Soaking Rains Likely: After An Incredibly Dry Summer

11pm Tuesday…

There’s good news…it’s looking more likely that we actually have a soaking coming this weekend.  Check out the latest numbers from several different models.


Looks wet doesn’t it?  We need it.  There is a very good chance this will be our wettest period since back in April & May. Check out the rain totals IN THE PAST 12 WEEKS!


Hard to believe we’ve seen less than 1/2 inch of rain in some parts of the metro area in the past 3 months!  May was unusually dry too of course and that’s why our trees/shrubs are suffering.

Confidence has gone up now with a good soaking late Friday through the weekend.  Very high precipitable water content, around 1.00-1.50″ will ensure plenty of moisture to work with as a cold front moves across the area Friday night.  Then several more waves of rain & showers continue through Sunday.  The WRF-GFS is especially wet, showing widespread 1.20″ and above over western Oregon with some areas getting more than 2.00″,


Seems unlikely, but history tells us it CAN happen in August.  Late August 1977, 1983, 2004, etc… those were all big soakers.

It’s nice to be able to leave things outside for weeks at a time and not worry about them getting wet, but that will end early Friday…showers may show up as early as commute time Friday evening.

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

74 Responses to Soaking Rains Likely: After An Incredibly Dry Summer

  1. WEATHERDAN says:

    90 today in Salem. That’s 28 this year. Only years with more since 1892 is 2014, 1958, and 1967. The record is 35 so we aren’t likely to break it but 2 more will give us 30. That has only happened 3 times in 123 years. This storm is looking eerily more like a storm on August 16th of 1972. Salem only had .17 from this storm but the coast got slammed with lots of rain and high winds that sank several fishing boats around Brookings. I had just graduated from South Salem high two months before and remember how the storm was front page news in the Oregon Statesman newspaper. It was unheard of to have such a powerful storm in August. And now 43 years later we might see a repeat. But lots of times can’t miss storms do miss us. So we will see what happens. Still it is worth keeping an eye on. The rain seems to be moving West and North from Friday night’s system but everybody should see something. Peace.

  2. Radar is pretty active just off the beaches lots of thunderstorms! Looking like they are sliding north! I would wanted some! So looking forward to rain

  3. Jason Hougak says:

    Rainfall 1-1.5″ here in Cascade foothills

  4. Jason Hougak says:

    Pacific getting active southwest of Hawaii with another Hurricane forecast to drift toward the islands. Satellite shows another one forming on its heels.

  5. Jason Hougak says:

    The ground is so dry it puddles on top of the ground. I had the hose going and the water ran across the top of the ground and it beaded into water droplets and didn’t even absorb. The dust just clings to the water trying to suck it dry. Gonna need a lot of rain in order to stop those fires. They’ll be burning til the snows hit.

  6. High Desert Mat says:

    I personally cant wait for the rain. It has been a hot summer over here in central Oregon even by the average for here. Hopefully we get rain too and it helps with the smoke and fires. Bad news though, a wind advisory has been issued for blowing dust and high winds here so with no precip it might spread the fires. Come on rain!

  7. Jason Hougak says:

    Really Eric hot weather weenie, you come do my job all summer long.

  8. David B. says:

    Wow… impressive totals seem to be holding together as this thing approaches, so far at least. Here’s hoping it comes to pass. Last time we had a good drenching in early September it led to an epic chanterelle season. A repeat of that would be most welcome!

    • Joshua says:

      For you (and the gentleman in BC)… yes. For the vast majority of us on here… no. Of course, things can still change, but the trend is not good for Oregon in general.

  9. cgavic says:

    I’ve learned the hardest rain will fall during 4 am to 7 am Saturday.

    The remaining moisture not as strong with sunny skies back (on the west side) by Wednesday/Thursday of next week.

  10. cgavic says:

    88° Wednesday in Sandy, 92° today. 0

  11. Lee Wilson says:

    Um, if it rains to hard and to fast, does that mean…Flooding?

  12. Lee Wilson says:

    I will believe it when the storms are here and my rain meter stars going mad.

  13. Joshua says:

    Mark, what’s up with the 18z RPM? Please tell me it’s out to lunch. If not, Salem and Portland are in for another major disappointment. I don’t like trend of where the brunt of the precipitation is heading- west and north.

    • W7ENK says:

      RPM is typically spot-on inside 72 hours. This goes for snow, thunderstorms and wind. NAM has also been pretty good for the short-range in the past, more so in the winter. Last winter though, not so much.

