Big Storm Here, Two More on the Way

by:  Jim Willhight, Albany, Oregon

Wind Advisory and Flood Watch

As I research and write this blog rain and pounding on the westward facing window and the wind is howling, I can feel the draft indoors as the southerly winds gust to 30 mph.  The wind advisory remains in effect until 6 tonight, although (see below) we will have 20 - 30 mpg gusst over the the next three days as three intense Pacific storms move into the Northwest. 

Winds are projected to be gusting to 30 mph plus through 6 this evening.  Note it will still be breezy, gusting 20 - 30 mph over the next 72 hours as the three storms pass.

Winds are projected to be gusting to 30 mph plus through 6 this evening.  Note it will still be breezy, gusting 20 - 30 mph over the next 72 hours as the three storms pass.

At least it's warm, much warmer than normal for the first week of December, 60.3 decrees this afternoon at the Albany Airport.  As noted in graph (right) it will be even warmer tomorrow afternoon peaking at 63 degrees. The mild temperatures will continue through the three storms, cooling by the end of the week with lows in the upper 30's Saturday morning.

Rain Projections

The big concern is the Flood Watch as we are drenched in rain with a one two three punch of Pacific storms.  At this time the forecast is for the Willamette River level to peak below flood stage, more details below on the Willamette and Santiam River flood projections.

Meanwhile here is the current  forecast as of 9:30 this morning (12/7): Heavy wind and rain until pm. Rains moderating after 4 pm and the winds moderating after 6 pm.  Moderate rains will continue until 4 am.  Little rain is expected after 4 am until the second storm arrives around 2 pm on Tuesday.  Heavy rains are expected overnight Tuesday into Wednesday morning with the break arriving around 10 am on Wednesday.  The Third storm will arrive around 10 pm Wednesday night.

 The first storm is projected to bring us 0.83" of rain, the second 1.59 inches and the third 0.78 inches. The projected three storm rainfall over three days- 3.38 inches. (see graphs above and  below)

 The first storm is projected to bring us 0.83" of rain, the second 1.59 inches and the third 0.78 inches. The projected three storm rainfall over three days- 3.38 inches. (see graphs above and  below)

Flood Forecasts

National Weather Service Official Notice:

NOW IN EFFECT FOR MOST OF SOUTHWEST WASHINGTON / NORTHWEST OREGON

* THROUGH THURSDAY AFTERNOON

THE NEXT HEAVY RAIN WILL MOVE IN LATE TUESDAY AFTERNOON INTO
WEDNESDAY. AN ADDITIONAL STORM IS EXPECTED WEDNESDAY NIGHT AND
THURSDAY. RAIN MAY EXCEED 10 TO 15 INCHES IN THE COAST RANGE
INCHES IN THE COASTAL MOUNTAINS AND PARTS OF THE CASCADES
THROUGH FRIDAY...WITH AND ADDITIONAL 2 TO 5 INCHES IN THE
VALLEYS. 

ALL OF THIS RAIN COMBINED WITH SATURATED SOILS WILL CAUSE
SIGNIFICANT RISES ON AREA RIVERS. MANY RIVERS ARE CURRENTLY
UNDER FLOOD WARNINGS AND ADDITIONAL RIVERS WILL LIKELY FLOOD.

As of this morning flood forecast the Willamette (at Albany) is projected to crest at 16.96 feet Wednesday afternoon (see graph below). That is almost 13 feet higher than last weeks 4 foot river level.  

Note that last week the river was flowing at 7,000 cubic feet per second, by Wednesday afternoon the flow will exceed 48,000 cubic feet per second, almost seven times the water volume.

Recent Flood Crests:

  • (1) 25.50 ft on 01/19/2006
  • (2) 25.51 ft on 01/19/2006
  • (3) 20.22 ft on 01/15/2000
  • (4) 25.32 ft on 12/30/1998
  • (5) 27.25 ft on 01/02/1997
  • (6) 27.87 ft on 11/21/1996
  • (7) 30.05 ft on 02/09/1996
  • (8) 25.37 ft on 02/24/1986
  • (9) 26.04 ft on 12/07/1981
  • (10) 29.00 ft on 01/17/1974
wx_2015_12_07_WillametteAlbany.png

The North Santiam at Jefferson (graph below) is expected to crest above the Minor flood state level at 16.87 feet.  The river should crest at approximately 4 am at a little more than two feed under moderate flood stage (see graph below). 

We will keep this blog undated as the new forecasts on rain fall and flooding are made available.

Quick Links to Forecasts and Conditions

River Flow & Level