Flood Watch for Western Oregon

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.



-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.




-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

67 Responses to Flood Watch for Western Oregon

  1. pappoose in scappoose says:

    Think we’re gonna get really wet.


  2. dothgrin says:

    Rare things happen all the time. February 20th, 2013, snow fell in north Phoenix and Scottsdale…during afternoon rush hour. So, I would not be stunned if a freak storm hit the Portland area as late as March, considering how crazy this winter has been nationwide.

  3. Josh "The Snowman" From Everett, WA says:

    I think most of the weather geeks are crazy and very irrational and thank you guys for proving it every day.

  4. prairiedog says:

    The frogs are very phototaxic. It’s literally on the dot, rain or shine and it doesn’t matter if its snowing or not, they start their courting around the first week of Feb. I look forward to it every year. The red-legged frogs are the best right now.

    • boydo3 N Albany says:

      Prairiedog, we have a couple red legged frogs around our garden pond. Do you know if they croak? They are really docile and we have gotten right up to them and even fed one some worms!
      We have a huge chorus going on tonite of the tree frog variety.
      Bring on Spring!

    • prairiedog says:

      They should be croaking up a storm, at least the males should. The tree frogs are really vocal later in the spring and even summer. Right now it’s the red legs that will grace us with their symphony. If anyone knows more be sure to post.

  5. Model Rider says:

    Anytime we see four weather seasons in a year is a good one. We don’t typically see that. So anyone who really complains about it has visors on. Quit being straight and narrow please.

  6. I always look at Valentines Day as the unofficial start of spring. Typically after this date, we don’t see any major, or long lasting snows or cold.

    On the drive home tonight, I did hear a lot of frogs, also a sign of spring!

    • pappoose in scappoose says:

      Typically we don’t see major, or long lasting snows or cold.

    • Model Rider says:


    • chris s says:

      I dont get it either Jason. Seems like all you hear on this blog during the run up to winter is how they all hope its an epic winter. But now that we are still in winter, people start wanting to see warm and sunny. While it is true that its hard to get a arctic outbreak this late in the season, its not real difficult to see a one or even 2 day snow event. I just am curious what all the tv mets are gonna say next friday when somebody in the valley has 2-3 inches of snow.. Cause they sure are downplaying right now, i hope it jumps up and bites them. :-).

    • Mark Nelsen says:

      I’ll reiterate one more time: Typically we don’t see major, or long lasting snows or cold after about Valentines Day. In fact only maybe 3 years out of 20 forecasting here have I seen anything interesting snow/cold wise AT THE VALLEY FLOOR beyond the 3rd week of February. Of course people in the foothills can get snow much later. I don’t think it’s a matter of people on here “rushing on towards spring”. It’s just what happens this time of year. The average high is up to 52; it was 44 around the New Year.

    • Keep in mind my post had absolutely no opinion in it. Just my observations. No “hoping” for anything etc.

    • pappoose in scappoose says:

      This is the 2nd week.

      And 3 outta 20 means there’s a chance!

    • BrianInKeizer says:

      I think the issue is that all the records are Portland. I have lived here 15 years now, and it has snowed or dusted up to an inch of snow at least 3 times in April in Keizer. I think locations should be stated. I have pictures to prove it if someone wants to call me on it with date stamps. “Official” measurements aren’t always accurate. It can and will snow again in the Willamette Valley in April.

    • chris s says:

      Ya i agree Brian, most of time they are talking about pdx metro area on here. I have lived in salem my whole life, and seen many of late february and earlier to mid march snowfalls. We usually always tend to fare better then portland down here, and i have a feeling come the end of next week we will score somemore snow again. 🙂

    • W7ENK says:

      Tyler, it seems that some of us aren’t allowed to have our own opinions or even make observations, especially those who don’t constantly beat the drum of seasonally appropriate epicness. It’s really gotten out of hand lately.

  7. dharmabum says:

    Son, remember someday you will be old and if you get some smarts along the way then you too might become and elder.

  8. Sapo says:

    18z GFS carries precipitation through Thursday and into Friday…Pretty cold. This is looking like we could see rain/mixed precipitation Thursday, then snow showers Thursday night with accumulations from trace-2″. Then snow flurries Friday morning before it all melts Friday afternoon, then a warmup Friday. After that, looks like some warm temps!

  9. W7ENK says:

    149 PM PST FRI FEB 14 2014


  10. WEATHERDAN says:

    Warmer drier weather weather ahead. 8-14 NCEP outlook has PNW warmer and drier than average. Maybe our first days over 60 degrees this year. Well it looks like quite a bit of snow in the Cascades later this weekend and early next week. Maybe some wet snow down to the higher hills but thankfully not on the valley floor. Saw two crocuses in my backyard yesterday so hopefully Spring is close at hand. Peace.

    • Model Rider says:

      Hope an arctic blast comes next week and sneaks up on us like those two storms last week. I’d make a wager PDX does not hit 60 this month.

    • Sifton says:

      Your on, what’ya puttin up???

    • Chris s says:

      And just yesterday, the 8-14 day outlooks were for below normal temps, so hard to put much stock into them. Think somebody just flips a coin each day.

