A Very Dry March

It appears our last decent chance for rain this month has passed now.  Other than a sprinkle tomorrow (very unlikely) or an unexpected northward move of Sunday’s rain into our area, we’re going to be left with 1.46″ rain for the month.  Wow, and we had only about that much in February too!  Really weird if you think about it. 

So how does that rank?  In the spirit of the season…bring on the bunnies!


It’ll likely be the 3rd driest, behind two drier ones in the 60s.  The airport records go back to around 1940.  It hasn’t been exceptionally warm, but we’ve just continued to see very weak weather systems.  I think we’ve had one good rainy/windy storm in a month or so.  That’s it.  A collection of weak systems and occasional upper-level ridging meant more sunshine than normal and much drier than average.

March is going to go out with a “warm weather bang” this weekend.  We raised the forecast temperatures for tomorrow and Saturday on our 7 Day forecast this afternoon/evening.  Today we hit 67 in Portland with partly cloudy skies, no offshore flow and a +3.4 degree temp at 850mb (5,000′) .  850mb temps rise about 10-11 degrees fahrenheit from there by Saturday afternoon.   No, I don’t think surface temps will jump 10 degrees, but it’ll be close.  Previous cases of sunshine, light east wind, and 850mb temps of +10 in March have given us 72-76 degree highs here in Portland.  So I think 74 is a good number for that day.  That would also tie the record high for the date.

Sunday is a tough call temp-wise.  Models are insistent on keeping all cloud cover and rain from Eugene south into SW Oregon; I’m not too worried about that.  We do start with east wind and then go calm in the afternoon here in the metro area.  Usually those conditions keep the high temperature about the same as the east wind day (Saturday) even though the atmosphere is a little cooler up above (+7 to +8).  I’m sticking with 70, but assuming it remains sunny we could be just as warm Sunday.

I clouded up Monday and Tuesday a bit more due to some sort of weak marine push coming in from the SW Sunday night.  Well back down into the 60s.  I’m going 65 but it could easily be “only” 60 or even lower if low clouds linger.

If you plan on travelling this weekend, keep in mind the weather system in California will be sending clouds and rain showers as far north as Florence, Eugene, & Bend during the day Sunday.  It wont be a beautiful Easter Sunday in SW Oregon.

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

19 Responses to A Very Dry March

  1. PDX Weather Nut says:

    It’s been a record breaking dry start to the year in many spots!
    Check out: http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/total_forecast/getprod.php?wfo=pqr&pil=PNS&sid=PQR&version=0

  2. W7ENK says:

    Well Mark, aside from being too low of your forecast highs for Sat/Sun, you pretty much nailed this one to the wall. Well played! 🙂

  3. EY (Oak Grove) says:

    Definitely a very warm weekend looking to be on tap. Haven’t seen temps like this in March in years…

    Last time we hit 70 in March? March 2010.

    Last time we hit 70 in March more than once? March 2007.

    Last time we hit 72 or warmer in March? March 2005.

    I’ve had 0 complaints this week. With the weather being so nice I’ve found myself becoming more active and actually taking care of things instead of trying to hermit inside. Nice change.

  4. Sifton says:

    Da Couve rain records go back to late 1800’s, I think this was a top 5er! Loving it!!!!!!!!!!

  5. Timmy_Supercell (Klamath Falls @ 4200') says:

    64 / 28 today here in Klamath Falls

    Very nice day on the east slopes. Finally more 60’s!

  6. Wow what a beautiful morning. Low of just 46.

    50 now with partly cloudy skies.

  7. Greg Carstens says:


    I had a high/low of 58 and 40 with 0.17 inches of precip. From 3:30 to 3:45 PM there was a thunderstorm overhead. A report was called into NWS Seattle and the were happy to receive it.

  8. bgb41 says:

    3/28/2013 Oregon (All) Temperature Summary

    High:70 at Hood River( 571 ft) & LAKE OWHEE AND O(2400 ft) & Rye Valley(I-84(2230 ft) & DW0462 Umatilla(390 ft)
    Low: 51 at CW5302 Roseburg(410 ft) & BROOKINGS(79 ft)

    High:35 at Mount Hood Meado(6601 ft)
    Low: 24 at Burns Municipal (4144 ft )

    Largest Diurnal Change: 34 degrees
    NPOWDR (61/27 ) (3212 ft )

    Heaviest Rainfall:
    0.36″ at OCHOCO RANGER ST(3975ft)

  9. *BoringOregon* says:


    What a nice day guezz is this weather driving people crazy all ready ?!?!?

  10. runrain says:


    10 mile run Saturday. I’ll have to get that done early so I can veg in the 74 deg sun later!

    • pappoose in scappoose says:

      You in!

      Bring on the bunnies!

    • Lurkyloo says:

      Um, you in!? A ten mile run? Is that a race or just something you do randomly? Running for 10 miles. All at once. Wow. I’m either very impressed or I think you’re crazy. Can’t decide … 😉

    • Lurkyloo says:

      Oops, sorry ‘Poose. Didn’t see your “you in” and I added my nonsense one. Not trying to barge your turf!

    • runrain says:

      It’s free, I’m slow (running, that is), and it gives one plenty of time to observe the weather!

    • pappoose in scappoose says:

      Slow, is my running speed as well. People walking, pass me!

      No worries, Lurkyloo, fun to be a trendsetter! All are welcome on my turf!

    • runrain says:

      If I ran slower, I’d be going backwards!!

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