Are We All Whiners? A Look At Spring So Far

10pm Thursday

The last 5 days were sure nice…totally dry with warming temperatures each day.  By yesterday the soil around my home was all dry and it finally looked like late spring out there as I planted a few more veggies.  Then a strong cold front moved through the region today with much cooler air behind.  Scattered heavy showers, hail, & even a few thunderstorms have popped up this evening…that chilly spring of 2017 is back!  But is it REALLY that bad?  I’d say no.  Take a look at our spring so far.  It began March 1st and of course we’ve gone through May 10th:

This really surprised me.  In the past 20 years, we’ve seen two 5-year periods in which temperatures were colder than this one so far.  1999-2003 springs were all colder than this one and 2008-2012 were all cooler too.  So no, this year is pretty close to normal temperature-wise; just slightly on the cool side.  What we’re really noticing is the dramatic shift from 4 warm springs (especially last year) to this one.  Back to normal!

Now check out rainfall:

I think we have a right to whine a bit about the rain…it has been WET.  We haven’t seen it this wet since 2012.   In fact it’s one of the wettest springs on record here in Portland.  Only 2011 & 2012 were wetter.  It’s also interesting to note our springs have been gradually turning wetter since around 1980.  But again, we have been spoiled by the past two years of warmer and drier than normal weather.  Not it’s back to “reality”.

The Big Picture:  It’s not Global Warming, Chemtrails, or HAARP.  We don’t live in San Francisco, Sacramento, Denver, or Salt Lake City.  We just live in a wet maritime climate; this is what happens here every few years.

It is pretty clear that this cool & showery weather will continue for about 6 days then we get a break again.  The 12 Day Trend I use in the 2nd half of the 10 O’Clock newscast shows that with milder and drier May weather beyond next Tuesday.

So if the cool and showery weather annoys you just wait…it’ll turn a bit more pleasant again in less than a week.

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

28 Responses to Are We All Whiners? A Look At Spring So Far

  1. WEATHERDAN says:

    Some light showers here but no downpours and no trw’s or hail. Still light rain and cool this weekend. Better weather ahead though. Peace.

  2. lurkyloo says:

    Annnd, yeah. Thunder, hail and serious downpours in the last hour. I can see my breath outside, too. Is it really May?

  3. pappoose in scappoose says:

    National Weather Service Portland OR
    236 PM PDT Sat May 13 2017

    .SHORT TERM…Tonight through Tuesday…Well folks, we are just about done filling all those orders that we received last summer for rain and cool weather. Once that is done, perhaps later next week, will start working on those orders for warm spring days.

  4. EY (Oak Grove) says:

    Okay, this has happened more than once since they changed their website for me…

    …Is the PDX Radar just giving up now? Is it annoyed (as I am) with the NWS’ new look? I absolutely dislike the new look and since they debuted it, the radar has been down, for me, about 6 times.

  5. Thomas says:

    I don’t mind the rain too much, as I have lived in rainy climates before. But what gets to be are the massive wind storms that come every single time it rains. Or how the news never mentions the hurricane strength winds that accompany every rain day. When the wind is so strong that it tips your umbrella out of your hands and snaps it in half, that’s too much. I hope future forecasts include this storm warning, instead of just saying “it’s just going to rain”

  6. Gresham gal says:

    As a long time Oregonian, I seen wet and cold springs. Not at all unusual. What I have noticed this year is the intensity of the rain. Instead of showers, it rains all day like yesterday. May can be cold and rainy but not this often. I have only been able to mow my grass two times and that is very unusual. The ground has been spongy and has had standing water that I haven’t seen in the spring. Last year I had worked several days in the yard, this year it seems like I have been out there maybe a tenth of what I did last year by this time.

  7. Adam in SE says:

    Averages schmaverages, totals schmotals. The problem with this spring has been the lack of BREAKS from the miserable weather. We set records for the number of days with measurable precipitation, and the latest-ever 65° temperature. Most years, it’s more tolerable because we get some nice days to balance it out… but it’s been non-stop cold and rain since the second week of November!

