2nd Wettest Spring In Portland…So Far

May 29, 2012

Last weekend’s thunderstorm pushed us extremely close to the wettest ever Spring here in Portland.  Meteorologists like to neatly fit the seasons into whole months, so Spring is March-April-May.  Plus in most of the Northern Hemisphere June feels quite “summery”.

Here are the stats…the 3 wettest Springs listed below:

1997: 14.50″
2012: 14.48″
2011: 14.39″

Of course “Spring” continues through Thursday at midnight (May 31st), so if we get .03″ between now and then, we could break the record…but that appears unlikely right now.

Your next thought might be similar to mine.  This Spring seems pretty darn normal doesn’t it?  We’ve had no long periods of rain (after March), and plenty of sun, plus lots of nice weekends. 

Here’s why it may not seem so bad this spring:

1.  Last Spring was far colder, with no warm spells inbetween the rainy periods.  Temps have been very close to average for both April and May this year.  Sure March was chilly, but, well, March was just cold and wet (or white) the whole month.

2. These numbers are from the Portland Airport, which happened to be at the center of the big downpour Saturday night; compare that to Salem which has seen just about average rainfall this month…or just slightly above.

3. Weekends have been real nice (up until Memorial Day’s clouds and rain)

Speaking of Saturday night’s downpour, here is a map I made plotting the ASOS observations and Portland’s Hydra network rain gauges.  You can sure see how localized the really heavy rain was.  A band from south Vancouver straight south through the middle & inner east side of Portland.  Really only a square maybe 10 miles across each way, centered on North Portland.


Here’s a radar loop showing how the cells really blew up right over the Columbia River, then died down quickly by the time they moved into the southern metro area:


Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

Video Test

May 29, 2012

Just testing out a video upgrade to the blog…

Video courtesy IRIS and Jenda Johnson.

Let me know if you can’t see/play the video above.

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen