Low, But “Warm” Rivers This Weekend

May 8, 2015

There is one benefit to the lowest winter snowpack in decades…rivers are running warmer than normal.

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The Columbia River is 4 degrees warmer than last year on this date.

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The Willamette and Clackamas rivers are also warmer than one year ago.  If you regular walk, drive, or fish from a local river you’ve probably noticed how low they are running too.

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In fact many west of the Cascades are near their lowest ever recorded for early May; many of our rivers look like they typically do in late summer.  Several rivers draining the west slopes of the Cascades are in the lowest 10 percentile of years.  Very unusual conditions for early May indeed.  Rainfall the past month has been less than 50% of average for most of Oregon.  Add that to the already low snowmelt feeding into rivers and this is what we get.

Enjoy the sunshine this weekend.  It’ll be our warmest weekend of 2015 so far…

Today we made it to 80 degrees (possibly slightly higher) in Portland and tomorrow should be a notch or two warmer.

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen