Weather Station Installed in Eagle Creek Burn Area to Support Forecasting
Online (with photos): https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/crgnsa/news-events/?cid=FSEPRD563252
Tanner Creek, Ore. – A team from NOAA National Weather Service installed a new weather station this week in the Tanner Creek watershed, within the Eagle Creek Fire Burned Area, to help improve their forecasting of potential hazards in the event of severe weather.
The weather station, a portable version of a system known as a Remote Automated Weather Station (RAWS), was placed in Tanner Creek drainage to measure rainfall and help predict hazards resulting from the Eagle Creek Fire.
Wildfires can burn through organic materials in soils, releasing waxy substances that coat soil particles—basically “shrink-wrapping” the soil and giving it a water repellent property. Eagle Creek Fire burned through vegetation on slopes in several Gorge watersheds, which further destabilized soil and rocks and made them more susceptible to erosion or sliding during heavy rains. These factors lead to increased risks of flash floods, landslides, and debris flows. Tanner Creek was identified by the recent Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) team as one of the most badly burned watersheds, where risks of these hazards could be increased.
RAWS systems like the one installed at Tanner Creek are portable versions of similar more permanent systems that are used by National Weather Service forecasters, U.S. Forest Service and other land management agencies in remote locations during and after wildfires, to enhance forecasting. The Tanner Creek station will measure temperature, humidity, wind direction, wind speed and rainfall – enhancing the ability of the National Weather Service Forest Office in Portland, Oregon to issue forecasts, watches and warnings for communities and the I-84 travel corridor.
Residents and travelers concerned about weather hazards should check National Weather Service forecasts at http://www.weather.gov/pqr/ and monitor for Flash Flood Watches and Warnings issued by the agency. Heavy rainfall events tend to be a trigger for landslides and debris flows.
Data from the station is available to the public at MesoWest a system supported by the National Weather Service and hosted by University of Utah, Department of Atmospheric Sciences: http://mesowest.utah.edu/. The station name is NRAWS 4 (Tanner) and its ID is TS977.
The National Weather Service is working in collaboration with USFS and other federal, state and local agencies including the U.S. Geological Survey, Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries, Oregon State Parks, Oregon Department of Transportation, Bonneville Power Administration, Multnomah and Hood River County Emergency Management and countless stakeholders to help keep communities affected by the Eagle Creek Fire safe and well informed.
The Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area encompasses 292,500 acres of Washington and Oregon, where the Columbia River cuts a spectacular river canyon through the Cascade Mountains. The USDA Forest Service manages National Forest lands in the National Scenic Area and works with the Gorge Commission, states, counties, treaty tribes, and partners to protect and enhance scenic, natural, cultural, and recreational resources of the Columbia River Gorge while encouraging local economic development consistent with that protection. Learn more about Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area at www.fs.usda.gov/crgnsa or follow us on social media at facebook.com/crgnsa or www.twitter.com/crgnsa.