    • runrain says:

      I’m tellin’ ya. It’s that blob out there. As long as it sits out there, the rules are out the window. No science behind my thinking. Just a long time Oregonian whose seen the weird things that blob has done to our regular weather patterns.

    • David B. says:

      El Niño is hopefully gonna kill that darn blob good and dead.

    • Boring Oregon says:

      Or, like I’ve mentioned before, we could nuke it.

  14. Craig says:

    Check out the 12z WRF-GFS run for Saturday morning. The red area indicates gust around 50 knots per hour, which is 58 mph in the Willamette Valley. Peak winds look to be around 9am/10am.

  15. Benjamin (West Salem) says:

    This upcoming system on Saturday looks wet still, but I’m interested in the wind potential. It looks to me like there could be some decent winds with this storm. Both the GFS and the 12z EURO have a low pressure moving NE along the coast from what I can tell. Not anything real strong, but for the end of August I think even 30mph winds would be something worth noting.

    Check out the Saturday frame on the EURO.

    • W7ENK says:

      Possibility made more likely by the higher sun angle, adding to daytime heating and thus better mixing of winds down to the surface. I wonder how many trees will be stripped of their leaves simply because of stress and fatigue due to lack of water?

    • runrain says:

      At least that would stretch the leaf cleanup process over a longer period. The Eastmoreland folks would be happy with that!

    • W7ENK says:

      I generally don’t have to worry. Neighbors to my South all have Dougies, and the leaves from my massive cherry trees usually blow across the street toward my North, so nature takes care of most of that for me! :mrgreen:

  16. WEATHERDAN says:

    78 and sunny at Noon. On the way to 88. 80 with increasing clouds Friday. .25 rain over the weekend in the central valley. .50 in PDX. Peace.

  17. grannyhiker says:

    The question is, how much of this rain will make it over to the east side where the worst of the fires are?

    • Dave in South Salem (500') says:

      Shifting the moisture north quite a bit from the Tuesday night run. Looks like we are going to get half an inch

  18. Paul D says:

    That’s the best 7 day forecast I’ve seen in months! Bring on the rain!

  19. Jason Hougak says:

    Satelite imagery showing Atsani racing up into the Aleutian Islands. The Bering Sea is gonna get brutal. We have commercial fishermen friends who live up the Gorge in Dodson and were on Deadliest Catch up there. One of the boys died up there in that water.

  20. schmit44 says:

    8/26/2015 Oregon (All) Temperature Summary

    High:103 at Rye Valley(I-84(2229 ft)
    Low: 70 at BLALOK(277 ft) & OWYHEE RIDGE(4400 ft)

    High:57 at DW4535 Cannon Be(23 ft)
    Low: 30 at CROW FLAT (5172 ft )

    Largest Diurnal Change: 57 degrees
    IRAWS 48 (LOGAN (89/32 ) (4984 ft )
    CROW FLAT (87/30) (5172 ft)

  21. MasterNate says:

    I appreciate Dans outlook and personal forecasts, the same as I appreciated Robs, AKA “Atmospheric Wrath” forecasts except Dan seems to be the ANTI ROB with his perspective. I’m ok with that. Neither can change the outcome. Enjoy the dust buster this weekend!

    • MasterNate says:

      Most of all, I’m just happy the models haven’t backed off only to show 90 + humidity.

    • WEATHERDAN says:

      I am not anti Rob, anti Mark, or anti anybody. I post my forecast on what I believe will happen not because of what anybody else has to say. I respect Rob and Mark and well most everybody who blogs here. I hope anybody who posts a forecast does it because they believe it to be true. Thusly can we see all of the different viewpoints. I feel that given the available data the heaviest rainfall will occur up in Washington and British Columbia. Also the amount of tropical moisture is less then thought. We shall see. Peace.

    • runrain says:

      Salem’s geography is much different than Portland’s, creating a quite different climate (significantly drier and warmer than Portland in the summer). As such, perhaps a separate blog needs to be established for the mid valley. There’s a quarter million people in the Salem metropolitan area so no question they could support one.

    • W7ENK says:

      Dan, relax. I think by “anti-“, what he meant was “opposite of”. Instead of taking the most minuscule of possibilities and blowing them up beyond unfathomable extremes, your approach is more a downplaying of the moderate or real possibilities toward non-existence, discounting them into oblivion. Neither is wrong, neither is right, but both are opposite ends of the spectrum of extremes.

