Weekend rainfall brings Medford close to a record

The National Weather Service places Sunday as the city's second wettest after same date in 1977

Sunday's nearly 0.8 inch of rainfall in Medford helped push September's monthly total to the second wettest on record.

Meteorologists at the National Weather Service reported Monday that 2.76 inches fell for the month of September, second to the record 4.22 inches that fell in September 1977.

"Most of that occurred out of one storm," meteorologist Chuck Glaser said of the 3.6 inches that fell Sept. 27-28 in 1977. "It was a nice, steady rain. As I remember, it didn't even flood." (Correction: See below)

September 2013's precipitation levels in Southern Oregon were still notable, weather officials said. A series of strong weather systems, which likely originated somewhere in the Gulf of Alaska before moving ashore, had an impact regionally.

"They weren't the most powerful in history or anything, but (they were) pretty strong and pretty moist," Glaser said.

More than 9 inches of snow fell at Crater Lake for the month, the most since the 8.75 inches seen in September 1986. Eight inches of that total fell in a 24-hour period last week, which closed the west and east rim drives, and the park's north entrance. Those all remain closed, according to the park's website.

Almost no lightning strikes were reported in Jackson County during the weekend rainfall. No flooding reports came in, either. Oregon Department of Forestry spokesman Brian Ballou said he received no notifications of flooding at Josephine County's Big Windy Complex. The chance for flooding increases at just-burned areas where scorched soil has a more difficult time absorbing rain.

Winds blew into the Rogue Valley Saturday, reaching sustained speeds of 31 mph with gusts recorded as high as 45 mph. The winds died down Sunday, though.

Pacific Power representatives said few customers in the Medford area had their power knocked out over the weekend, with 131 recorded on Monday. Josephine County received the brunt, with 5,400 customer outages reported Sunday.

"Grants Pass was the hardest- area hit," said company spokesman Bob Gravely. "They're pretty much all back now."

Glaser said there is a slight chance for additional showers today and Wednesday, but that clearer skies and warmer temperatures in the low- to mid-70s are expected for Friday into the weekend.

Oregon felt the effects of an offshore system statewide this past weekend, with parts of Northern Oregon and southwestern Washington closing in on a foot of snow in certain higher elevations. Record-setting rainfall totals were reported in Portland, Salem, Eugene, Astoria and Hillsboro, according to Steve Pierce, president of the American Meteorological Society's Oregon chapter.

Reach reporter Ryan Pfeil at 541-776-4468 or by email at rpfeil@mailtribune.com.

Correction: Attribution for this story has been corrected throughout.


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