Spring So Far; As Normal As It Gets!

8pm Monday…

I haven’t heard any complaining yet, but if showers continue I think the whining will be just around the corner.  This first half of April has been VERY wet west of the Cascades, especially south of Portland.

Rain So Far This Month Or and Wa Earth Scene

East of the Cascades it hasn’t been exceptionally wet, but wetter than average.  By the way, when we say “average” that typically means a 30 year average.  We’ve seen measurable rain 13 of the first 15 days this month.

Spring weather has actually been warmer and drier than normal much of the time since 2012.  The last truly “chilly spring” was 2011.  Both 2016 and 2018 saw quite warm conditions in April/May.    Last May was the warmest on record in Portland and we saw very little rain from this point forward all the way through the summer!  So one could easily argue that we are overdue for a cool and wet spring.  It’s time.  But so far that hasn’t really been the case.

Spring Rain So Far2

March was quite dry, but that almost balances out the wet April so far.  March averaged out cool, and April has been a little warmer than average.  That’s a “normal” spring so far temperature-wise.

Typically we get (average) 30 days with measurable rain in Portland when you combine April and May together.  So far we’ve seen 12.  But only one of the past 5 springs has seen a greater than normal number of wet days

Spring Rain So Far

Again, we’ve had some real decent springs lately.

What’s ahead?  Big picture says there’s no sign of the rain suddenly shutting off.  But there will still be (lighter) showers at times over the next week.    The 10 day precipitation forecast from this morning’s Euro run shows less than 1″ rain now through late next week.  Much better than what we’ve been seeing the last couple of weeks


So enjoy the more reasonable weather the rest of this week.   Warmest day is Thursday as warm southerly flow and a warmer atmosphere sit just south of an approaching front.  South of Portland it’ll get well into the 70s, north of Portland more likely 60s.  We haven’t yet hit 70 this month.  Nothing too unusual, unless we don’t get there at all the next two weeks

April 70 Degree Days

Some good news on the flooding front too; the Army Corps of Engineers has been dumping water out of all those reservoirs in the Willamette Basin.  Detroit Lake has dropped 5 feet in the past 3-4 days.  Looks like we dodged a bullet as the heavy rain cut off just in time.  Rivers draining the Cascades (and Willamette) will continue to run high as more runoff continues to flow downstream

willamette reservoirs

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

29 Responses to Spring So Far; As Normal As It Gets!

  1. Joshua Lake Oswego says:

    W7, care to check the post history and admit you were wrong? We MIGHT add .01” – .05” tonight and then we are essentially dry for at least a week. Probably longer. That brings us into May. So, I will pose the question again, are we already entering the dry season? Too early to say obviously, but it is possible. Last year, we got 1.38” of rain from April 17th – August 31st.

    • K says:

      I guess he didn’t bother looking at the models? Per his words…

      • W7ENK says:

        … they say, completely ignoring the fact that I posted maps of model output…

        Forgive me, I’m under a lot of stress right now. My life has quickly turned into a total shitshow over the last 2-3 weeks, and it’s beginning to affect my health. I’ll probably be off all social media for a while.


  2. Tanis Leach says:

    Perfectly sunny in Corvallis.

  3. JERAT416 says:

    To me, the July 5th thing is more about rain and less about temperatures. It seems to me in June we can go from 60’s and showers up to 100 and sunny with a dry east wind. It’s a wild card month. However, our dry summer pattern generally isn’t guaranteed to settle in until July. Thats the 77-83 degrees with varying level of morning clouds. I remember one year (2008 I think) , many of us complained in July because it seemed cold like summer never started. In reality it wasn’t much below average but it seemed like it. Many of us don’t have a long term memory for weather except for big events (December 2008 snow, late July 2009 heat of 106, etc). Then August hit and our summer pattern settled in. If we take a moment to actually think about it, we realize that nearly any black and white statement such as “summer starts July 5th” is unwise because of the Pacific NW climate we live in.

    • Tanis Leach says:

      2011 was the same way where our 1st 90 was August 20th and it was a Spring like July

  4. Joshua Lake Oswego says:

    Is the dry season about to begin? Sure looks like a long period of nada after .10” – .25” tomorrow. Like Mark said, people’s perception might be that it has been cool and wet, but objectively, that is wrong. Whoever says summer starts on July 5th in Portland has not lived here recently.

    • W7ENK says:

      I’ve lived here my entire life, now chipping away at my 5th decade. I can — and will — say with absolute certainty that Summer doesn’t typically start in the PNW until after the first week of July. Some Summers start earlier, some start later, and some don’t really even get started at all. But the general rule of thumb around here, which without a doubt still applies, is July 5th.

      I just think you enjoy hearing yourself complain.

      • Joshua Lake Oswego says:

        Not complaining. What specifically do you consider to be the start of summer weather-wise?

        • W7ENK says:

          Yes, you are complaining. Your statement (or rather, deliberate under-statement) about what you perceive to be a paltry amount of rain coming for tomorrow, when in reality there’s a bullseye of 1.2 to 1.5 inches of potential rainfall centered right over Portland metro…

          …was just that. Complaining.

          And then you’re whining that there’s “a long period of nada” after that, completely ignoring the fact that the next cold and wet system is approaching our area on Sunday night / Monday.

