High wind advisory goes into effect Tuesday night for Vancouver, Camas

By Jerzy Shedlock, Columbian staff writer

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A wind advisory will be in effect starting midnight Tuesday for the greater Vancouver area and nearby communities due to forecasted winds of 25 to 35 mph, according to the National Weather Service in Portland.

The advisory will remain in place until 6 p.m. Thursday, with gusts of up to 50 mph expected to impact the eastern portions of Vancouver and Portland, and the cites of Camas, Washougal, Gresham, Ore., and Troutdale, Ore., the weather service said.

“This is expected to be the strongest east wind event so far this winter season. As a result, there is an increased risk of downed trees and power lines, as well as scattered power outages.” the weather service said.

A high pressure system building east of the Cascade Range is sending winds through the Columbia River Gorge, an event that generally occurs several times from fall to spring, said weather service hydrologist Andy Bryant.

“We’ll get those east winds through most of the week. The strongest will be over the next couple days,” Bryant said.

Winds like those predicted can cause minor property damage without preparation, the advisory warns. The most basic measure people can take is securing loose items such as gutter extensions and outdoor window shutters. The weather service also advised drivers in high-profile vehicles — SUVs, vans, trucks — to use caution until the winds subside.

Vancouver’s forecast through the beginning of next week calls for clear skies with temperatures in the mid-40s during the day and then dropping down to around the freezing point at nights.

The winds will create a minor wind chill, Bryant said.

“It’s unusual to have multiple days of dry weather in December. The positive is it’s not wet, but it’s going to be a chilly week,” he said.