There is a flood watch out for all of Western Oregon tonight through Sunday evening as several wet weather systems move through. That means the NWS is “watching” to see if conditions will warrant flood warnings for specific rivers. A watch is for a large area, a warning is for a river.
WHAT IS LIKELY:
-Localized flooding or “urban flooding” if at some point we get heavy rain all at once. Right now I don’t see that in the next 2 days at least. We’ll watch closely
-Two rivers in our viewing area are forecast to possibly rise above flood stage, both minor flooding and in farm/rural areas. Descriptions from NW River Forecast Center gives you the idea.
Pudding River: Above 22 ft, Expect minor flooding of low-lying agricultural lands and access roads along the river.
Luckiamute River: Above 27.0 ft, Expect flooding of low lying and agricultural lands in the vicinity of Sarah Helmick State Park, Highway 99W, and Parker Road. Some secondary roads and rural access roads may be flooded at this point. Flooding along Buena Vista Rd near the confluence with the Willamette is also likely, especiallly if the Willamette is running high.
WHAT IS NOT LIKELY RIGHT NOW:
-Widespread river flooding for the entire area
-No repeat of 1996 floods
-A big snowmelt event
-Willamette River in Salem and Portland flooding; there is tons of room in reservoirs for flood storage due to the current drought. Just one lake, Detroit Lake, is forecast to rise 30 ft. as Detroit Dam holds back all the water and keeps it out of the Willamette River system.
This could change if models decide to keep heavy rain over us for a longer period later in the weekend or next week. But hopefully this gives you an idea of what’s going on right now.
Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen