Oregon Coast, Portland Weather: an 'Atmospheric River' This Week
(Oregon Coast) – It sounds more dramatic than it is, but meteorologists say five to ten inches of rain may hit the Oregon coast through Wednesday, the result of a phenomenon they call an “atmospheric river.” (Above: storm waves at Cascade Head, near Lincoln City)
What's coming in is technically a long run of subtropical moisture from Hawaii, but in a weather statement Sunday by the Portland office of the National Weather Service (NWS), meteorologists said it's also known as an atmospheric river.
Whatever it is, it means swelling rivers along the coast, heavy rains, probably sizable storm conditions, and plenty of rain for the inland valley and the Cascade Mountains, the NWS said. Some rivers will be watched as well.
One to three inches already fell along the coastline Saturday and Sunday. It caused a sharp rise on some of the smaller rivers near the shoreline as well as in the mountains.
“However, rivers started off low so they remained well below flood stage,” the NWS said.
The next few days will see periods of heavy rains continuing through Wednesday along the coast and in the inland valleys.
“Another frontal system will push in Monday night and continue along the coast Tuesday into Wednesday as it moves onshore,” the NWS said. “The bottom line is that southwest Washington and northwest Oregon will continue to see heavy rain at times into Wednesday.”
Some two to four inches could have soaked the Portland and inland valley areas by the time Wednesday rolls around.
The NWS said a few of the more flood-prone rivers will need to be watched, such as the Nehalem and Wilson rivers of the north coast, although major flooding is not expected.
“Streams and small rivers may become more stressed and will need to be watched closely as some may approach bankfull,” the NWS said.
Autumn leaves and heavy rains may cause flooding in the cities as they clog street drains.
It seems likely to assume storm watch season has hit the coastline. After finding a safe place to watch a storm, and after that tempest is over, it may be a good time to start beachcombing for fascinating treasures in the sand.
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