Wettest Winter on Record at PDX

10pm Wednesday…

We only had one lightning strike today…near Crown Point, but at least we got a rain record out of the evening downpours!  As of 9pm it’s the wettest December-February (meteorological winter) on record at PDX.


As you see, the records go back 78 years.  What a soaker and of course we still have another 12 days to go.  So we’ll go well beyond that record.

Speaking of rain; very good news up in the Willamette River watershed.  The reservoirs are filling right on time this year.


The whole system is at 26% of it’s full “summer level”.  Sounds low right?  But that’s normal because the Army Corps of Engineers keeps reservoirs low in the winter.  Then around February 1st, as peak flood season passes, they start holding back water the last part of winter and capture the spring snowmelt too.  They started a little early at Detroit Lake in mid January; in the past 30 days the level has risen 45 feet!  It took until early April last year to get to this level…big improvement.  And this year we have a bunch of snow in the Cascades so there WILL be a healthy spring melt.  BIG PICTURE:  WATER ACTIVITIES ON THESE RESERVOIRS SHOULD BE IN GOOD SHAPE THIS COMING SUMMER.

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

13 Responses to Wettest Winter on Record at PDX

  1. Jason Hougak says:

    Best February winter storm raging outside. High winds and rain squalls, mountain snow… excellent!

  2. GTS1K' says:

    The wet are getting much wetter today so far…

  3. cphatts says:

    Impressive! Although I would have thought either the winter of 98/99 or 07/08 would have been the record. Those two winters felt the rainiest to me, although it could just be that this past December really skewed the numbers with that whopping ~ 15 inches!

  4. gidrons says:

    Too bad it didn’t translate into record mountain snowpack.

  5. W7ENK says:

    DJF rainfall at my place in Milwaukie:

    D – 17.57″
    J – 8.48″

    F – 2.65″ (to date)

    T = 28.70″

    That’s a’lottah wottah!

  6. That’s El Nino for you; There’s always something unexpected in the package! Looking at my precipitation amount from December up to yesterday I’m almost at the same amount as Portland; 24.19 inches. Being further north, we were expected to be notably drier than usual. But so far, this has been my 4th wettest winter in the past 41 years.

  7. Paul D says:

    Not surprising. Always expect the unexpected.

  8. MasterNate says:

    I don’t think anyone saw this in the cards coming off such a long, hot dry summer and going into one of the strongest El Ninos in a long time.

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  10. Moosieman says:


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