Great American Solar Eclipse: 6 Months Ahead

February 21, 2017

We’re only 6 months away now from the most anticipated astronomical event of our generation in Oregon.  The total solar eclipse will soon be here; I hope you have a plan to see it.  It will NOT be visible in any cities listed on this map:

markeclipse_2017_a

It’s unlikely the idea that “I’ll just drive down to Madras or Salem for the day” is going to work.  I’m quite confident US 26 over Mt. Hood, US 97 through Central Oregon, or I-5 Eugene to Portland can NOT handle hundreds of thousands of people converging on the center of the state at once and then leaving a few hours later.  Picture that December 14th snowstorm traffic disaster in the metro area, but spread over half the state plus you should add a few hundred thousand cars from California and Washington.  Get the idea???  Most campgrounds and hotels have been booked for months/years within the path of totality.  I have a plan to start camping at a certain somewhat remote mountain lake (lakes) starting Wednesday, 5 days ahead of time.  We’ll see how that works since it’s first come-first serve at that campground.  If that doesn’t work, I have one more backup plan.

You need to be in the shaded area to at least have a brief glimpse of a totally covered sun at midday.  The closer to the center line you are, the longer the eclipse:

markeclipse_2017_1

 

markeclipse_2017_2

Here’s a great website https://www.greatamericaneclipse.com with even more detailed maps like this one:

tse2017_oregon

 

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen


Wettest February on Record at PDX

February 21, 2017

As of 3pm we have a new February rainfall record in Portland.  We’ve seen 10.04″ (that will keep going up the next few days), which exceeds the old all-time February rain record

rainfall-so-far-this-month_compared-to-normal-or-prev-records

That record was set in the same month we had one of our “Great Floods”.  February 1996 and December 1964 are well-known as the two big flood months across the Pacific Northwest in the past 80 years.

Wondering how this month ranks up with the wettest months on record?  It’s #16 at this point, but as mentioned we have another 7 days to go this month.  Luckily it looks far drier this last week of February:

capture

We all remember December 2015?  We had another 5″ beyond what we’ve seen this month, luckily we won’t see that repeated.

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen