By Gordon McCraw, Tillamook County Emergency Manager
Monday, December 20, 2021, 11:00am
A rainy weekend thanks to a stationary front that remains mainly to our south and east. Rainfall totals for the 3-day event, ending at 8am this morning, included Pacific City with 3.1”, Tillamook with 2.86” and Astoria with 2.48”. Down here, even Lebanon had 2.07”. While the rain did push the rivers higher, they all remain well below Flood Stage. The main river flooding concerns are well south of the area. With the southwesterly flow we will continue to see periods of rain with the heaviest rain remaining to the southeast, winds becoming southeasterly 5-10, the high near 51. The front continues to weaken tonight so the rainfall rates should decrease, and we could see a break in the rain by around midnight, easterly winds 5-10, lows tonight near 44.
We have another cold front dropping southward into the area tomorrow, giving us a chance of rain starting tomorrow afternoon, winds becoming easterly 8-12 gusting to 18, highs near 53. Tomorrow night looks rainy with a chance of thunderstorms starting in the early morning hours, winds becoming southerly 4-8, lows near 45.
Look for showers with possible thunderstorms Wednesday, winds southerly 10-15 gusting to 20, the high near 52, more of the same, including the thunderstorm threat, Wednesday night though the snow level, which had been above 3000’ then drops down to near 2500’ with lows near 37.
Thursday, we continue to see scattered showers with a slight chance of thunderstorms, the snow level lowering down to near 1500’ which could affect the high Coast Range passes, the afternoon high near 45. The models, which had been mixed for the end of the week forecast, are starting to come into a similar solution. It appears a cold trough of low pressure will strengthen in the Gulf of Alaska and push down a cold front towards the area that brings back the rain Thursday night that possibly brings more snow to the passes, the overnight low Thursday near 34.
It looks like this cold trough of low pressure will then dominate the weather thru Christmas Eve, Christmas on into the start of next week. What this means for us is cooler temperatures with highs Thursday and Friday near 45, lows near 33, the snow level around 1000-1500’. Christmas night things could get even more interesting with the overnight low dropping to near 29 with that chance of rain still, or should I say snow? Sunday the high is only expected to be around 38 so the snow level will still be on the lower side. The bottom line on this one is you can expect moderate to severe travel impacts over the passes and possibly along the higher areas of Hwy 101 during this period. Some of the models give a 60-70% chance of snow in the valley and a 30-60% chance of snow along the coast! Some of the models suggest that this would NOT just be a dusting either.
I’m dreaming of a White….Christmas. By the way, the first part of next week is looking interesting also. Get your supplies before the end of the week!