      I happen to side more with your approach Dan, mainly because history has repeatedly shown that we in this area usually get shafted when it comes to weather, especially interesting or exciting weather.

      Because Dome. 😆

    • MasterNate says:

      All I was saying Dan is that your views on model output seem to be far more conservative than Robs. It wasn’t a slam or a poke. I enjoy all 3 of your views since you brought Mark in to this. Funny how you read so much more into my comment.

    • WEATHERDAN says:

      Sorry Nate. I reacted because sometimes I have gotten slammed personally for my views. I think you know by who. I appreciate your elucidation of your comment though. Well yes I do tend to downplay a lot of situations because I see that a lot of hyperbole is used sometimes on this blog. Most of the times can’t miss snowstorms or windstorms or heatwaves usually do. Now as I see this system evolving it reminds me of a storm from August of 1972 that developed off the Northern California coast and moved up North along the Oregon coast. This was in mid August and winds on the Southern Oregon coast reached 65MPH and sank several fishing boats off Brookings. We only received .17 in Salem and winds never got above 30 MPH. That might be happening this time. Not so much rain in the valley but breezy with .25 in the South valley to around .50 in the North Valley. Windy at the coast and rainfall amounts of an inch or so. Windy and wet in the Puget Sound area with gusts to 45 MPH and rainfall of 1 to 1.5 inches. Then showery with a little more precipitation Sunday through Tuesday then Partly cloudy with highs from 73-78 and lows from 55-60. Oh by the way 88 in Salem at 3:00 pm. we may hit 90 for the 28th time this year today. Peace.

    • Garron by Hillsboro Airport says:

      I also enjoy everyone’s takes on our weather. WeatherDan, I appreciate your many years of past experience for guidance, and local reporting. I love the Brian Schmidt’s historical anecdotes and graphic stat sheets, as well as his sarcasm! Hillarious!!! Rob’s attention to details, and weather potential, and enthusiasm for weather is something I think we can all relate too and appreciate. Erik and his realistic outlooks, poking fun at mother nature’s hate of the PNW make him a staple on here.

      I can’t wait for what ever mother nature sends this way this upcoming season, and look forward to all commenters on here. Whether it be weather interests, local conditions, graphs and maps, or questions about weather.

      How ever, we just need to be ready for winter and its potential to disappoint us if we don’t get a 2′ snow storm, or a wind storm. We all know what a killjoy that is! I just hope we can all communicate on a somewhat civil level, and encourage others’ to be able to participate on the topic of weather regardless of skill level and without fear of being antagonized to the point they lose interest in this blog.

      All of this being said, Mark Nelsen is the ULTIMATE voice of reason around here, and if it wasn’t for him, we wouldn’t be here, enjoying this weather community. And if it wasn’t for his warm bias, we wouldn’t have the warm blob off the coast! Thanks Mark!

    • MasterNate says:

      Its all good.

  22. Jason Hougak says:

    Everybody wants rain but Dan

    • WEATHERDAN says:

      Jason, wanting rain is like wanting snow or wind. Whether or not you want something to happen if you forecast something to occur just because you want it makes you a WISHCASTER. I believe the amount or rain we shall receive will be less then first thought. The GFS meteogram forecasted 3.36 inches out of this system on Tuesday, 2.69 yesterday, and 1.69 today. I feel PDX will get about .50. In fact Jason I do want rain, I just don’t think we will get as much as some forecast. Peace.

    • W7ENK says:

      I don’t want rain, I want this fantastic summer weather to continue for another couple of months, uninterrupted. But, I’m willing to accept a little rain if it means squelching the wildfires, not watering my garden and getting all the hot weather weenies to quit whining for a few days…

  23. Jason Hougak says:

    Signs of changing seasons
    Winter Storm Warning for snow in the Brooks range in Alaska.

  24. JERAT416 says:

    I hope it rains lots and puts out ALL the fires. This being said, due to recent forecast busts, and lots of “crying wolf”, here are my predictions. Between Friday and Tuesday, 0.15″-0.30″ at the Oregon coast, 0.00″-0.08″ in the Portland metro area. Some will get a little mist and that’s it, some will get light drizzle on and off, enough to measure up to that much.

