Enhanced fire danger Friday; expect a dry, windy afternoon

Weather

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — This Friday, morning temperatures finally feel close to normal as the low to mid 50s rule the roost under clear skies.

By the afternoon we’re warming to the upper 70s and mostly sunny. It will certainly be a windy day with NW wind gusts reaching 15-20 mph. Clouds are expected to increase by the evening.

Fire danger considered very high today

Milepost 85 fire Wednesday burning near The Dalles.
Photo by: Joanne Darnielle

Red Flag Warning: 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. Wind gusts near The Dalles could reach 40-45 mph, plus the ongoing drought means very dry vegetation is ripe for any little spark.

Fires currently burning in Oregon:

Milepost 85 – 70% contained – The Dalles – Wasco County

Mehl Creek – 80% contained – Douglas County – North Unit, Oregon DOF

Sycan River – 50% contained – Klamath County – Fremont-Winema NF

We had hundreds of lightning strikes across SE Oregon Thursday night. New fire starts are possible.

Weekend: Saturday early morning is out first chance of rain but the amount of moisture is minimal. For the entire weekend, we may only collect 0.05″ total. Weekend temps will be cooler, in the upper 60’s.

Red flag warning


RED FLAG WARNING IN EFFECT FROM 11 AM TO 10 PM PDT FRIDAY FOR THE NORTHERN COLUMBIA BASIN AND SOUTH CENTRAL CASCADE VALLEYS OF EAST WASHINGTON

The National Weather Service in Spokane has issued a Red Flag Warning for wind and low relative humidity. The Fire Weather Watch is no longer in effect.

* Affected Area: Fire Weather Zone 673 East Washington Northern Columbia Basin (Zone 673) and Fire Weather Zone 676 East Washington South Central Cascade Valleys (Zone 676).

* Winds: West 10 to 20 mph with gusts up to 35 mph.

* Relative Humidities: 12 to 22 percent.

* Impacts: Rapid fire spread of any new or ongoing fires will be possible. Heed burn ban restrictions. Outdoor burning is not recommended.

A Red Flag Warning means that critical fire weather conditions are either occurring now….or will shortly. A combination of strong winds…low relative humidity…and warm temperatures can contribute to extreme fire behavior.

https://forecast.weather.gov/wwamap/wwatxtget.php?cwa=pdt&wwa=red%20flag%20warning

Water supply outlook

NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE PORTLAND OREGON WATER SUPPLY OUTLOOK AS OF JUNE 3 2021.

THE WATER SUPPLY FORECAST FOR THE SPRING AND SUMMER OF 2021 IS BELOW AVERAGE FOR ALMOST ALL RIVERS IN OREGON, EXCEPT FOR A FEW WATERSHEDS IN FAR-NORTHEAST OREGON, WHERE FORECASTS ARE NEAR AVERAGE. DRY CONDITIONS IN MARCH, APRIL, AND MAY HAVE INCREASED CONCERNS ABOUT SUMMER DROUGHT IMPACTS ACROSS OREGON. STREAMFLOW VOLUME FORECASTS FOR APRIL-SEPTEMBER HAVE DROPPED 5 TO 20 PERCENT COMPARED TO A MONTH AGO AND 30 TO 70 PERCENT COMPARED TO 3 MONTHS AGO. NOTE THAT WATER SUPPLY FORECASTS ARE PARTICULARLY LOW FOR MUCH OF SOUTH-CENTRAL OREGON, INCLUDING KLAMATH AND LAKE COUNTIES. WHILE NOT AS EXTREME, FORECASTS FOR MOST WESTERN OREGON STREAMS, PARTICULARLY THOSE DRAINING THE COASTAL MOUNTAINS, HAVE BEEN REDUCED DRASTICALLY COMPARED TO 3 MONTHS AGO. MUCH OF THE STATE IS ALREADY DROUGHT STRESSED DUE TO DRY CONDITIONS THE PAST 18 MONTHS. NOTE THAT GOVERNOR-DECLARED DROUGHT DECLARATIONS ARE IN EFFECT FOR BAKER, DOUGLAS, GILLIAM, JACKSON, KLAMATH, LAKE, MORROW, AND WHEELER COUNTIES, AND ADDITIONAL COUNTIES ARE UNDER CONSIDERATION.

BASED ON SPRING CONDITIONS AND THE SUMMER OUTLOOK, THERE ARE LIKELY TO BE SIGNIFICANT AND WIDESPREAD DROUGHT IMPACTS THIS SUMMER, INCLUDING STRESSED VEGETATION, INCREASED FIRE DANGER, REDUCED WATER AVAILABILITY FOR AGRICULTURAL AND MUNICIPAL SUPPLY, LIMITED ACCESS FOR RESERVOIR RECREATION, REDUCED AGRICULTURAL YIELD, LOW STREAMFLOW AND WARM WATER TEMPERATURES WHICH NEGATIVELY IMPACT FISH HABITAT, AND POOR RANGELAND CONDITIONS FOR LIVESTOCK AND WILDLIFE GRAZING. THIS IS THE FINAL WATER SUPPLY SUMMARY FOR THE SEASON.

