Record rain in the Midwest, as we fight for average in Pacific Northwest


PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – Rainy and cool weather encourages a good old fashioned nap and this week the weather will be trying to pull us in that direction.

A stacked low has been trying to navigate out of the Pacific Northwest for a few days and it will continue to initiate clouds and showers to start the week. With that, we are mostly interested in how much rain we can see this week because we need as much as we can get.

As of May 17, we were right around average for the month of May. While we track our showers here this week, areas of the Midwest saw flooding with exceptional rain totals over the span of four days. According to the NWS in Chicago, they had accumulated 7.88 inches of rain from May 14-17 and currently are sitting at over 8 inches of rain for the month of May.

We’ve seen those totals in the winter, but it is something else to see that in May. That four-day stretch was more rain than we saw in January and we had over 7.5 inches. Another way to imagine this is in those four days, they’ve seen more rain than we’ve had total since February. With that in mind, it’s easy to think that we are probably in a drought.

Here is the system that is going to help us out for a day or two. That area of low pressure is circulating around the coast of Oregon and California. Our deepest moisture occurred Monday morning, but the ability to see another wave or two is possible in the next 48 hours.

The greatest totals will likely stay south of Portland, with the central valley and Cascade foothills as the focal point of this system as it departs. We can’t rule out an isolated thunderstorm, which may bring portions of heavy rain and higher totals to the valley. Locations like Estacada or some neighborhoods banked against the hills may be the recipient of those higher totals.

This is a good idea of what may come in the next three days, from Monday through Wednesday night. Interesting to point out that areas of northern Idaho and eastern Washington could see upwards of 2 inches of rain. If you focus on areas closer to home, it is a mixed platform. Potential for three-quarters of an inch, with many locations closer to a quarter or half an inch. That should keep us on track for the month.

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