If it felt a little windy as you zipped up your Patagonia fleece a little higher this morning, consider being on Mt. Hood for a second, which saw twice the wind power as the Metro area.
Not only is it the coldest start to the new year Portland has seen in almost 40 years, Mt. Hood saw hurricane-force gusts starting in the wee hours this morning.
But nothing is more shocking than this video from KGW-TV, which shows Mt. Hood chairlifts violently swinging through the air.
Wind gusts were so high that Timberline and Ski Bowl closed early, and even the National Weather Service was surprised.
"Wow. I can see why the chairlifts were doing what they were doing," says meteorologist Colby Neuman. "At 7,000 ft., it was gusting over 80 mph since 1 am. That was through 10am and it peaked this morning at 6, 7, 8 in the morning when it sustained 85ish mph and gusting to 102 mph."
A hurricane is defined as wind speeds of at least 74 mph for a stained period of time.
"Given it was 80, 85 mph for a couple hours—it was hurricane-force wind speeds," Neuman says.
He says wind speeds this high are "on the strong side," especially for coming from the East and Northeast. Usually, our stronger winds come from the West.
"Those kinds of winds can definitely cause damage. Those those wind speeds can stamp trees and cause roof damage to houses," he says.
Right now it's calmed down a bit, with wind at 46 mph and gusting to 55 mph, which should continue.
"The next couple days are going to be much quieter across the whole area," Neuman says. "Tomorrow could be breezy, but by Friday, winds could back off. It won't be like anything what it was today."