PRECIPITATION AND TEMPERATURES ACROSS OREGON PRECIPITATION FOR THE 2021 WATER YEAR THUS FAR (OCT 1, 2020 THROUGH JUNE 2, 2021) RANGES FROM 40 TO 85 PERCENT OF AVERAGE IN OREGON. THE LOWEST TOTALS RELATIVE TO AVERAGE ARE IN CENTRAL, SOUTH-CENTRAL AND SOUTHEAST OREGON, AREAS THAT HAVE ALSO BEEN BELOW AVERAGE FOR MUCH OF THE PAST TWO YEARS. CONDITIONS DURING MARCH, APRIL, AND MAY HAVE GREATLY INFLUENCED WATER SUPPLY CONDITIONS FOR SUMMER STREAMFLOW, RESERVOIR, SOIL MOISTURE, AND VEGETATION CONDITIONS. MARCH PRECIPITATION WAS BELOW AVERAGE STATEWIDE AND ESPECIALLY DRY FOR NORTH-CENTRAL, SOUTH-CENTRAL AND SOUTHEAST OREGON. LARGE SWATHS OF CENTRAL AND EASTERN OREGON HAD LESS THAN A QUARTER INCH OF PRECIPITATION IN MARCH. APRIL PRECIPITATION WAS ALSO LOW, WITH MONTHLY TOTALS 10 TO 50 PERCENT OF AVERAGE. THE DRY TREND CONTINUED THROUGH MAY, WITH 20 TO 70 PERCENT OF AVERAGE PRECIPITATION. THE SUM OF MARCH THROUGH MAY PRECIPITATION RESULTED IN THE DRIEST SPRING ON RECORD FOR MUCH OF WESTERN AND NORTH-CENTRAL OREGON. FOR EXAMPLE, PORTLAND AIRPORT MEASURED 2.52 INCHES FOR MARCH THROUGH MAY 2021, BREAKING THE PREVIOUS RECORD LOW OF 4.31 INCHES IN 1994. THE NORMAL FOR THIS PERIOD IS 9.37 INCHES. WWW.NWRFC.NOAA.GOV/WATER_SUPPLY/WY_SUMMARY/WY_SUMMARY.PHP NOAA NWS – CALIFORNIA-NEVADA RIVER FORECAST CENTER (KLAMATH BASIN) WWW.CNRFC.NOAA.GOV/WATER_RESOURCES_UPDATE.PHP

SNOWPACK ACROSS OREGON AS OF EARLY JUNE, NEARLY ALL MOUNTAIN SNOWPACK HAS MELTED, WITH THE EXCEPTIONS OF THE VOLCANIC PEAKS IN THE CASCADES. SNOW MELTED IN APRIL AND MAY AT A HIGH RATE THAT EXCEEDED HISTORIC MELT RATES AT MOST LOCATIONS. THE PEAK SEASONAL SNOWPACK OCCURRED IN MARCH AND WAS BELOW AVERAGE FOR THE SOUTHERN HALF OF THE STATE AND NEAR TO ABOVE AVERAGE FOR THE NORTHERN HALF. WWW.NWRFC.NOAA.GOV/SNOW/ USDA NATURAL RESOURCES CONSERVATION SERVICE WWW.NRCS.USDA.GOV/WPS/PORTAL/NRCS/MAIN/OR/SNOW/

PRECIPITATION AND TEMPERATURE OUTLOOK THE CLIMATE PREDICTION CENTER PRODUCES MONTHLY AND SEASONAL OUTLOOKS, IN WHICH THERE IS A WEIGHING OF THE ODDS OF NEAR-NORMAL, ABOVE-NORMAL, OR BELOW-NORMAL TEMPERATURES AND PRECIPITATION. THE OUTLOOK FOR JUNE SHOWS AN ENHANCED LIKELIHOOD OF ABOVE AVERAGE TEMPERATURES AND BELOW AVERAGE PRECIPITATION. THE JULY THROUGH SEPTEMBER SUMMER OUTLOOK ALSO SHOWS AN ENHANCED LIKELIHOOD OF ABOVE AVERAGE TEMPERATURES AND BELOW AVERAGE PRECIPITATION. ABOVE AVERAGE TEMPERATURES WOULD BE PARTICULARLY IMPACTFUL ON DROUGHT CONDITIONS, CAUSING INCREASED VEGETATION STRESS, WARMER STREAM TEMPERATURES, AND INCREASED DEMAND FOR IRRIGATION WATER. WWW.CPC.NCEP.NOAA.GOV

