Photo by Emily Mentzer
A vehicle passes through water, in spite of signs warning not to, on Riddell Road near Monmouth Avenue on Monday afternoon.
As of Wednesday, December 9, 2015
POLK COUNTY — The weather system moving through the area has created quite a stir already, with record rainfall Monday, causing road closures and early releases in schools throughout the county.
“It’s kind of a typical Pacific Northwest active-weather pattern,” said Will Ahue, meteorologist for the Portland National Weather Service. “We have another system coming through (Tuesday) afternoon and (Tuesday) night that will bring another shot of rain to the area.”
Ahue said Tuesday’s rainfall would likely not be as heavy as Monday’s, but would probably push rivers back to full or above flood stage.
Tuesday morning, the Willamette River was at 16 feet at Salem, and was expected to rise to a peak of 23 feet tonight (Wednesday).
The Luckiamute River at Suver was higher than 30 feet Tuesday morning. Flood stage is 27 feet.
Monday’s precipitation measured 1.66 inches, a record for the day, bringing the total rainfall for the year to 31.15 inches — still 3.36 inches below normal for the year.
Ahue said at this point, the potential is there to have above-normal precipitation for the year.
“The bad news is our temperature is forecast to be above normal,” he said. “It’s not going to do a lot for the snowpack. It doesn’t mean there won’t be a storm or two that comes in and dumps a lot of snow, but the chances for that tend to be lower.”
The strong El Nino forecast for this winter is expected to bring warmer temperatures throughout the Northwest, Ahue said.
Monday’s high temperature of 61 degrees ties the record set in 1938. The normal high is 47 degrees.
Monday’s low temperature of 50 degrees is quite warmer than the average 35. The record low is 4 below, set in 1972.
A wind advisory ended at 4 a.m. Wednesday (today). A flood watch will continue through Thursday.
For more information: www.weather.gov.