PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — This weekend the greater of two weather evils plays out. That southerly wind will get your attention today. You may encounter impacts as minor as a soggy lawn to more significant toppled trees or power outages.
Wind gusts from the south will be strongest at the coast (up to 60-70 mph). It’s the kind of wind that is sure to exfoliate your skin from the sand blast on the beach, and it could make driving through the mountains unbearable with blowing snow. Foothill locations near Molalla and Scotts Mills may encounter gusts up to 50 mph around 10pm to midnight. Portland to Salem peak wind timing today: 1pm gusts 30-35 mph, 7pm – midnight gusts 40-45 mph.
Snow and rain will be abundant this weekend. The potential for flooding exists in some areas and may be different from one county to the next. Why so much rain? We are tapping into a subtropical plume of moisture stretched across the Pacific for a couple thousand miles. This is an atmospheric river and we could collect 2+ inches in Portland in a matter of two days.
Gusty wind plus several inches of snow equals = Winter Weather Advisory for the Cascades and surrounding slopes.
Watch my research flight over an atmospheric river February 2020.
Learn more about forecasting atmospheric rivers in my interview with Portland State University’s Dr. Andrew Martin.