    • JERAT416 says:

      At least we had 4 nice days of a break recently!

    • JohnD says:

      Have to go with Adam’s comments for the summary take away so far this spring. Had to laugh too when someone posted a week or so ago after our 2 day 80’+ stretch–something to the effect: “Did you have a nice summer”? Hopefully–as surely “should” be the case, a great summer will yet…eventually…be realized!

    • Dave in South Salem (500') says:

      Yep, it pretty much sucks to live here if you are not a naturally hot person or gate being wet

  8. Donaleen Kohn says:

    You are wrong, Mark. The plants say it is a very cold spring. They live out there and know how cold it is better than you.

  9. ’twas seventy eight
    forty five hill snow today
    pretty wild springtime

  10. Jg says:

    Hey Mark & all you other weather geeks, so appreciate your knowledge and insights! Can you tell me your thoughts on snow at pass level over Mt. Hood this weekend? Cams look great but reports still saying 1-3″ this weekend?! GRRR

  11. Jason Hougak says:

    Will WW3 start tomorrow???
    The air is so thick around North Korea you could cut it with a knife. I’ve meet quite a number of people prepping with stockades of rice, flour and canned goods. Water well hand pumps are at an all time high. Nuclear bunkers are selling like hot cakes. Everybody enjoy Mother’s Day weekend.

    • Gresham gal says:

      Wow that’s a little extreme. I guess I haven’t been paying attention to what’s going on. Maybe I am better in my ignorance.

    • Mike near Clackamas Town Center says:

      Whoa there, Jason. No need to worry about those clowns. Their missiles will never reach U.S soil. And when they do attempt it, it’ll be the last missile they send too.
      Guaranteed 😉

  12. Roland Derksen says:

    Okay- maybe it’s not so bad in Portland. But where I am it’s been wet. Just the last couple of days I’ve seen close to 2 inches (1.75 or so at last count), and with possible thundershowers in the forecast I could see quite a bit more. However, at least the sun is shining now as I write! 🙂

  13. jb says:

    You’re awesome…Gotta love a weather geek…A guy or gal that is obviously interested in what they do. Question…Do we have more wet days than dry days? Do we have more days under 65ish or over? What is the average daily temperature I guess annually. Thanks champ your the only weather person I watch cause it’s obvious you’re interested in what you do.

    JB in Sandy

    P.s it would be a hoot if you throw in the weather conditions in beautiful downtown Wamic…Population 7 or 8. 🙂

    • In a normal year…Portland and most of NW Oregon gets more days under 65 than over. PDX averages roughly 160 days 65+. The number is less as you get further north or nearer the coast, or go up into the coast range or foothills. (Only about 100 days per year at Astoria!).

      Places along I-84 between The Dalles and Hermiston, are a little better for warm days (180 per year). Some extra spring and fall sunshine seems to do the trick over here. But if you want a tangibly longer season of warm temps, you need to go south, to Roseburg, Grants Pass and Medford. They probably average around 200 days a year…or more than that the past few years due to the nice spring and fall weather we’ve had.

    • jb says:

      Thanks!!

  14. Jason Hougak says:

    Fresh show at Timberline! Happy Birthday Ryder
    16 day GFS is showing 4.61″ of rain…🤔

  15. Anonymous says:

    Love you And and your weather forecast, but that stupid little hair on your chin makes you look 10 to 15 years older.

  16. Dave says:

    Meanwhile, I’m dropping $8k because my crawl space is flooding on every rain storm.
    I’m done with rain!

  17. JERAT416 says:

    Exactly! This is how we get averages. Last spring was way too warm in my opinion. I’m in no hurry for 90 until July!

    • Paul D says:

      Agreed! I’ll whine about the days when it’s 20 degrees above normal. The rest doesn’t bother me.

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