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Rainfall records just keep popping up in Southern Oregon

 Posted: 1:50 PM September 30, 2013

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 Marc Spilde 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."

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," Spilde said.

More than 9 inches of precipitation 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.

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 billowed 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."

Spilde said there is a slight chance for additional showers Tuesday 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 precipitation 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.

— Ryan Pfeil

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