PORTLAND – The Portland Metro area is expected to get about 2 inches of rain over the next 24 hours and rivers could rise up to 4 feet, according to KGW Chief Meteorologist Matt Zaffino.
The strong storm has prompted Flood Alerts around Portland and much of Northwest Oregon through Tuesday. The National Weather Service also issued a Flood Watch for the greater Portland Metro area, beginning at midnight Monday through Wednesday afternoon.
The heavy rain start in Portland around 7 p.m., and downpours were expected throughout the valley all the way through Thursday, Zaffino said. By Tuesday night, he predicted that the Metro area will have seen about 2 inches of rain and that will double by Thursday.
“There is likely going to be ponding of water on the roads. The Tuesday morning commute won’t be too difficult, but by Tuesday afternoon, I expect a lot of rain out there,” he said. "It will be a warm, wet and windy day."
The City of Portland was warning people that strong winds may lead to fallen trees, tree limbs, and power lines in streets and yards. They asked that anyone who sees debris, mud, rocks, trees, or branches blocking a road or sidewalk call 503-823-1700. Downed power lines should be reported by calling PGE at 503-464-7777.
At higher elevations, the rain will mix with snow. Zaffino said the Cascades will get about 7 inches.
"There will be a lot of rain and snow will follow," he said, explaining that the snow level will be around 7,000 feet on Tuesday and then it will drop after that. He said to expect fresh flakes to fall at the Mount Hood ski resorts every day for the rest of the week.
Powerful winds were expected to start at the coast around midnight, with gusts getting up to 60 mph. Warnings were also issued for possible landslides.
Portland has received more than 15 inches of rain since mid-October. Meteorologists explain that the current surplus of more than 6 inches is like having picked up an extra month's worth of rain. In other words, if Portland did not receive another drop of moisture until next year, we would still be above normal for the water year.