Wow, it has been a rainy, windy week so far, and we’ve still got two days to go! First let’s talk about the last wave of rain. Originally the leading edge came in late Tuesday evening and held on through the entire day on Wednesday. Winds ended up really jumping up as the band came onshore Tuesday. We saw gusts between 55 and 70 miles per hour along the coast. However, it was also very wind in the Coast Range and Cascades. In fact, Mary’s Peak reported at least one official wind gust of 79 mph, and I saw a preliminary report of 88 mph!
The rainfall is the big story. In the last 24-hours (as of 4 a.m.) we’ve picked up the following amount of rainfall:
That doesn’t count the rainfall that occurred from Tuesday evening and through the overnight hours. If you add that in, areas saw upwards of 1.50″ to 3.00″ plus of rainfall. There were some flood watches posted for Siuslaw River in Lane County and the Siletz River in Lincoln County. Those watches were allowed to expire at 4 a.m. this morning, however they may return soon. There is still a Flood Warning in effect for Grays River near Roseburg in Douglas County. Through Thursday morning, the drainage basins of the rivers mentioned accumulated between 4 and 6 inches.
What is amazing is just how much rainfall fell over such a short period of time in the Eugene area. Remember, if we saw less than an inch of rainfall this last week of the month, we were going down in history as the driest December in record. That is no longer a concern! The Eugene area has picked up 2.79″ of rain since Tuesday! That means 92% of all of our rainfall this month happened in a 24 to 36 hour period! There is more rainfall on the way today!
After the rain on Thursday the next story will be the snow. That’s right, I said “snow.” Instead of catching waves of energy off the water, Friday’s stormy weather will be met with cool temperatures. Our high temperature of the day on Friday will be about 12:00 AM or around that time. After that time, our temps will fall throughout the afternoon. Those of us in the interior valleys will see temps down to the low 40’s by dinner. During that time, snow levels will drop from 5,500′ or so down to 3,000′ or perhaps 2,500′. In lieu of that occuring, the National Weather Service has issued a couple of winter weather advisories. Here’s how they break down:
Coast Range/Cascade Foothills: Winter Weather Advisory from 2 PM Friday to 12:00 AM Saturday. By Friday afternoon, snow levels will drop down between 2,000 and 3,000 feet. During that time, the Coast Range and Foothills will see the changeover to snow. It is possible that levels could briefly drop to 1,500 feet. During this time, the two regions could see between 3 to 6 inches of snow. Snow fall will be in the form of snow showers by this point.
Lane Co. Cascades: Winter Storm Warning from noon Friday to midnight. Snow levels will start between 7,000 and 8,000 feet midnight Friday morning, but will drop to 5,000 feet by lunchtime and 3,000 feet or less by the afternoon/evening. Snow totals around the passes will be between 12 and 18 inches with higher amounts towards the peaks. Strong winds will significantly reduce visibility, so travel will be hazardous at times.
North OR Cascades: A Winter Storm Warning will be in effect from 8 AM Friday to midnight. The area will see the change over to snow by the early morning on Friday as snow levels will fall from 7,000′ Thursday evening to 5,000′ by Friday morning. From there, snow levels will continue to drop to 2,000′ to 3,000′. Snow accumulations will be high with this storm, with 12 to 18 inches of snow possible below 6,000 feet, and 2 to 3 feet above. Visibility will be near zero with heavy snow meeting with gusts up to 40 and 50 miles per hour.
The snow will be good news for the struggling ski resorts, but unfortunately travel for the early parts of the holiday weekend will be hazardous. For New Years Eve and New Year’s Day, we’ll see dry weather. Our next band of rain will move in Monday early morning.
–Meteorologist, Megan Taylor
If you have travel plans, you can always check ODOT’s TripCheck Page. For the latest on Watches, Warnings, and Advisories, keep checking here or visit KEZI.com!