April 2022 ends wettest on record, plus a possible tornado in Tigard this evening

9pm Saturday…

It’s rained a lot this month, in fact we’ve seen 24 days of measurable rain in Portland, just one under the 25 day record set in 2010. Oh that spring…yep, both 2010 and 2011 were something else. In fact we haven’t seen a cool/wet spring since that time. It’s possible that we’re now in “payback mode” for all the warm/dry springs we’ve seen recently. I am quite confident we won’t have a dry start to May, after tomorrow.

With just 3+ hours to go, it IS the wettest April we have seen in Portland. I think we are done with the rain so these should be the final numbers. Official PDX records go back to 1940.


Records have been kept at various locations around downtown Portland since the 1870s too. At that location, it’s probably the wettest since 1937 (over 6″), and only 1883 was wetter with almost 8″ of rain.
Do you remember LAST April? The DRIEST on record


Some other numbers around the region…


Notice Portland is wettest in the Willamette Valley. This is not the wettest April on record in either Salem or Eugene. Both have seen 7″ at some point. April 2003 was one real soaker. It’s also disappointing how little snow/rain made it into Central Oregon. We’ve seen lots of westerly flow in the lower part of the atmosphere and the Cascades block much of that moisture. The far eastern 1/3 of the state has done well though. Breaking the month down a bit more, only 6 dry days, but only 3 were really wet with more than 1/2″ rain. Lots of showery days.


We’ve all notice the cool temperatures too, but that hasn’t been record-breaking. 3 degrees below normal and the coldest in 11 years. This April is similar temperature-wise to 2003, 2008, & 2011.


Last night’s stratiform (steady) light/moderate rain combined with some heavy cells east metro this afternoon led to some big rain numbers. Gresham and Corbett areas picked up 1.00″to almost 2.00″. The 1.53″ and 1.65″ and 1.33″ numbers in Corbett are part of PGE’s new fire weather network. High quality Campbell Scientific instruments. They’ve also installed some of those around North Plains, Scotts Mills, and a few other fire-prone spots.

Heavy rain east Multnomah county
Heavy rain east Multnomah county(NOAA/NWS)

As the last of the showers were winding down this evening, it appears a weak tornado (or landspout?) touched down at Cook Park in Tigard. I’ll admit I briefly thought this video was fake, but then watched a couple more times. A child could have been crushed or anyone seriously injured as that heavy metal roofing few through the air. Notice the circular motion. If you listen closely you can hear the rush of wind and see it on the parent’s clothing just before it tears the roof off. Maybe a landspout? A gustnado? That 2nd one seems less likely since there was no widespread gusty wind occurring anywhere nearby, this was a highly localized gust. There are 3 home weather stations within a mile and they didn’t pick up any significant wind.

Enjoy tomorrow because May starts with dry weather…for one day. I think it’s very unlikely we stay dry as a wet system comes inland Sunday night and again late next week. I’m somewhat confident the streak of very dry Mays will end this year. Seems like 1″ of rain is likely just in the next week, possibly more. We will see if we get a “wet” May. that hasn’t happened since 2013! That would require a continuation of the cool/wet pattern with frequent upper-level troughs moving through the region.


That’s it for now. Happy May!

24 Responses to April 2022 ends wettest on record, plus a possible tornado in Tigard this evening

  1. Roland Derksen says:

    My last green tomato summer was in 2011- The crop was literally green to the end of August 2011. What saved them? A warm sunny September. Could happen again, but a lot can change in the next few weeks. I’ll be watching.

  2. tim says:

    I depend on my summer garden vegetables to get thru the winter more so now with the inflations so a cool summer would not be good at all, it’s critical we have hot weather, go away la Nina your bad news.

  3. Opie says:

    If it verifies, the wind anomaly at bottom left corner should weaken the La Niña.

    • tim says:

      Hopefully la Nina will be completely gone by summer so our hot weather won’t be delayed, a green tomato summer sounds awful and I love tomatoes.

      • JERAT416 says:

        After last year , let’s break a record by not hitting 90 even once!

      • West Linn 200 says:

        Last year was a green tomato year. It was too hot for them to ripen. I know because I was really pissed off last year for having to wait so much longer and ended up losing too many. Ripening temps are in the range of 65-80. Our relatively normal 2019 summer was great for the tomatoes for example.