    • W7ENK says:

      Today’s 12z GFS Ensemble mean 850mb temps bottom out at –6C on 2/20-21, then a quick rise up to +8C just 5 days later. Snow levels 1000-1500 ft next week, but we could easily hit 60.

    • Sifton says:

      Yeah…….that’s what I thought Ridey. BRING ON SOME SUN!!

  11. boydo3 N Albany says:

    Water skiing anyone? Try Hoodoo ski area. 😦

  12. dharmabum says:

    Flooding: Not looking too serious yet for the Clackamas River and Metro area. I have my own simple system yet generally reliable method for alerting me to possible local flooding; After monitoring lowland snowpack and reservoir capacity, I watch for rising groundwater in my sumps and then the flow in seasonal ditches draining the farm that subsequently flow into the Clackamas. Right now the groundwater is just starting to rise a couple inches in the sumps(apx. 30″ below ground level now) and minimal water in the ditches. At this point I think it would take another 3″-4″ of localized rainfall over three or four days to cause serious flooding in the greater metro area.

  13. Sapo says:

    12z GFS adds precipitation for Thursday, slightly delays the warmup time.

  14. David B. says:

    The Seattle NWS offices says, in their latest discussion, and I quote: “THERE WILL ALSO BE THE POTENTIAL FOR LOWLAND SNOW…ESPECIALLY ABOUT THE MIDDLE OF NEXT WEEK.”

    • pappoose in scappoose says:

      I really like quotes of this type!

    • Lauraholic says:

      This is beginning to remind me of 1996

    • JohnD says:

      I am very pumped about next week! Things look
      to be evolving favorably at this point. Even
      an overnight inch will be fun! And who knows
      what “could” happen?! If we were not already
      coming off a week’s worth of deep winter
      weather, a lot of people would be getting a
      lot more excited about the week ahead!

  15. Sapo says:

    GFS and ECMWF still looking cold for next week.

  16. schmit44 says:

    2/13/2014 Oregon (All) Temperature Summary

    High:60 at CW5925 Coos Bay( 49 ft)
    Low: 51 at Gold Beach (US 1(60 ft) & W7KKE-3 Road’s E(89 ft) & BROOKINGS(79 ft)

    High:30 at Timberline Lodge(7001 ft) & Mount Hood Meado(6601 ft)
    Low: 19 at ANEROID LAKE #2 (7300 ft )

    Largest Diurnal Change: 25 degrees
    WARM SPRINGS BAS (58/33 ) (1563 ft )

    Heaviest Rainfall:
    1.50″ at QUAIL PRAIRIE LO(3183ft)
    1.47″ at RED MOUND(1753ft)
    1.40″ at FLYNN PRAIRIE(1543ft)
    1.22″ at BROOKINGS(79ft)
    1.18″ at ILLINOIS VALLEY(1389ft)
    1.10″ at HEBOWX Mt. Hebo(3160ft)
    1.07″ at Brookings Airpor(459ft)

  17. boydo3 N Albany says:

    But unfortunately the snow level is pretty high until late Sat. or Sun. Then the rebuilding begins at 3-4000′ which is where the vast majority of snow pack is needed.

  18. runrain says:

    Heading to the San Juan’s this weekend, and they’re talking about a major windstorm up there Sunday afternoon. Being on an exposed spot south of Friday Harbor there should be some pretty exciting winds. I’ll report back if there’s anything to talk about.

    • Longview - 400 ft says:

      We are looking forward to that report.

      Have fun up there!!!

    • Muxpux (Castle Rock 175') says:

      I used to live in oak harbor for a year. The wind up there is something else. Might as well be on the coast. This last storm they had a gust to 58.

    • David B. says:

      The San Juans would for a variety of reasons be a fun place to live, and the storms are one of those reasons. I’ve fantasized about moving to Orcas Island more than once. If only the employment prospects weren’t so limited there…

    • dharmabum says:

      run.. & david.. gotta love that spirit, I myself always dream of retiring to Coupeville on Whidbey Is. I just love it up there but like you say David the jobs? That why I say retire.

  19. sinmob says:

    Oh whew I was so worried that I couldn’t water my lawn this summer

  20. sinmob says:

    Did you guys hear Bruce Jenner won’t be doing anymore Kardashian shows…so sad

  21. Sapo says:

    Yeah, that’s good to see!

  22. vernonia1 says:

    whew…sure do hope Mark is right!

  23. dharmabum says:

    Now the Portland media is picking up on the possibility of minor/lowland flooding. This doesn’t give these folks much time to prepare. I posted the following in this blog last Sunday 11/9/2014 At 11:11 am.

    “A word of caution to those of you near flood prone areas to watch out; Usually the media is slow to pick up on the next phase which can me copious amounts of warm rain and wide spread flooding. Be aware!”

    I might have overdone the emphasis a tad bit. But it is good to prepare ahead of these flooding events.

    • Lurkyloo says:

      Dharma, I love your posts — you strike me as a wise person who has been there, done that, and seen a lot …

  24. Sapo says:

    18z GFS is pretty cold, slightly speeding up the arrival of the cold air. 12z ECMWF, however, has a slightly later arrival time of the cold air next Thursday/Friday but the cold air staying through part of the day Sunday…This event will be interesting to monitor. However it isn’t going to be another major snowstorm event for sure.

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