  25. WEATHERDAN says:

    Some have brought up soakers in August of 1968, 1977, 1983, 2004, and 2010. Well guess what they have in common? All except 2004 were in wet cool summers. When did we have a cool soaking in 1958 or 1967 and 1992 or 2014. Not in July or in August. Will we have some rain? Sure. But not some of the amounts I see mentioned. The atmosphere is so dry a lot of this incoming system will evaporate into the hot and dry airmass. And sill the NWS is saying how much good this rain will be doing the wildfires in NW Oregon and SW Washington. 95% of the land burned is in SW Oregon and East of the Cascades. Oh by the way Saturday should be a great day for accidents with all that oil and such on the roads. Might be real slick until Saturday night. I will look forward to the dry weather returning the middle of next week. 87 at 3:30 PM. Peace.

    • David B. says:

      Except earlier this month, us up in the Seattle area got over an inch, hot dry summer notwithstanding. So it is possible.

    • WEATHERDAN says:

      This is not Seattle. Witness the fact Seattle often gets snow when we get rain. Just because they get more rain from this system doesn’t mean we will. Peace.

    • David B. says:

      If it had gone a bit further south 2 weeks ago, Portland would have gotten the drenching, not Seattle. I don’t care how dry the air was at low levels, that much moisture would have overwhelmed it. The air was dry here prior to the event, and it didn’t stop us from getting drenched. Maybe a tenth less in PDX due to hotter, drier air sucking up more moisture initially — but that still leaves 1.1 inches, a good drenching. It is possible.

  26. WEATHERDAN says:

    Most people want a lot of rain. So be it. However I feel that we won’t be getting nearly what is forecast. The GFS meteogram has PDX at 3.33 inches. However Eugene is forecast to only have .83 inches. Seattle nearly 3.50 inches. Even the NWS has a lot more rain in Seattle than in Portland. So my feeling is this. About .25 or so in the valley. .50 in Portland, and 1.00 at the North coast. The Puget Sound could receive up to 1.5 inches. No big surprise there. A couple of weeks ago Puget Sound got 1.5 to 2.0 inches and Salem got none. .25 in Salem is the most since early June. And it will help out with the wildfires West of the Cascades. However if very little falls East of the mountains then the the relief where most of the fires are will be substantially less. But the cooler temperatures and corresponding higher humidities will help. So we will get some relief this weekend I just don’t think it will be as much as we would hope for. Anyway the higher amounts are dependent on whether or not moisture for former Super Typhoon Atsani becomes entrained in the jet stream. If an atmosphere river does set up it should set up to our North where it usually does. Of course we shall see. Who knows maybe we do get 3 inches of rain. 79 at Noon under sunny skies headed for about 90. Peace.

    • buffedman says:


    • David B. says:

      If that 3.5″ pans out (doubtful), Seattle will have a record wet August. Existing record for this month at SeaTac is 4.59″ set back in 1975. Just the add 1.2″ on the 14th and that’s 4.7″, and it would actually be more because there were minor showers earlier in the month and lingering showers and drizzle on the 15th. As I said it’s probably not going to happen but it would be a very strange conclusion to such a hot and dry summer overall if it did.

  27. Jason Hougak says:

    “Celebrate good times come on!”

  28. runrain says:

    How dry I am…How wet I’ll be…

  29. Farmer Ted says:

    We’ll see. Remember “The trend is your friend”!

  30. Paul D says:

    I predict that the rain will be the heaviest Saturday morning because that’s when I’ll be helping my daughter move into an apartment in Newberg…..

  31. Bring it on! Yes, I do remember the rains of late August in those past years as well. I could add August 31, 2010, which had over 2 inches on that day here, and started what was the wettest September on record in Vancouver BC

    • David B. says:

      If this next event pans out as forecast we’ll probably end up at over 2″ for the month of August thanks mainly to the big soaking we got on the 14th. (Yes, I know, that’s very different from 2″ in one day.)

    • I think we’re all understandably excited/anxious about the upcoming rainfall. I don’t expect a 2 inch (or higher) amount on one day here. All it would take is about 1.7 inches over the next 4 days, and I’d end up with this August having an average amount of rainfall. So, it’s still quite possible!

  32. Joshua says:

    Everybody vote for Mark. Looks like he doesn’t even need our help though. Glad you are in the lead, Mark. 1″ plus of rain would be soooooo refreshing!

  33. buffedman says:

    “Seems unlikely, but history tells us it CAN happen in August. Late August 1977, 1983, 2004, etc… those were all big soakers”….Interesting correlation1982-1983 El Niño – (2015 El Niño) which, until 1997, was the largest El Niño of this century.

  34. Dave in SW PDX (235') says:

    This is great news. Thanks for the update, Mark.

  35. Rain can’t get here soon enough

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