RESERVOIRS RESERVOIR STORAGE AS OF EARLY JUNE IS BELOW TYPICAL CONDITIONS FOR THIS TIME OF YEAR, ESPECIALLY FOR SOUTHWEST, SOUTH-CENTRAL, CENTRAL, AND PORTIONS OF SOUTHEAST OREGON. THESE ARE REGIONS OF THE STATE DEALING WITH DROUGHT IMPACTS FROM THE 2020 WATER YEAR AND LOW SNOWPACK AND STREAMFLOW FOR THE CURRENT WATER YEAR. MANY RESERVOIRS ARE DRAWING DOWN EARLIER AND FASTER TO MEET ABOVE-AVERAGE DEMAND FOR THIS TIME OF THE YEAR. FOR SEVERAL RESERVOIRS IN SOUTHERN AND CENTRAL OREGON, THERE WILL NOT BE ADEQUATE RESERVOIR STORAGE TO MEET ALL SUMMER IRRIGATION DEMANDS. OWYHEE RESERVOIR, THE LARGEST IRRIGATION PROJECT IN THE STATE, HAS STORAGE OF ABOUT 350,000 ACRE-FEET, WHICH IS 49 PERCENT OF IRRIGATION PROJECT CAPACITY AND 66 PERCENT OF AVERAGE STORAGE FOR EARLY JUNE. RESERVOIR STORAGE ACTUALLY PEAKED IN EARLY APRIL AT ABOUT 430,000 ACRE FEET BEFORE RESERVOIR RELEASES FOR DOWNSTREAM IRRIGATORS EXCEEDED INFLOW TO THE RESERVOIR AND THE RESERVOIR STORAGE STARTED TO DECREASE IN MID-APRIL. RESERVOIR DATA IS PROVIDED BY THE NATURAL RESOURCES CONSERVATION SERVICE, THE BUREAU OF RECLAMATION, AND THE US ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS. WWW.NWD-WC.USACE.ARMY.MIL/NWP/TEACUP/WILLAMETTE/ WWW.USBR.GOV/PN/HYDROMET/SELECT.HTML WWW.WCC.NRCS.USDA.GOV/BASIN.HTML

OBSERVED STREAMFLOW OBSERVED RUNOFF SO FAR THIS WATER YEAR HAS BEEN NEAR AVERAGE FOR NORTHWEST AND FAR-NORTHEAST OREGON AND BELOW AVERAGE FOR THE REST OF THE STATE. HOWEVER, STREAMFLOW IN MARCH, APRIL, AND MAY WAS BELOW AVERAGE FOR ALL OF OREGON, EXCEPT FOR A FEW CREEKS AND RIVERS IN FAR- NORTHEAST OREGON. SEVERAL RIVERS ARE AT OR NEAR RECORD LOWS FOR THIS TIME OF YEAR, SHOWING THE EFFECT OF PROLONGED DRY CONDITIONS OVER THE PAST COUPLE YEARS PLUS THE EXTREMELY DRY CONDITIONS OF THE PAST THREE MONTHS. VISIT WATERWATCH.USGS.GOV FOR DETAILS ON OBSERVED STREAMFLOW. WWW.NWRFC.NOAA.GOV/NATURAL/INDEX.HTML.

WATER SUPPLY SEASONAL FORECASTS WATER SUPPLY FORECASTS FOR APRIL-SEPTEMBER RUNOFF VOLUME ARE BELOW AVERAGE FOR MOST OF OREGON, ESPECIALLY CENTRAL AND SOUTH-CENTRAL OREGON. FOR MOST WATERSHEDS, THE PREDICTED RUNOFF VOLUME IS THE LOWEST OR ONE OF THE LOWEST ON RECORD. THE ONLY WATERSHEDS WITH NEAR-NORMAL WATER SUPPLY FORECASTS ARE IN NORTH-CENTRAL AND NORTHEAST OREGON. WITH GENERALLY DRY CONDITIONS SINCE EARLY MARCH, MOST WATER SUPPLY FORECASTS HAVE DECREASED 30 TO 60 PERCENT OVER THE PAST THREE MONTHS. THE FORECAST FOR THE COLUMBIA RIVER AT THE DALLES, WHICH IS A GOOD INDEX OF CONDITIONS ACROSS THE COLUMBIA BASIN, IS 84 PERCENT OF AVERAGE FOR APRIL-SEPTEMBER, A DECREASE OF 2 PERCENT FROM A MONTH AGO.

WWW.NWRFC.NOAA.GOV/WS/ USDA NATURAL RESOURCES CONSERVATION SERVICE WWW.WCC.NRCS.USDA.GOV/WSF/

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