Much-Needed Rain In Eastern Oregon & Washington

May 13, 2015

In the drier parts of Oregon and Washington, rain is almost always a welcome sight and last night was no exception.  Take a look at radar estimates of the downpour as the upper-level low passed overhead.


Many areas received more than 1″ of rain and some areas up around 2″.  West of the Cascades this would just be another annoying and wet day.  But in a desert or near-desert environment?  A soaking at the beginning of the growing season is pure gold!  I once had a dryland wheat farmer in Sherman County tell me that he refers to a May soaking as gold falling from the sky.  Or something like that…I forget the exact quote.

Unfortunately north-central Oregon didn’t get in on the action this time around.  Doesn’t look like much fell in Maupin, Sherman County, or Condon.

But there is hope for more because the overall pattern remains about the same for another 7-10 days.  A large upper-level trough lingers along the West Coast and disturbances will rotate through it at times.  That brings a flow of moisture from the south across much of the east side of our states…Idaho too.  We never know exactly where the soaking rains end up until a day or two ahead of time in this pattern but in general it’s a good thing.  Take a look at forecast rainfall the next 8 days from the 00z GFS:


and the 12z ECMWF


Looks good for you folks eastside.  Another inch or two of rain could fall!  Just what you need before June heat sets in.

Westside we have strong onshore flow Friday and Saturday so I see lots of cloud cover but not much rain (if any).  Models this evening are downplaying the thunder threat Thursday afternoon for us now too.  Most of them are keeping us mainly dry tomorrow.  Enjoy the warmer and (mainly) dry day.

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen