PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — What has been a bit of a wacky weather April so far in the Pacific Northwest could get even more exciting this week.
After weeks where we have seen record-setting snow, unseasonably cold temperatures, hail, lighting and thunder, Wednesday could bring some of the strongest storms of the spring to the region, especially the Northwest Oregon Coast.
“I have been watching models closely and the combination of moisture and potential energy could really boost the convective nature of our atmosphere,” KOIN 6 Meteorologist Kelley Bayern said. “Storms that could produce damaging weather are certainly possible along the coast and even into the valley.”
The wet and windy conditions will hit the Oregon and Southwest Washington coasts first, early Wednesday morning, where Bayern expects to see the most active weather. Then she expects the system will creep over the Coast Range and arrive in the Willamette Valley by mid-afternoon.
The KOIN 6 Weather team says the situation is setting up for some potentially serious Wednesday-afternoon thunderstorms that could bring heavy downpours, damaging winds, and hail.
“Many variables are stacking up to show a destabilized atmosphere on Wednesday. Weaker storms may rev up into stronger storms,” Bayern said. “These storms could be capable of producing a funnel cloud or even a weak tornado, but the possibility of that is pretty low.”
Bayern said it is important for people to keep an eye on conditions and be aware of your surroundings. If you see dangerous weather, seek shelter. Thunderstorms can drop heavy pockets of rain which can cause flash flooding and hazardous driving conditions.
The Portland office of the National Weather Service added additional information Tuesday morning, Tweeting, “There is a small chance that a few thunderstorms & showers could become strong enough on Wednesday to reach severe levels, posing a risk of damaging wind gusts up to 60 mph & large hail up to one inch in diameter. There is also a very small risk of a brief weak tornado.”
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