April Turns a Bit Wetter

10pm Wednesday…

It finally rained today!  Not exactly a soaker, but saw just about as much rain today as we’ve seen in the past three weeks…it’s been very dry.

Rain Record 2

It really was a soaking in the south Willamette Valley with more than 1/2″ down there

Rain Metro Today Databound

The first 20 days of April were the driest “start” to the month since 1990; very unusual to only see 4 days w/measurable rain in the first three weeks of the month!  This graphic is for the 1st-20th

MarkDrySpells April

It appears this is just the start of several showery days.  A warm front brings a few sprinkles Friday, then another wet system comes in Saturday morning.  We’ll likely get another 1/4 to 1/3″ rain out of that one.  Models are showing a 3rd system moving inland Monday with another 1/4″ or so.  If we get lucky maybe we’ll see a weekly total of 1″ here in Portland.  That’s long overdue.  Still, as you see above we are running well below normal for just April.  February & March were dry as well.

So get used to lots of clouds, a little bit of sun at times, and some showers the next five days.

By the way, I’ve been showing a “film” on this evening’s shows from April 22nd 1961.  On that date it snowed in parts of the Portland metro area.  I bet it wasn’t cheap to own a quality color film camera in 1961!  But Ronald Myers did; the film shows snow in Washougal

April Snow Historical Video

It’s interesting that snow only covered non-paved surfaces…tough to get anything to stick to “warm” pavement the last week or so of April.

April Snow Historical Video2

I checked the weather records from PDX for that day; a LOT of precipitation (.95″).  The low was 33 and high was 43…extremely cold for this late in spring.  I’m guessing it was a stalled post-frontal precipitation band.  If it was a “showers/sunbreaks” day it sure would have been warmer than 43 at PDX in the afternoon since 850mb temps were around -4.  Freezing level in the morning was way down around 2,000′ or a little below.

I’ve been busier than normal the past two weeks since we started some “Mark Knows” weather lessons in the evenings.  These are 15-minute Facebook live postings covering different topics that kids (or adults on Happy Hour) might be interested in.  I’m off the next three days, but next Monday we’ll talk earthquakes.  Tune in to my Facebook page (@marknelsenweather) 7pm Sunday.

Stay dry and enjoy the rain…we need it!

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen



14 Responses to April Turns a Bit Wetter

  1. Joshua Lake Oswego says:

    Mark, I cracked the code for forecasting rainfall in Portland. This is proprietary information. Please don’t share it with Rod, Matt, or others.

    Here goes: take whatever the models are showing and immediately take 50% off the top. Then, take 15-50% off of that number. As an average, take 33-38% of the model-forecasted amount and you should be pretty golden.

  2. Joshua Lake Oswego says:

    We have ourselves another bust for tomorrow. .20’’ if we’re lucky.

    • Doug in LO says:

      I don’t know. I thought the same thing but for the past 20 minutes here in Lake Grove it has been le deluge. Gutters overflowing. What a wonderful sight. Probably won’t last much longer but a superb half hour while it lasted,

      • Paul D says:

        Same in Hillsboro! Can’t remember the last time it rained this hard!!

      • Doug in LO says:

        9:15, still steady rain and, based on the wide green expanse on radar, more on the way. The past hour or so is what most people envision when they think of Oregon. Sadly, this kind of rain has become more the exception than the norm. But. Let’s enjoy this morning!

        • Joshua Lake Oswego says:

          It was enjoyable. Pretty much done now. .18” for Portland. Seattle tripled that.

  3. Ken in Wood Village says:

    This post is a little late since it’s past midnight and what I want to say is about April 23rd, 2015. It actually snowed in Portland on that day. a friend posted a memory on his Facebook with some of his friend in the snow. It would have been nice to see it this week!!

    Going to what the models are showing. The Euro and GFS are starting to show more wet days than sunny. The Euro is a little more wetter than the GFS. We’ll see how things go over the next couple of days. I don’t see any big storms in the near future but the Euro is showing something around May 2nd. It’s a long ways off so I’m not holding my breath.

    I hope everyone is staying healthy and safe. Stay strong 🙂

  4. Ken in Wood Village says:

    I’ve been watching the models day by day and it’s looking better for a wet pattern coming up. The Euro is being a little more aggressive than the GFS model. We’ll see how things transpire for the next few days.

    On a side note. I needed to get the rapid COVID-19 test yesterday because I take care of my mom. She’s been in the hospital since last week because she got sick. She is coming back home today but her doctor wanted me to get tested because I have been sick and the test came back negative. At least I feel better knowing I don’t have the virus.

    I hope everyone is staying healthy and safe. Take care everyone 🙂

  5. Andy says:

    Not concerned yet…It depends on the rest of spring and how warm and dry summer starts. I’m hoping things balance out with a cooler summer.

  6. Joshua Lake Oswego says:

    Time to illustrate what I have been whining about.

    Water YTD rainfall:

    PDX: 19.51”
    Salem: 21.68”
    Eugene: 19.93” (about 50% of normal)

    SeaTac: 30.68”
    Olympia: 39.26”

    It is not just perception that almost every single rain event for many months has favored areas north of us. Or, way south of us. The Willamette Valley has been the big loser all fall, winter, and spring. Quite bizarre and unfortunate.

    • Paul D says:

      Definitely been feeling left out! Who put up an invisible wall around us?

    • Joshua Lake Oswego says:

      LA: 14.69”
      San Diego: 13.44”

      We are way closer to LA’s and San Diego’s rainfall than Olympia’s and Seattle’s. Go figure. It wasn’t a strong or moderate El Niño either.

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