As I predicted, NPR is blaming all this flooding on the La Nina weather system. But this is not a real "explanation". There is a La Nina every few years. The question is why have the La Nina/El Nino events resulted in such abnormally severe weather. Global warming is causing an increase in the amount of moisture in the air, so we will have heavier precipitation. Similarly, between precipitations, more moisture will evaporate, resulting in stronger droughts.
January 17, 2011 1:15 p.m. EST
The Pacific Northwest braced for flooding Monday after heavy rains and rising waters caused landslides and closed roads, authorities said.
"We have a mess on our hands," Dave Thompson with the Oregon Department of Transportation said Sunday.
Thompson said landslides had closed the Wilson River Highway, which stretches from Portland to the coast.
The rain is also a problem in cities, according to Thompson, who said it was causing urban flooding.
Floods overrun Oregon homes
Flood watches and warnings are posted for portions of Oregon and Washington, according to the National Weather Service, which is predicting more rain for the region.
The winter storm killed at least one person in Washington, where CNN affiliate KIRO reported that a falling tree killed a transportation worker Sunday.