Marcus Larson/News-Register##High and dark waters swirl under the Bellevue Bridge west of Amity. Usually small Salt Creek has been transformed, like many local waterways, by heavy and persistent rains. The National Weather Service predicts the rains to continue for the next week.
Marcus Larson/News-Register##High and dark waters swirl under the Bellevue Bridge west of Amity. Usually small Salt Creek has been transformed, like many local waterways, by heavy and persistent rains. The National Weather Service predicts the rains to continue for the next week.
By Nicole Montesano • Staff Writer • 

Rain to keep falling here, but not in such a torrent

Not, however, the kind of deluge that drenched the region last week, triggering damaging washouts and mudslides. This time, it is predicting more of the usual for these parts — lots of background drizzle, with significantly less total accumulation.

Temperatures are expected to drop into the 30s overnight, though, and that could coat roadways with ice, particularly at higher elevations.

Calendar year 2015 will still be remembered for severe drought and extreme heat, producing one of the worst wildland fire summers on record. But Mother Nature finally turned on the faucet in December, and apparently forgot to turn it off.

The Pacific Northwest has already logged more than normal rainfall for the month, and we are just reaching the mid-point, with more rain on the way. And McMinnville is proving no exception.

According to the National Weather Service, McMinnville has received 8.85 inches of rainfall so far this month. Normal for mid-December is 6.36 inches, and last year’s mid-month total was a scant 2.87 inches.

Last week’s downpours also served to reverse 11 months of deficit, from decidedly below normal to slightly above.

Temperatures have remained well above normal, however. This was a warm round of precipitation, not a cold one.

As a result, Willamette Valley snowpack remains at only 85 percent of normal. Conditions have improved in Eastern and Southern Oregon, however.

The forecast calls for intermittent showers through today, followed by a stronger frontal system producing a heavier round late Wednesday and into Thursday.

With the temperature turning cooler, the Wednesday and Thursday precipitation should fall in the form of snow in the Cascades — a welcome development. And according to the Weather Service, “Cool and unsettled weather is expected to follow into the weekend.”

Some roads in Yamhill County remain flooded. However, flooding has dimished enough that county road crews can begin turning their attention to repairing the damage instead of erecting barricades and clearing drainage channels.

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