          Most every professional forecast out there right now shows rain tomorrow, a decently nice weekend, rain Monday, cloudy Tuesday, more rain Wednesday, etc…

          Did you even bother to look at the models? I’d almost venture to guess you didn’t…

          Seriously, if you’re going to start already, do the rest of us a favor and stay away until November. No one wants to hear from the warm weather weenies. After many months away, the Sun just started shining again. You’ve got plenty of time to find your cave entrance, or to book an extended Alaskan getaway before it gets blazing hot out there.

        • K says:

          He didn’t seem to be complaining. Just stating his opinion, which is perfectly fine. Maybe save the essay posts for actual whining next time, hmm?

        • Joshua Lake Oswego says:

          W7, are YOU even looking at the models. Look back at this post in a week. We will have had less than .25” of rain total. Probably closer to .10”. Maybe nothing. Anywho, I enjoyed the sun and warmth today. Don’t want summer dryness to take over yet. We need the rain.

        • Tanis Leach says:

          Models can be good to look at overall patterns as they tend to be within the ballpark. Intensity of said patterns can vary.

        • K says:

          And furthermore, this is one model out of many, and most are calling for .10-.25 inches. What you are showing is PWAT, and this front will likely not stall over the area too long.

    • Gene says:

      I’m afraid I’ll have to go with Josh on this one. We have had quite a few really nice Junes in the past two decades, so that old saw about summer not arriving until after July 5 doesn’t really hold water (yes, I remember the rainy late springs of 2010 and 11, but those were the exception, not the rule). It does seem like summers have been longer, warmer and drier in recent decades. Of course, that could all change in the next few years, but we’ll see. As for the claim that summer sometimes doesn’t really start at all, I think that’s overstated. I can only recall a couple instances of that happening in the past 40 years or so (I think 1983 was the most prominent of those, plus another year in the late 1980s/early 1990s). Another warm, dry summer seems in the offing for 2019

  5. Welcome to the Solar Minimum.
    Will we ever get warm enough to grow a garden?

    I think were going to be unseasonably cool this year.
    In other words a green tomato summer , unless you have a grow house or green house.

    • W7ENK says:

      So which is it, Lee? First you comment about how “its really nice and mild out,” proclaiming that you “turned off me [sic.] propane heater,” and then, less than 6 hours later you start fantasizing about how it’s “going to be unseasonably cool this year.
      In other words a green tomato summer.”

      You can’t have it both ways, Lee.

  6. Wow, to night I turned off me propane heater, its really nice and mild out side.

    Mark, or to any other weather geek, my question is this well 2 questions.
    Question 1
    I noted they found a pretty hot volcano melting the Antarctic Icemy question is how much will that contribute to sea rise and is that something man can truly control?

    Question 2.
    We all know the importance of the Thermalhaline Layers in the ocean’s or the oveans Conveyor System .

    Question is this, what happens to that system when sea levels rise and the oceans beginning to change the atmospheric pressure in the ocean, should that either alter course or should it cease to exist, how will that effect us here on the land?
    And how would it impact our weather?

    We always here about man’s contribution, but from what I am reading, that volcano is about the same size as Yellowstone.

    And they say, that volcano may have been the one that sent us in to an ice age. Up top

  7. Mike says:

    I love the rain. It was the first time in 5 years I have been here we had 24 consecutive hours of measurable rainfall each hour. March was the fourth driest in Eugene; April is the third wettest so far. Now, we are only 10 inches below normal for the water year. Tomorrow it’s back in to continue clearing lowland trails of downed trees. Last week, it was trail repair and cleaning out Terwilliger Hot Springs. Huge amount of fuel on the ground below 2000′.

  8. Roland Derksen says:

    Tomorrow could be my wettest day in several weeks if the forecast is correct. That’s okay as long as we get some sunshine as well this weekend. It’s when we have several days of rainy conditions in a row in spring, that I start to whine! 🙂

  9. W7ENK says:

    Flip a coin, it could go either way. Right now, after some half-ways decent days this week, it looks like cool and wet is the main theme to come. It gets old, fast.

  10. Roland Derksen says:

    So far, this April has been warmer (by 2.8F) and drier (by nearly 2 inches) than last April for me. The last few days have admittedly been rather showery and cool, but things can turn around anytime.

  11. PAUL D says:

    The stats may say “normal” but I think what’s not normal is that we got a lot of rain in only a few days rather than spread out over a few weeks.

  12. Tanis Leach says:

    I’ll be complaining in the summer when its 100.

  13. donaleen Kohn says:

    We had a dry winter and now a wet April with few sunbreaks. What happens to plants when their cycle is so upset? How are the poor farmers doing? What happens to the birds and other wild animals? I’ve been gardening in the same spot for 24 years now and I can tell you it just isn’t the same. Climate Chaos is what they should call it…

    On Mon, Apr 15, 2019 at 8:28 PM FOX 12 Weather Blog wrote:

    > Mark Nelsen posted: “8pm Monday… I haven’t heard any complaining yet, > but if showers continue I think the whining will be just around the > corner. This first half of April has been VERY wet west of the Cascades, > especially south of Portland. East of the Cascades it hasn” >

  14. JERAT416 says:

    Not gonna whine, summer will come when it’s time. We’ve definitely had a lot of warm, dry springs and we are due for an average one. It’s all balancing out. Full reservoirs are a good thing too.

  15. JohnD says:

    Thanks Mark.
    8.88″ so far this month in North Bend=QUITE remarkable! (Plus my sister lives there!)

%d bloggers like this: