Drier Weather Ahead After Widespread Flooding in Northeast Oregon

9am Friday…

Good news folks…we finally have some dry weather ahead!  After a very wet January, things have slowed down a bit weather-wise in most of Oregon.   The past 30 days have seen almost double the typical rainfall in Washington, and well above normal here in Oregon.  Yet drier than normal to our south.

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An upper-level ridge has been sitting just offshore the 2nd half of this week with lots of subtropical moisture streaming overhead.  This has brought flooding north of us in western Washington but kept most of the heavy rain out of Oregon.  Strong northwest flow coming down the backside of the ridge dumped a huge amount of snow on NE Oregon Wednesday night & Thursday, which then turned to rain.  The result has been widespread flooding in one of the drier parts of Oregon.  The Umatilla River near Pendleton has crested and dropped 2 feet after going into the MAJOR flooding category yesterday, 7 feet above flood stage!

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Here’s a pic from a viewer.

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The Grande Ronde river at Perry (upstream from La Grande) is at one of its highest levels on record.  That wave of water will be slowly passing through the Grande Ronde Valley the next few days, it’s a very flat valley so the water will be lingering.  Lots of roads/highways closed due to either flooding or slides over there.

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The good news is that we’re drying out in general, with just one more weather system to go tonight and Saturday.  3 day precipitation forecast from our RPM model

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But check out the next five days…Monday through Friday next week from ECMWF model…very little!

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The drier weather is due to that upper-level ridge offshore nudging up against the West Coast.  It won’t be cutting off all the precipitation for the whole week, but systems passing overhead should be much weaker = less rain.

This also means mild temps ahead.  A couple days ago it was looking chilly with colder weather systems digging an upper-level trough over the West Coast.  Now models are keeping the ridge closer (no snow!) for next week, although expect some cooling still around Valentine’s Day.  Here’s the latest ensemble forecast of high temps around PDX.  A dip around late next week, but near normal through much of the next two weeks

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And strong hints that next week’s drier weather may not last.  See the resumption of rains beginning around Valentine’s Day.  The solid blue line is the operational model, the green bars are the average of all 51 members.  They both show mainly dry next work week, but then wet again as we head toward late February.

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I’m taking a long weekend; will be back on the air Monday afternoon.  Enjoy the dry weather Sunday!

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

41 Responses to Drier Weather Ahead After Widespread Flooding in Northeast Oregon

  1. lurkingsince’14 says:

    Bring out The Fork Nelsen!!! It’s on the 7 day already, just make it official for the geeks 😎

  2. Mike says:

    Eugene was about at the median for January rainfall, slightly below average, which here means everybody thinks it was really wet, since normal now seems to be about half to three-quarters (a good year) normal. February has been very dry, and October-December were the sixth driest on record. I’ve been hearing “rain shadowing” a lot this winter, whereas last winter it was split flows. Last week’s “wet weather” wasn’t here. Rain is not the enemy.

  3. Roland Derksen says:

    Some unexpected showers here this morning, otherwise it’s cloudy and quiet. Significant rainfall expected in the next few days- hopefully nothing near what we had in late January.

  4. MasterNate says:

    Looks like good base building weather for the resorts upcoming. At least we are looking good in the mountains for snow pack. Could have been much worse with this kind of winter.

  5. Evan -- Cedar Mill says:

    Lame mild east wind.

  6. Diana F. says:

    Dang it, I’m off to walk the dog in 52 degree clear sunshine!!!! I WANT SOME SNOW and HELLISH WEATHER!!!!!

    • ron says:

      You might enjoy life in northern Minnesota or perhaps Michigan’s Upper Peninsula 😬 After approximately 550 consecutive rainy days, I’m thrilled with the sunshine.

  7. Josh "The Snowman" from Culver, OR says:

    Who cares if Ziggy stirs the pot. If you don’t like something someone says then just ignore it.

  8. Roland Derksen says:

    A chance for snowflurries forecasted here in BC for next friday evening. Will that be the last? Probably not.

  9. Andrew says:

    A no-snow winter is looking all but guaranteed for Portland at this point. We were due. By this time of year with the longer days, even a passionate snow-lover like me is ready for spring and sun.

    I’m curious if anyone can comment on oceanic temperature trends or any other insights that might give us some indication what might be in store next winter. I’d love to see a La Niña develop but suspect that’s likely not in cards for us.

    • Ken in Wood Village says:

      I’m not sure what will happen next winter but I’m just posting something about the 12Z Euro. It seems around the 16th a massive amount of cold air starts pooling up in Alaska. Around the 19th, it looks like some of that cold air wants to come towards the PNW.

      It’s a long ways off and a lot can change between now and then. I’m just hoping we won’t have snow because I’m going to the Newport area for the Seafood & Wine festival from the 21st through the 24th. If there is a big storm that is coming in, it would be a good time to storm watch along the coast!!

      • Andrew says:

        I see cold air build up but don’t see a strong likelihood of anything coming down our way. That said, the models I look at only go out until around 20th so will keep an eye beyond that. Thanks.

  10. saumcreek says:

    Waiting for the sun to make its appearance so my beautiful spring day can start. I’ve got dirt to clomp around in.

  11. Ziggy says:

    Even, and WKRP your snow ride chances are over!!!! The let’s just wait and see what the models will do is over kids🤣😎

    Hello spring 👍👍😎😎😎🤩🤩🤩😉😉

    • Anonymous says:

      Obviously Ziggy, you have never paid attention to weather here. Too say Spring is here when we are in the first week of February is uninformed. I guarantee that we will have at least flirtations with snow all the way through March. There is no way we are just moving into Spring weather. Find a hobby other than being a troll and you might be amazed about life. I wonder what people like you did before social media and the internet. There are so many geniuses and brave people in this world now that we have the internet!

    • flurball says:

      Ziggy, the drinkier you get?

    • Jim says:

      Dude you said the other day you were “out”. Please be so

    • ocpaul says:

      Saw my first stink bug, hate the way they always stink up the place. I named him Ziggy

  12. Kyle says:

    Additional new information from the Salem Statesman Journal Oregon has authorized 100 million dollar study of why shell fish and local fish have microscopic plastic in their flesh and is it unhealthy. The interviewer suggested they thought the plastic came from fibers in clothing via laundry waste water. (It is my suspicion this has been going on since synthetic fibers started being used for clothing and have built up over the years the microscopic plastic sludge filling the centers of our oceans.) The journal didn’t connect the contaminated local sea life with the ocean micro plastic pollution I think because they don’t know about it.

    The Forbes article doesn’t mention the microscopic plastic is now being found in our food. I think the picture used is stock photo of pollution closer to land. A Scripps oceanographer studied the mid Pacific sludge and said it was mostly microscopic plastic less then 1mm long and most of it not really visible. It adds viscosity to the surface layer of the ocean, This slows down circulation,acts like a brake on circulation.

  13. W7ENK says:

    Well, that was one helluva storm that just blew through. Torrential sideways rain, winds momentarily gusting over 40 mph. I half expected a flash if lightning and a big crack of thunder!

    ¡¡¡WOW!!!

  14. Kyle says:

    ot sure if the link is filtered but as long as this remains our weather will be ‘stuck’ for a long time. https://www.forbes.com/sites/scottsnowden/2019/05/30/300-mile-swim-through-the-great-pacific-garbage-patch-will-collect-data-on-plastic-pollution/#57686557489f

    The GFS model in particular assumes the ocean is free and will behave like it used to which in the old days we would’ve had a major SSW event.

    But the ocean isn’t free and when there is this much gunk it makes everything stagnant and weather systems are unable to move. Highs and lows get stuck.

    Lows always take the path of least resistance.

  15. Kyle Hill says:

    Not sure if the link is filtered but as long as this remains our weather will be ‘stuck’ for a long time. https://www.forbes.com/sites/scottsnowden/2019/05/30/300-mile-swim-through-the-great-pacific-garbage-patch-will-collect-data-on-plastic-pollution/#57686557489f

    The GFS model in particular assumes the ocean is free and will behave like it used to which in the old days we would’ve had a major SSW event.

    But the ocean isn’t free and when there is this much gunk it makes everything stagnant and weather systems are unable to move. Highs and lows get stuck.

    Lows always take the path of least resistance.

  16. First lawn mowing of the season – February 7th, 2020. And it really was in need of it!

  17. Joshua Lake Oswego says:

    Phenologically speaking, does anybody know approximately how far ahead of schedule we are this year? It seems to me like we are 3 weeks or so early. I saw some open plum flower buds today downtown. At this rate, the cherry trees at the waterfront might be popping in early March.

    • Andy says:

      I agree…2 or 3 weeks ahead. Things are blooming in my yard. I would say this was a non event winter so far for the valley. Nothing real extreme so far. Lots of bugs this summer?…I know the small sugar ants are invading a lot of houses in my area…Albany.

    • Paul D says:

      I wonder if it’s more. I can remember a few years ago not having to mow my lawn until mid-March. The past 2-3 years I’ve been mowing in February. This year it was too tall a few weeks ago, but too wet to mow.

      • Grizzly Bear says:

        The grass is always growing, just slower or faster depending on the amount of heat units it receives. For that matter this goes for most plants unless they are dead.

    • OMK says:

      I took a chance and threw down some grass seed. Maybe a bit too early, but typically when I throw grass seed it either dries up or snows. Looks like we are getting the February Fake Out and some dry days, sorry snow lovers…..

  18. Roland Derksen says:

    Okay- you’re first, Paul. I believe you. Meanwhile, I’m looking forward to a day with sunshine from dawn to dusk. Looks like Sunday will be that day for me.

  19. Paul D says:

    First?

  20. Paul D says:

    FIRST!

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