Wettest October in 15 Years! Snow Gone In Mountains Too

October 29, 2012

The heavy rain over the weekend pushed our October rain total at PDX to 5.21″, double the average October.  And we still have one more very wet weather system moving through the next 48 hours.  I wouldn’t be surprised if we are up in the 6.50″ range by the time kids are busy candy-collecting Wednesday evening.

We had two back to back wet Octobers in 1996 and 1997, and the wettest of all was 1994 with over 8″ of rain.  The weekend rain totals were a little less than I expected here in the Valley.  The driest parts of the Valley had 1.50″ or so.  There were some locations over 2″.  But wait, there’s more.  Check out the weekend rain totals in the mountains…4.60″ up near the crest of the Coast Range at “South Fork” near Lees Camp.  7.20″ at “North Fork” just SE of Larch Mountain (Oregon).  And Timberline, with 9.62″ (all rain) from Saturday morning to this morning.  I saw the Sandy River yesterday afternoon; it was running very high and not just the usual “flood-muddy-brown” color, but a milky brown.  Must be lots of glacial silt coming down from exposed mountain slopes.

As you can guess 2-3 days of 40s and rain have devastated the snowpack…there isn’t anything left below 6,000′ and very little above that spot.  Here are the current pics from Timberline:



What a difference from a few days ago when it was a beautiful winter wonderland up there.  But don’t worry, there will be more snow, at some point.  What I don’t expect is a return of the snow to lower elevations in the next week.  We’ll stay either mild and wet or mild and dry through the next 7 Days.  I’ve added all these images now to my Pass Cam Page off my main weather page.

Of course the Pacific Northwest weather patterns take back seat to the big weather action along the East Coast today.  Hurricane Sandy should make landfall along the New Jersey coast around our evening commute time.  Lots of great live shots coming up on our evening shows I’m sure!

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen