Atmospheric River Headed Toward Northwest

Photo: NOAA

The National Weather Service is forecasting a series of storms that'll bring heavy rain to Northwest Oregon and Southwest Washington this week.

It's an atmospheric river event that brings tropical moisture into the region.

The rain will start Wednesday evening, but the heaviest rain will fall Thursday and Friday.

Current forecasts indicate that rain rates could be particularly high Thursday night through Friday night. Precipitation totals for Wednesday through Saturday could range from 2" to 6" for the interior lowlands with 3" to 10" for the Coast Range and Cascades.

At this time, the North Oregon Coast Range and the South Washington Cascades appear most likely to receive the heaviest rain. However, these atmospheric river events are notoriously difficult to precisely predict more than a day in advance. Further complicating the issue, Cascade snow levels will rise from about 3500 feet Wednesday night to above 6000 feet by Friday evening.

For areas that do receive a prolonged period of heavy rainfall, expect rapid rises on creeks and rivers. The greatest concern for flooding will be along creeks and rivers that don`t have flood control reservoirs.

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