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Jan-21-2012 02:57printcomments

New Western Storm Expected to Worsen Flooding

... another in a continuous parade of storms that will last well into next week.

Weather map
Courtesy: Accuweather.com

(SALEM Accuweather.com) - There's no rest for the weary across the Pacific Northwest as yet another storm packed with moisture is set to plow ashore, promising to worsen ongoing flooding and complicate cleanup efforts following this week's record snow and ice storm.

Emergency declarations remain in effect for parts of Oregon and Washington in the wake of the storm, which has led to major flooding in the Willamette Valley and a dangerous mix of snow and ice in Seattle.

More steady to heavy rain will push ashore along the coast from Washington south to California, soaking the I-5 corridor while pushing creeks and rivers higher. Strong winds will accompany the rain, especially closer to the coast where gusts could exceed 60 mph.

As Expert Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski points out, the new, warmer storm will bring rain to Seattle, Portland and other areas in Washington and Oregon.

While this may sound like good news for the Emerald City in the wake of significant ice and snow, the increased runoff from melting will only exacerbate the flood threat in poor drainage areas.

Fortunately, it appears the heaviest rain will avoid flood-ravaged western Oregon and head for northwestern California with cities such as Crescent City and Eureka facing a deluge overnight with 1 to 2 inches of rain possible.

Saturday, the central valleys of California will finally see some much-needed rain. As Meteorologist Dan DePodwin reports, Fresno hasn't experienced measurable rain since before Thanksgiving.

Western Expert Ken Clark adds, "The upcoming rain and mountain snow in northern areas will be a blessing for agricultural, watershed and skiing interests."

With snow levels retreating, snow will be limited to the higher elevations of the Cascades and Sierra, generally above 5,000 feet.

The storm will be a boon for ski resorts, with more than a foot of fresh powder expected over numerous resorts for the weekend.

As both Sosnowski and DePodwin both point out, this storm is just another in a continuous parade of storms that will last well into next week.


Bill Deger is a Meteorologist, with Accuweather.com.




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