Lightning and drought: not the ideal combination

Weather Blog

Rain should wind down by 8am this morning

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Rain! We need it, big time. Despite the rain we’re seeing in the early morning hours, rain should wind down by 8 a.m. this morning. The next front arrives and we’ll get another dose of showers arriving by midday to afternoon.

Since October 1st we have measured below normal rainfall by 9.47 inches. The good news for this week is we are expecting more rain through Thursday and possibly again this weekend. We may be able to squeeze out nearly an inch of rain over the next two days in the Willamette Valley.

Location, location, location! Thunderstorms are possible in the Pacific Northwest today. Lightning, while beautiful and exciting from a distance, is something we really don’t want to see when we’re in a drought. Luckily we have had some wetting rains which helps reduce our fire danger. Plus, the thunderstorms we see today will be accompanied by rain. But where will those bold isolated cells of energy line up? Will it be directly over an airport that acquires rainfall totals? We base our rainfall on what’s collected at Portland International Airport.

Then showers ride in from the southwest, increase after 12 p.m., especially heavy pockets rolling through Salem and surrounding foothills.

This is today’s expected rainfall accumulation, a tenth to a quarter inch of rain is possible in the valley. Not expecting much rain east of the Cascades.

Heaviest showers depicted in red here.

The forecast fire danger today is considered low for the Pacific Northwest

CAPE, convective available potential energy, is just one aspect of forecasting we consider when evaluating the potential for severe weather. Beware, you cannot examine CAPE alone. Take a look at the Salem sounding below.

This is the observed dry lightning map from Tuesday May 12. You can see we had lightning across the PNW but it was accompanied by rain.

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