Normal May Weather Sticks Around For Another Week

6pm Wednesday…

We’ve seen a few showers the past few days, quite a change from the 80s last weekend.  We ended up with three new temperature records from that warm spell.  A record high of 87 Saturday, then two record warm low temps (59 Saturday/Sunday mornings)

Mark Hot Heatwave So Far

Since Monday we’ve been under the influence of a cool upper-level low (a dip in the jet stream).  It has been sending waves of showers/clouds up over the Pacific Northwest.  Not so much rain yet, but I think that action will pick up tonight and Thursday.   Portland has picked up all of .20″ so far this week but we’ll at least double that in the next 24 hours.

It has been a very dry spring.  In Portland it’s the 7th driest on record and our driest since 2013.  Some stats for spring so far…


But it’s only temporary, our springs in general have been turning a bit wetter over the long term.  Remember the soakings around 2008-2012?  You can see the gradual rise in Salem’s longer weather history (compared to PDX)…


What’s ahead?  A brief upper-level ridge moves overhead Friday, but then another cool trough drops in late Saturday/Sunday.  The ECMWF shows the cool low over us Monday.  Also notice a real warm ridge over the southern Rockies and Plains states.


A third upper-level low will be dropping in a little over a week from now.  This is Friday the 22nd.  Just heading into Memorial Day Weekend.


So it’s clear that we’ll see normal to slightly below normal afternoon high temps the next 7-9 days, although that will be countered a bit by cloudy/mild nights.  We should make up at least some of that rain deficit, but probably not much.  The 10 day anomaly through Saturday the 23rd; a bit wetter than average, but not unsually wet.


To summarize

  • Lots of clouds/showers the next 7-10 days.
  • It won’t be continuously wet though, in fact parts of next Tuesday/Wednesday may be dry
  • There’s no sign of a significant warm/dry spell until at least Memorial Day Weekend

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

11 Responses to Normal May Weather Sticks Around For Another Week

  1. Andrew says:

    The only redeeming quality to this type of weather pattern (besides being great for the garden) is that it can often bring thunderstorms, which are second to snow in my book for weather excitement. However, I haven’t heard a single rumble of thunder over past week (SE Portland). I suppose warmer summer conditions are a better bet for that activity. I’ve certainly seen some mean looking clouds.

  2. WEATHERDAN says:

    Between the heavy trw that hit about 4:00 PM yesterday and the band of heavy rain that arrived about 6:00 AM today I have been cursed with 1.86 inches of rain. ( Home weather station ). This resulted in a flooded basement. This sucks. Peace.

  3. Andy says:

    Rained here in Albany all night and still coming down…this wet weather should help some on the deficit.

  4. Joshua Lake Oswego says:

    Indeed it was a forecast bust. Zero rain overnight Wednesday into Thursday and then a nice little soaking for a good portion of the metro area last night into this morning.

    • Doug in LO says:

      Early morning May 15, from about 3:45 to 4:45, a substantial downpour in Lake Grove, at least near the Twin Fir/Upper Dr intersection,. I mean, it really dumped. Then turned to moderate rain for another half hour. I had a bike ride set up for Friday morning and had some doubts, but the roads had pretty much dried up by 9;30. Do you have a rain gauge at our place? I’d love to know how much we got during that magical hour. It will probably show up as .08” at our official airport station.

      Anyhow, felt like, you know, OREGON. For an hour.

      • Joshua Lake Oswego says:

        Hi, Doug. I actually don’t have a rain gauge at my place. I am in Rosewood off of Pilkington and Red Leaf. There are a few stations near us that have rain gauges on Weather Underground. I don’t know how much we picked up that hour, but the overnight total was about .15” – .20” for our area. I knew we had had a nice downpour right before I left for work because the water was really dripping off of the firs.

  5. Paul D says:

    Oops! I’m calling forecast bust! It rained in Hillsboro this morning.

  6. Joshua Lake Oswego says:

    Mark, don’t underestimate the models’ ability to overestimate our rain. 0.00” in the bucket today so far. Yes, we will get some rain today (probably less than .10” for most of the metro area), but this week up until at least late Saturday will have been a huge bust for Portland. We just cannot seem to get decent accumulations no matter what is forecasted. All models including our high-res friends gave us a very much needed heavy soaking this work week. All were advertising at least .50” overnight and through today. We will end up with barely more than .25” spread out over 5 days.

    At some point, we need to acknowledge that Portland is the bust capital of the US for precipitation predication. I don’t know how many times I have to prove my point for it to be truth instead of negativity and whining.

  7. JERAT416 says:

    My non-scientific observation from living here my whole life is this: if we get a nice, sunny weekend early or mid May, memorial day weekend is usually cool and showery. But if the first few weeks of May is cool and showery, then memorial day weekend is more likely to be sunny and warmer than average. It’s as if we only get one sunny weekend in May. Can anyone else confirm or deny this?

  8. Paul D says:


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