Rainy Saturday – thunderstorm threat

Weather Blog

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Keep the water-proof gear by the door this weekend. Today will start mostly dry early in the morning and then we’ll see a mix of light and heavy showers. A cold front leaves us with a chance for afternoon thunderstorms across the state, first starting along the coast then spreading across the valley remaining north of Salem, initially. Daytime highs will only reach the upper 50s to low 60s. By the end of the night thunderstorms will march northeastward to the Cascades, then over to eastern Oregon/Washington.

Snow. Sno-what? Freezing levels today will be close to 5,000 – 5,500′. Yes, you can cross mountain passes without any worries. If you are camping in higher terrain though, you could see 2 to 4 inches of snow above that 5K mark.

Expect a brief dry break by Sunday afternoon with highs in the upper 60s. This little reprieve is due to a ridge of high pressure attempting take over following the departure of this upper level trough.

The following Did Ya Know facts come from SciJinks and NOAA.

You hear the crackle of lightning but don’t see any strikes going from the sky to the ground. So what is it? It’s coming from inside the cloud. Although in-cloud lightning goes from one part of the storm cloud to another, it’s usually a warning sign that dangerous cloud-to-ground lightning will soon follow. In-cloud lightning could also be a warning sign that even worse weather is on the way. Lightning researchers have noticed that before many violent storms, there is often a sudden increase in in-cloud lightning. They call it a “jump.” It doesn’t always mean a tornado will form, but many severe storms experience a jump in lightning activity before things get really violent. Lightning discharges energy that builds up on particles in the clouds. If there’s a big difference in the charges between two areas of a cloud, a sudden electrical current can form. And what causes these charges? Rapid air movements cause ice particles to collide. Those collisions strip off electrons, creating a charge. The more air movement—the greater the charge.

SciJinks

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