Record rain boosts our August totals, but new wildfires still ignite


Saturday's event is the second wettest day that we've seen in 2019, but that doesn't mean the rest of the region is out of the woods when it comes to wildfires

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – How quick the weather can turn when the heat is building all afternoon and we have a trigger mechanism for storms waiting to show itself. That is what happened Saturday around 4 P.M. when a few cells started developing in Washington County and eventually pulsing into Multnomah County. We knew it was going to be a stormy weekend, but Saturday, it only took 1 hour for Portland to reach it’s August normal for rain, with .67″. This all from one impressive storm that set up right over the Airport and most of NE Portland and southern Clark county.

We are currently at .95″ of rain for the month of August and there is still more than half the month to go. But what we do know, is that Saturday’s event is the second wettest day that we’ve seen in 2019. Can you believe that? Not only was the total the second wettest day this year, but we also doubled the August 10 record, the old record 0.36”. According to the National Weather Service (NWS), it is the wettest August day since 1.05” fell Aug 29, 2005. Here is water causing a backup on I-205 Saturday evening at Govt. Island.

That burst of rain, well that was west of the Cascades, and limited to our slice of Oregon. There was plenty of action for the rest of the state too. In fact, there was A LOT of action occurring across the state in the form of thunderstorms. These thunderstorms produced large hail, gusty conditions, but possibly enough lightning for a full summer. Check out this chart representing the lightning strikes from just August 10th – August 11th.

The NWS in Boise shared this graphic, that depicts over 35,000 lightning strikes across the PNW!

You might be connecting the dots, but with all this lightning activity, there were some new lightning-caused wildfires that have brewed up since Friday.

According to the Northwest Interagency Coordination (NWCC), a total of 195 fires over Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. 154 of those were stated to be in Oregon for a total of 1607 acres. 41 fires coming out of Washington for a total of 7 acres. Friday and Saturday with the majority of the new fires.

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