Slush city: Rising temperatures expected to turn snow into mush by Monday

Mother Nature threw a new twist into the cold weather Friday as freezing fog clings to the branches of a shrub outside Stanfield. Temperatures are expected to rise this weekend and melt much of the standing snow and ice.<BR><I>Staff photo by E.J. Harris

The latest weather system moving into the area is bringing warmer temperatures and rain to boot.

But Forecaster Marilyn Lohmann at the Pendleton office of the National Weather Service said even with rain and melting snow, floods aren't in the forecast.

"We're not expecting prolonged flooding or river flooding," she said. "There'll be a lot of slushy streets and maybe a few blocked storm drains."

The weekend forecast calls for daytime temperatures into the lower 40s and nighttime temperatures in the high 20s and 30s. Lohmann said that will mean the snow may turn to slush during the day but it'll freeze up again at night. Pendleton today has an 80 percent chance of rain while the chance drops to 60 percent tomorrow and Monday. Hermiston has a 60 percent chance of rain today and a 40 percent chance of rain Sunday. Milton-Freewater has a 90 percent chance of rain today and a 60 percent chance Sunday.

"What comes down frozen has to melt," said Hermiston Streets Superintendent Ron Sivey.

He just hopes it will melt slowly. If the snow thaws fast and there's need for them, Hermiston will have crews out clearing storm drains.

"You can't wait for it," he said. "You gotta do it when it's happening."

Crews have already cleared some drains, Sivey said, and as the snow melts they'll keep an eye on the critical areas and drains they know may give them problems.

The city of Pendleton prepared for the meltdown and will have a crew working the weekend to keep storm drains open and avoid local flooding.

Lohmann said while there may be snow on the ground, some of the NWS agriculture sites with temperature probes in the ground say, for the most part, the ground isn't frozen.

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