EUGENE, Ore. -- It may have been a beautiful sunrise, but as the old saying goes, “Red sky in the morning, sailors take warning.” The first of a series of wet, energetic frontal systems is moving ashore on Wednesday.
Wednesday: Rain. Highs in low 60s
Thursday: Showers. Highs in upper 50s
Friday: Iso. showers. Highs in mid to upper 50s
Saturday: Rain. Highs in mid 50s
Sunday: Rain. Highs in mid 50s
Monday: Mostly cloudy w/ isolated showers. Highs in low to mid 60s.
Tuesday: Partly sunny w/ isolated showers. Highs in low to mid 60s
The first front will spread rain eastward into the Willamette Valley during the morning and into the Cascades by the afternoon. A second front will move in right behind it Wednesday evening. Rainfall totals through tonight will between 0.25 to 0.75 inches in the Valleys and 0.5 to 0.75 for the Coast. Higher terrain could see as high as 1 to 2 inches, due to orographic lift.
Orographic lift occurs when an air mass is forced from a low elevation to a higher elevation as it moves over rising terrain. As the air mass gains altitude, it quickly cools down adiabatically, which can raise the relative humidity to 100% and create clouds and, under the right conditions, precipitation.
The second front will also bring breezy conditions to the region this afternoon. The Coast will likely see gusts up 35 to 45 mph, while inland valleys will be closer to 25 to 35 mph.
Thursday will see mild, breezy conditions near the surface and cool air aloft. When those are mixed, instability in the atmosphere increases, which will likely lead to widespread showers. It is also possible that some of those showers evolve into thunderstorms. During the afternoon, another front will push through the region, bringing steadier rain into the evening hours.
While rain will be a bigger player in the coming days, the continued storm activity will lead to some angry seas. A High Surf Advisory has been issued for the entire Oregon Coast on Thursday. Swells will likely be between 16 and 18 feet with breakers 20 to 25 feet. These are the largest seas we have seen since last spring. During this time, stay off rocks and jetties, and small craft should expect rough conditions.
This prolonged wet, blustery weather will last through at least the weekend. Rainfall through the weekend will be between 1.5 to 2 inches in the valleys, 2 to 3 inches at the coast, and 3 to 4 inches through the Coast Range and Cascades Foothills. Snow levels will also be dropping to about 5,000 feet. This means the passes will likely see snow.
For more weather information, go to the KEZI 9 News StormTracker 9 weather page.