Parts of the Pacific Northwest could get nearly an inch of rain in less than an hour from an afternoon rainstorm.
Flood watches have been issued for much of the Pacific Northwest owing to the potential for flash flooding on Monday, May 15, afternoon, according to Jon Bonk, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Portland.
Bonk said that “very hot temperatures are contributing to an unstable atmosphere” and that “there is an unusually high amount of available moisture with the potential to produce hefty rain in an amount exceeding one inch in less than one hour.”
According to Bonk, thunderstorms are developing over the Cascades right now. The rain will be caused by the storms, which may persist even after the lighting and thunder have stopped. The watch is in effect from 3 to 10 p.m. on Monday for parts of southwest Washington and areas east of the Coast Range crest to the Cascades.
The National Weather Service in Portland to tweet a “Flood Watch” for much of the Pacific Northwest from 3 to 10 p.m. PDT.-
⛈️A Flood Watch has been issued across portions of the Pacific Northwest between 3-10pm PDT today (Mon) due to concerns of flash flooding from heavy thunderstorm rain. #WAwx #ORwx
Also see Flood Watches issued outside our forecast area by @NWSSeattle @NWSMedford & @NWSPendleton https://t.co/mijClQhUQa
— NWS Portland (@NWSPortland) May 15, 2023
In a press release issued Monday, May 15, afternoon, the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries warned that “heavy rain may result in landslides in areas of steep terrain, as well as debris, flows in and near burned areas from recent wildfires.”
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“People, structures, and roads located below steep slopes in canyons and near the mouths of canyons may be at serious risk,” the announcement warned, urging anyone in the watch zones to remain vigilant and use extreme caution while venturing out.
Bank added, “Anywhere that we see a thunderstorm today could produce flooding impacts.” Areas of particular concern are urban areas where water can accumulate, creeks and streams, and regions affected by forest fires.
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