PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Heavy showers and thunderstorms ramped up through Thursday in the Portland metro and throughout the state of Oregon.
Although bands of locally heavy rain rolled through, no severe thunderstorms — defined as including 1 inch-size hail, gusts over 58 mph, and/or a tornado — hit within the region.
A wide band of showers with heavier rain cells embedded within moved up the Willamette Valley by late morning. As temperatures warmed into the afternoon, there was a chance for isolated thunderstorms again produced lightning, hail, gusty winds, and heavy rain.
Keep the rain jacket handy and stay safe on the roadways.
The rain is expected to continue the next couple of days but it should clear up by Saturday afternoon for some nice weekend weather.
It has been 780 days, or just over two years, since the last Severe Thunderstorm Watch went into effect in portions of Oregon and the Pacific Northwest.
Wednesday the entire state got a taste of severe thunderstorms and their destructive weather as they rolled through the afternoon and evening.
In west Portland, lightning split a tree in two in Arbor Park, while heavy hail pounded portions of Hwy-26. Gusty winds toppled down trees and brought damages to cars and structures. The Troutdale Airport clocked in wind gusts of 40 mph and another storm report in Wasco County clocked in wind gusts around 60mph.
The National Weather Service in Portland estimatesd anywhere from 2500 to 3000 cloud-to-ground lightning strikes occurred Wednesday throughout the state.
Whether the region will see more abundant lightning events this summer is still left unknown. But Wednesday’s lightning event was one of the largest in recent summers.
Wednesday night thunder and lightning caused power outages plus downed and split trees throughout the area.