Thursday, May 11, 2017

Still Up

The Columbia River got as high as 17 feet in March but started to recede by early April. Before we left town, I was hopeful that the beach would be back when we returned.

It was not. 

A week ago, it was at 11 feet and is now around 15 above normal. I know it rained while we were gone, but jeez.

We were sitting by the river earlier this week. It was a sunny day and everybody was out, walking the boardwalk. Many were seeing the river for the first time since the last sunny day - sometime last August. They would stop and point to where the beach used to be and explain to their children, "Once upon a time, there was a beach. Right. There."

Interestingly, the Bonneville Dam's spill rate over the last few days was at a low of 134 and high of 259. (I think the unit of measure is cubic feet per second. Not sure about that.) What's going on there? 

On that same sunny evening, we watched as PDX reversed the flight pattern for takeoff and landing.
The wind appeared to be from the West as evidenced by the spinnakers on sailboats racing upstream and, for a while, we watched planes leaving PDX headed West.

Then, it reversed. Even as the spinnakers continued to indicate winds from the West, planes were now taking off to the East. We usually observe one or the other flight pattern but this was the first time we saw both in a single span of time.

Who makes the decision to reverse the flight pattern? If the wind direction is different on the river than higher up, at what height does it reverse? (I wish Phil were here to explain this to me.)

I don't have any answers but I'll be sure to keep an eye on the situation. I hope to post pictures of the beach when it returns.

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