A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

Forecast: Big jump in level of Willamette

Written December 9th, 2019 by Hasso Hering

The Willamette River has been running very low, a level normally seen only during late summer. But according to the Weather Service that’s about to change in a big way.

A bike ride in the darkening gloom of a December afternoon took me through Bowman Park on Monday. There, the gravel beach upstream of the boat ramp (photo above) looked as wide as I had seen it in a long time. But if you want to take a stroll there without getting your feet wet, as the guy in the far background was doing, you don’t have much time to get it done.

That’s according to the Weather Service, whose online hydrograph for the Willamette at Albany forecasts an 8-foot jump in the river level by Saturday night.

For the past few weeks, the level at the Albany gauge has been hovering around 2½ feet. At 2:26 p.m. Monday it had inched up to 2.6 feet, and the forecast says it will keep rising slowly until Thursday morning.

But then, the river level is forecast to go up steeply late Thursday and Friday, and it won’t level off until it reaches 11.12 feet at about 5 on Saturday night,

As you might guess, the reason for this big jump in the river’s flow is rain. At least that’s the way it looks on the five-day forecast available late Monday. The Weather Service believes it will start raining Tuesday and Wednesday, with a 90 percent chance of rain Wednesday night turning to 100 percent on Thursday.

For the days after that, it’s supposed to be just showers, but apparently the predicted rain storm late Thursday is forecast to be enough to fill the river to a level that’s more normal for this time of year.

Good thing I got a ride in Monday while the weather was mostly dry. (hh)

7 responses to “Forecast: Big jump in level of Willamette”

  1. Cap says:

    Thanks, Hasso, for the river report. I must admit I read the comments, but it is nice not to have to read, at the end of your article on the river, your cronies going on and on about how they hate unions, and government of any sort. I’m probably premature in this, as they will probably come up with something about how government is mis-managing the river!

    • Gordon L. Shadle says:

      I don’t hate anybody. I was raised in a Catholic house. We don’t hate anyone, not anybody in the world. So don’t you accuse me……

      Don’t mess with me.

  2. Gordon L. Shadle says:

    Hasso, you fail to mention why this extreme is happening.

    I just bought a global warming hat, the one where half of the earth is on fire, so I know what the answer is.

    The conditions you described are human caused. Temperature shifts, precipitation pattern changes, more severe storms, increased evaporation, and weather extremes. According to OSU scientists, these are now the norm.

    We are looking at a future of repeated disasters. That is a fact, not presumption. The science is settled.

    Mankind caused this. Mankind, or I should more accurately say, government can fix this.

    And I’m not talking a $60 utility fee increase. I’m talking giving up at least half your income. It’s for the greater good.

    Like Cap implies, trust government, given enough money it can solve any problem.

  3. avidreader69 says:

    I did not see that rise in the river you predicted.

  4. Rhea Graham says:

    #WeatherWarfare #WeatherGeoEngineering #Solar Dimming #SolarRadiationManagement. They missed their goal, but they will try again. They are practicing on us… do you look up at what is going on in the sky?


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