Satellite Images Show The Approaching Atmospheric River. Flood information from Klamath County Emergency Management.
Below: GOES-17 Satellite Image Loop From 4-5-19 showing approaching atmospheric river.
A Message From Klamath County Emergency Management:
The NWS in Medford has updated portions of their storm forecast, to include more rain than originally thought and that the Sprague River will reach minor flood stage at the monitor in Beatty by Tuesday afternoon. It is not a hard and fast rule, but it generally takes another 12 hours for the high water to reach the town of Sprague River, and another 12 hours after that for the high water to reach Chiloquin. Minor flood stage means that the river will be out of its banks, but it’s unlikely as of now that it will affect structures. The situation may change depending on how much rain actually falls.
The river is forecast to crest about one foot lower than the area saw in February 2017. Several structures (barns and outbuildings) were affected in 2017, but no residences were flooded.
There are a few hardware stores in Klamath Falls that have sandbags and sand in stock, if you think you may need them. At this time Klamath County Emergency Management is not furnishing them.
The best thing to do for preparedness is to be aware of the potential hazards. Avoid river edges, as water may be flowing swiftly and may be full of debris. Winds are also forecast to be strong, which may cause water-saturated root systems to down some trees. Do not drive through water, as road surfaces may be washed away and it may be deeper than you think.
Latest Statement From NWS Medford Regarding Storm:
All attention shifts to an atmospheric river (AR) event expected to deliver periods of moderate to heavy rain across the area beginning Saturday night along the coast, then spreading inland west of the Cascades on Sunday…and then across northern California and east of the Cascades Sunday night into Monday. The moisture feed for this event has origins in the tropics and this will take direct aim on our forecast area. Model ensemble IVT (Integrated Water Vapor Transport) is shown to be in the top 1 percent of climatology. This means it is a very wet system for this time of year and could produce rain amounts that challenge records for early April.
We are forecasting a wide area of 4 to 8 inches of rain across Curry County and into portions of western Siskiyou County. Looking back at some of the April records for Brookings, a 2-day rainfall of 7.76 inches was recorded April 13-14, 1937. More recently, just behind that record, is 5.32 inches set on April 6-7, 2015. If the forecast holds, this could be one of the top 5 precipitation events for Brookings for April. Rainfall amounts of 2-5 inches will be common from the coast to the Umpqua Valley and the Cascades, as well as in the Mount Shasta Region. East side areas will have 0.50-1.50 inches of rain with up to 2.50 inches in the mountains. For Medford, the highest 2-day rainfall for April was 1.70 inches set April 12-13, 1912. More recently, Medford had 2-day rainfall of 1.54 inches in April 17-18, 2000. We are forecasting 1.00-1.50 inches of rain here over the 2 days, which would fall in the top 10 for April.
Of course, all this brings the risk of rapid rises on area streams, creeks and rivers and also the threat of slides and debris flows. The uncertainty exists in exactly where the heaviest rain bands will set up and how fast the system moves south and east of the area. Numerous flood watches have been issued and more may be added as we gain confidence in where the heavier bands will set up. Snow levels for this event should be up at 7000-8500 feet, so we`re not anticipating large impacts due to snow. An upper trough offshore will finally give the front a push eastward Monday night, so the heavier precipitation should taper off.
Below: Water Vapor Image Of Approaching Atmospheric River