If you thought it was odd in February to hear talk of one of the worst droughts shaping up during the snow and rain of February, you were right.
According to the Oregon Climate Service at Oregon State University, 7.94 inches of rain was recorded in Corvallis during February — the wettest month since the 8.56 inches that fell during December 2012.
It wasn’t only rain that made February noteworthy: It was the second-snowiest February in Corvallis on record, with the 14 inches of snow that fell second only to the 15 inches that fell in February 1993. (And many Corvallis-area residents shared photos recording snow depths exceeding 16 inches, but those measurements are not official.)
Despite February’s abundance of snow and rain, the mid-valley is 11.17 inches below the average rainfall for this time of year, Kathie Dello, the associate director of the Oregon Climate Change Research Institute, said Monday.
That means unless rainfall continues above average this spring, drought conditions could still be shaping up for the summer.
However, rain — and plenty of it — is moving rapidly across the Pacific, driven by southwesterly winds and packing moisture-rich clouds in a series of storms, according to the National Weather Service in Portland.
The first of these warm, wet and windy storms is predicted to move into the valley tonight, with a second one coming ashore on Wednesday and possibly dumping two inches of rain. The stormy pattern is expected to continue into early next week and include the possibility of thunderstorms.
Flooding of low-lying areas also is possible this week.
All the rain is bad news in one way: Temperatures are expected to warm to a high of 58 Wednesday and 60 Friday, raising snow levels and melting snowpack that acts like banked moisture against summer’s drought.