Eastern Oregon flood wrap-up, upcoming river forecast


PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – After a very busy weekend for residents in Pendleton and surrounding communities, flood conditions will be improving early this week.

Recorded archive of NWS watch/warning/advisory products coming from the Pendleton location shows the first flood warning was issued Thursday morning at 2:06 a.m. and flood warnings expired Sunday. These were the most recent flood warning since April 12-14 of 2019 for Umatilla county. The Umatilla river cutting through Pendleton crested around 19 feet (Major Flood Stage) and dropped to about 9 feet (No Flooding) by Sunday night.

Unfortunately, the damage had already been done by the time the river stages receded. You can see some of that video below.

What is next? A few dry days before another round of rain. However, this system will not be as moisture driven and snowmelt will not be as drastic. Consistently the Umatilla River at three locations across the county will continue to see the river bottom out at a safe level through the remainder of the week. Overall, locations about 5-10 feet lower than the flooding event from days earlier.

The forecast does call for more rain from about Wednesday through the weekend. Weather models suggesting around a quarter inch around Pendleton with higher totals west of the Cascades (as usual). This shouldn’t be enough to create additional flooding problems; however, the ground may still be a bit saturated around the river and in the vulnerable spots that are going to be drying out from the flooding. Be prepared for some weak spots that may have a hard time with some additional water.

Another round of rain this week

Temperatures aloft will still be fairly cool through the week, mostly below freezing at 4,500′-5,000′, which will prevent the addition of snowmelt to the equation. Notice on Friday we actually have a decent rush of cooler air moving in that will drop those 850mb temperatures to about -4 Celsius which is around 24 degrees.

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