  4. JERAT416 says:

    My unscientific observation is that if most of May is cool and wet with very few warm, sunny, dry days, then memorial day weekend will be nice. But if we have lots of warm, dry, sunny days earlier that month, then memorial day weekend will be mostly wet. Like we can use up our allotment of nice days or save them …….who agrees?

    • MasterNate says:

      I agree! Next weeks ridge is slip sliding away to the West leaving the door open for more cool unsettled weather going forward.

      • tim says:

        Well The gfs has been sticking to the ridge for nextweek while the cooler wetter euro is slowly catching up with the gfs, gfs is king in my opinion.

  5. tim says:

    Both gfs and euro are showing a much warmer and dryer pattern going into mid may and today’s cpc 8 to 14 outlook is latching on too, I’m sticking with Parsons warm and dry May outlook,so long la nina your job is done.

    • Roland Derksen says:

      Okay, bring on the heat- I should be ready for it in a couple of weeks! 😉

    • Zach says:

      A “dry” May in Portland would mean less than about 2 inches of rain for the entire month. As of now, guidance suggests we could get at or near that average next weekend. So we shall see.

  6. West Linn 200 says:

    We got a full 24 hours of GFS runs now showing us warming up and drying out starting about 10 days from now.

    I see a massive stalled low over Asia, so I’m guessing they’re about to start off monsoon season? Maybe this is how our wet pattern finally dies.

  7. Roland Derksen says:

    That was quite the video; I recall something similar happening to me back in high school one windy day in January 1975. i was playing basketball with my classmates on the court outside when something knocked me over from behind. I got up and was going to tell someone off for being rough, when the other guys all pointed to a strong whirlwind that headed off away from us down the street. i don’t think it was an actual tornado, but it was strong enough to flatten me, and lift up a garbage can lid way up in the air!

  8. MasterNate says:

    Mark, you forgot to mention how well our snowpack has rebounded in April. At least in the North half of the state. From low 70% in Willamette unit to 145%. Hood is sitting at 173%. I believe it was beneficial to all of our State as it slowed melting and increased the percentage in the southern half as well.https://www.wcc.nrcs.usda.gov/ftpref/data/water/wcs/gis/maps/or_swepctnormal_update.pdf

  9. UGH says:

    Such a terrible weather pattern we are stuck in. Rain would be fine if it was actually warm or the cooler temps would be fine if it was sunny, but it’s neither, just cool and wet and gloomy. May doesn’t look great either…. what a let down. Time to move on and find somewhere better.

    • Grizzly Bear says:

      Some people would complain even if they were hung with a new rope!

      • UGH says:

        Not sure why this is always an issue? People love to think everyone that lives in the PNW LOVE the clouds and rain and if they don’t it’s like a personal attack. Some people like me, like being outside, not getting soaked trying to do the things they like. Cold, wet and gloomy is for the winter. It’s time to enjoy the warming sun, the longer days and milder, drier weather. Everyone knows the cold, wet and gloom will be back too soon.

        • Zach says:

          Thats fine, but you have to understand that this Spring has actually been more typical of our climate than the previous few springs which have been very abnormally dry. Typically, we don’t see reliably dry weather until mid June, and sometimes not until after July 4th.

    • JJ78259 says:

      I did after the Junuary 2010-2012 cycle! 101 and 100 degrees pool party weekend for Moms Day in San Antonio! Just had the pool updated exited to try it out!

      • UGH says:

        Wish I could move out of Oregon all together, but for now I’ll be relocating to central Oregon, before fall, if all goes well!

  10. West Linn 200 says:

    Wow that video is crazy. That dad picking up the little girl reacted really quickly. I’m glad nobody got hurt!

    I drove through Tigard late this afternoon and first thing I thought was “those clouds look sketchy!”. They had that really dark ominous look to them. This was when the roads were completely dry, so it was prior to the downpours and all. For a second I swear I thought I saw a funnel cloud, but figured nahhh that’s too unlikely. Now I’m wondering if I really did see one. This was driving towards Durham from Bull Mountain, so the location definitely fits the bill.

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