Oregon, California Bracing for Cold Blast, Flooding Possible

for Those Traveling to and from Oregon; Space Travel

Published 12/06/09

Oregon, California Bracing for Cold Blast, Flooding Possible

Portland is freezing with major wind chills but clear skies much of this week.

(Portland, Oregon) – The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued several special weather statements for western Oregon regarding the arctic front that is now freezing the area, while meteorologists a worried a pair of major storms in California could bring some flooding there.

AccuWeather.com is reporting that a stormy pattern is descending on California, bringing two storms, one of Sunday through Monday, the other on Wednesday and Thursday.

Senior Meteorologist Ken Clark has said that rain and snow will hit northern California on Sunday night and spread south over the next two days. Snow levels are likely to be only 1,000 feet in the north, about 1,500 to 2,000 feet around the Bay Area to the Central Coastal Mountains, and down to 3,500 to 4,500 feet from the Los Angeles County Mountains to San Diego.

“Total liquid precipitation is likely to range from a 0.25 to 0.50 of an inch in northern California to 0.50 to 1.00 inch in central and Southern California, with locally higher amounts in upslope areas,” Clark said in a press release.

On Wednesday and Thursday, a warmer storm will approach California with the strong potential for a pineapple connection

Clark said heavy precipitation would encompass all of the central and southern parts of the state, reaching 1.50- to 4.00-inch rain amounts. However, with a projected strong low-level south and southwest jet modeled, this could lead to some places, especially on west- and south-facing slopes of the mountains from the central coastal south to Southern California, receiving three to four times that much precipitation.

“If these model projections are even close to being right, we are staring straight in the face of widespread flooding problems,” Clark said. “Even worse, around recent burn areas, and especially the huge Station Fire burn area, mudslides and debris flows could be disastrous.”

The NWS said in a bulletin that an arctic front is currently pushing in through southern British Columbia and will continue to drop south into the northwest, creating gusty northeast winds. Gusts of 30 to 40 mph will continue in western Oregon until Monday night, while the Cascades, coast range and western Columbia River Gorge will receive higher winds, with gusts around 50 to 60 mph.

With this comes the possibility of isolated snow showers in the foothills of the Cascades, but those are expected not yield much accumulation.

Some ice on the roads is expected, and travelers are warned to look for slick spots, especially if driving at night.

There will be some slight warming on Tuesday, but persistent east winds are likely to continue through much of the upcoming week.

“Wind chill values in the single digits can be expected in sections of the Portland metro area and Clark County near the Gorge,” the NWS said. “Overnight temperatures in the Cascades will be in the single digits with wind chills as low as 20 degrees below zero at the passes and ridges.”

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