Rain Keeps Adding Up; Was It Really Dry?

October 23, 2012

Seems like just a dream, was this really our 7 Day Forecast 3 weeks ago?

It’s just a memory now and we sure DID need the rain.  But considering the first 1/3 of October was dry, it’s amazing that we are now ABOVE AVERAGE for October rainfall.  We are at about 3.45″ at PDX, which is well above the 2.88″ we typically get in the month of October.  Add in more showers tomorrow, plus some heavier rain likely sometime between Sunday and next Wednesday, and I think it’s quite possible we get 5″ for the month.  If we get more than 4″ (very likely) it’ll be our wettest October in 15 years!

The wetter west side of the Mt. Hood National Forest has seen 7-13″ totals, and I see some totals close to 16″ up around Mt. St. Helens.  These are precipitation (rain and melted snow), not snow totals…the wet season has arrived with a vengeance!

The sad part for the mountains is that a decent chunk of the fresh snowpack on the ground below 6,000′ is going to melt at some point in the next week; snow levels will soar starting Friday. 

And heavy rain is the biggest enemy of snow cover, far more than warm sunshine and clear skies.

Speaking of heavy and mild rain; models show our cold and wet atmosphere departing after one more day of showers and sunbreaks tomorrow.  It’ll be replaced by a weak upper-level ridge along the West Coast Friday through Sunday.  A warm front rides over the ridge Friday, bringing a classic drippy, gray, cool day.  Southerly wind should kick in Saturday and/or Sunday for warmer temps. 

Models have been in some disagreement on the amount and placement of heavier rain for early week (Sunday-Tuesday).   ECMWF was real bullish on heavy rain later Sunday and Monday.  New 00z GFS isn’t too dramatic…just MORE rain.

Right now I don’t see any real strong wind events or flooding rain in the next 7 days, just more slop.

And for that person that wrote me a nasty email three weeks ago claiming I was “ignoring the drought”?  THIS is why I didn’t get real excited about the early Fall dry weather.

By the way, FOX12 has the World Series again this year.  First game around 5pm tomorrow at San Francisco.  Could be a few showers, but more likely dry.

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen