Plenty of Rain To Go Around

December 11, 2010

Take a look at the precipitable water loop above.  You can see the story of the next 24 hours; the conveyor belt, or atmospheric river of tropical moisture is shifting to our north.  iIt appears that everything is working according to plan today. 

Just for fun, here’s the note I just sent to the newsroom folks.  A little behind the scenes look.  I took out a few parts so the other stations wouldn’t be able to see our “war plans”. 

It appears that we’ll have another couple hours of rain here in the Metro Area, then mainly dry this evening through midday tomorrow.

So widespread river or creek flooding is still unlikely in our area, or anywhere in the western Valleys south of Longview/Kelso.  We’ve received about ¾ inch of rain in the last 7-8 hours.  Quite a bit, but at only about ½ the hourly rate we saw with Thursday night’s deluge.  That’s why we don’t expect a big event here.  The rain will resume Sunday afternoon/evening but at best we’ll see what we had today.  So we still expect this to be somewhat of a non-event here in the Metro Area.  Of course someone’s basement will flood somewhere, but you get the picture.

 Two other rivers closer to us will come close to flood stage or may go slightly over.  The upper Clackamas and Pudding (not Willy-Wonka’s).  Neither will do anything more than cover a road or fields.  Same with Johnson Creek this evening.  It’s not flooding now, but it’ll be close this evening.

 Different story to our north and west:  Heavier rain sits up over S.W. Washington tonight and most of tomorrow, so quite a bit higher totals.  Due to that, several rivers in our viewing area MAY go over flood stage.  It will be minor flooding (fields and roads mostly), but still good for TV pictures

 Chehalis River:  This river is not actually in our viewing area or DMA, BUT we’ve covered it in the past because it’s in such a critical transportation spot.  It’s forecast to rise to 6 feet above flood stage at Centralia during the day Monday.  If so, that puts it right up to (or over) I-5.  Several times in the past 10 years, I-5 has been shutdown due to this river. 

Keep in mind that as of 2pm there are no flood warnings out for any river in our viewing area, only a Flood Watch, which means keep an eye out and pay attention.

One more thing…real breezy and very warm the next 24 hours.  Temps may hit 60 tomorrow morning or midday before the rain resumes.  Not a record, but within 5 degrees of the all-time December record…it’ll feel real nice.

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen