to produce gusty winds of more than 25-35 mph, except near the gorge, where east winds seem certain to spike into the 40s.

At this morning hour before 7:00 a.m. most weather data does not support a high wind event, however because of the low pressure center track, right over Portland and arriving from the southwest, tonight's weather should be watched closely and it is certainly best advice to be prepared for possible power outages and spotty wind damage. 

Meteorologist Rod Hill


EF0 Tornado in North Portland

By Rod Hill on 29-Oct-18 22:16.

The NWS confirms an EF-0 tornado, Sunday afternoon at 2:58 pm in north Portland, 3 miles west of PDX, near Marine Drive.  Peak gusts are estimated at 74 mph.  Damage includes, minor tree damage, minor roof damage and three semi-truck trailers overturned in a parking lot. There were no reported injuries.  The damage path was 1.25 miles long and 20 yards wide. 

The tornado was birthed out of a cold upper trough and very unstable air.  Marble size hail was reported with multiple intense downpours and numerous thunderstorms.   

-Rod Hill

Rod Hill's Winter Outlook 2018-2019

By Rod Hill on 09-Oct-18 23:38.

Before I begin, it is important to share with you my track record of accuracy for seasonal forecasting, dating back to 2000-2001.  Last winter my forecast was a success, largely because of my 67% confidence call for a below normal water year.  In fact, PDX recorded a water year ending September 30th of 30.03 inches, (normal is 36.03).  My error last season was a projection of below normal temperatures, which was clearly incorrect.  Other points, correctly called for a quiet valley snow year and a call for no significant valley windstorms.  Overall, my seasonal outlooks rate a 66% accuracy rating, compared to an industry standard closer to 55%.


HERE IS MY 2018-2019 WINTER OUTLOOK  (followed by research discussion)

1.  TEMPERATURE:  Normal to above average, 73% confidence

2.  PRECIPITATION:  Near to below normal.  Best chance 35.40" at PDX  (Normal 36.03")  

3.  VALLEY SNOW:   Less than 6.00 inches, a large snowstorm is unlikely.

4.  VALLEY WIND STORMS:  40% chance of a 60 mph wind event, a significant or above average chance.

5.  MT.


July 2018 High Temperature Ties for Warmest All-Time

By Rod Hill on 01-Aug-18 17:04.

The official July climate report for PDX shows an average high temperature of 87.5 degrees, which ties the July of 1985 as the warmest all time.  The mean temperature was 74 degrees, which is the 2nd warmest on record.  The average low was 60.5, coming in as the 5th warmest in recorded history. 

Also breaking records was the 15, 90 degree days.  The total is the highest number of hot 90 degree days for any month at PDX. 

Total rainfall for the month came on July 2nd when .02" of rain fell, average for July is .65 inches.  The July of 1967 saw no rainfall, while several Julys have picked up only a trace of moisture. 

Outlooks from the National Weather Service continue to call for above normal temperature averages through September. 

Rod Hill