A weekend soaking in the Pacific Northwest, but dry in some unexpected places

9pm Thursday

It’s raining again…

After 3 mainly (or all) dry days, the rain is back this evening. I had just transplanted a bunch of veggies and flowers today hoping for some gentle evening rains. Now I see I’ve picked up over .75″ in less than two hours at home! That’s a big excessive… PDX has already seen another 1/3″.

Somehow we still can’t get 4 consecutive dry days. In fact only once since early April have we seen 4 of those days. Yet in January & February we had some nice week-plus stretches!


Since April 1st, Portland has seen 48 days with some sort of measurable rain, that’s about 2/3 of the days, only topped by the very wet spring of 2010



We’ve got a relatively strong (for June) atmospheric river aimed right at Oregon and SW Washington this evening. An atmospheric river just means a “river of moisture” that flows along in the low-mid atmosphere. It’s not a “storm” or “event”. In general it means significant rain is more likely than elsewhere. If everything works out just right (or wrong?) heavy or flooding rain can be squeezed out of that atmosphere. That can include the “river of moisture” running into mountains. That will be the case the next 2-3 days in our region. One way to measure the strength of the moisture transport is IVT or Integrated Vapor Transport. You can see we are right under the bullseye this evening

(University of Washington)

It’s weaker, but still aimed at Oregon tomorrow at 8pm.

(University of Washington)

Then notice it really falls apart Saturday afternoon for more typical showers across northern Oregon and southern Washington. More solid rain is likely across the central/southern half of Oregon

(University of Washington)

How much rain might we see between now and Sunday afternoon? The past two weekends models have generally overproduced rainfall for the valleys, but were okay in the mountains. Our fresh GRAF model shows 1-2″ in the valleys and 3-5″ in the Cascades. Seems like around 1″ would be most likely in the valleys based on recent experience.


You may notice two other items. The northern Oregon Coast will likely be the driest spot this weekend! Same with SW Washington and up toward Seattle. The other is a very wet northeast Oregon again! Pendleton, La Grande, Joseph, and John Day will all see plenty of rain through Sunday. So wet…


It’s not looking so bad Saturday morning/midday in Portland. Just a few scattered showers here and there, definitely not a soaking.



Here’s the biggie: There’s no sign of a change into “normal” warm & dry summer weather through at least the 20th. It’s obvious this wet late spring is morphing into a wet early summer. Temperatures have been about normal so far this month which has been nice. But we’ll turn cooler Sunday through Tuesday. Why does this continue? Because we’re not seeing a typical area of high pressure push the (weak) June jet stream north into Canada and SE Alaska. That’s what often happens in June; fewer weather systems moving through = drier and warmer. What we’re seeing right now is more like April or early May, although warmer since it’s June. A great animation here shows the “dip” in the upper-level flow through the next 15 days. This is from the ECMWF (Euro) model. Note the anomaly does weaken a bit in the 2nd week…we’ll see.


Until I see a warm anomaly over us, it’s fair to say the occasionally wet weather will continue. Temperatures will likely turn a bit cooler than normal as this pattern continues. That’s because “normal” temperatures rise quite a bit the 2nd half of June. Add about 5 degrees to all the numbers below. That gives you lots of days between 68-78 degrees, just like what we’ve been seeing lately.


That’s it for now. I’m headed off camping this weekend, in one of those very wet areas. Poor choice, but at least I have a roof and an awning…

45 Responses to A weekend soaking in the Pacific Northwest, but dry in some unexpected places

  1. Rick says:

    Kind of sad it’s 15 degrees warmer in Fairbanks Alaska then the West side of Oregon

  2. Evan -- Cedar Mill says:

    LMAO 25F and snowing at timberline this morning!!

  3. Joshua Lake Oswego says:

    I got the sarcasm. Just don’t know why he/she gets so worked up about posts that are contrary to his/her preference.

  4. tim says:

    AR here in north south pordlant

  5. Anonymous says:

    I hope that when it stops raining, we don’t see a drop of rain until January, the longer the better. Would love to see endless cloudless days with warm temps and no rain in the extended outlook as far as the eye can see. No frosts, no freezing days or snow, just sunshine and as dry as we can get.

    Sounds pretty ridiculous huh?Thats how all these “I wish it would be cloudy, rainy and cool all summer long” people sound. It’s annoying and tiring.

    • tim says:

      July is right around the corner, that heatdome in Texas will eventually move over us this summer hang in there.

    • Joshua Lake Oswego says:

      It doesn’t bother me if you hope that. Like I said, what you or I hope doesn’t change what will be. You will have plenty and warm, sunny, and dry weather coming up in the near future. Hang tight.

    • Roland Derksen says:

      They are still thinking of and mentally reliving last year’s summer.

  6. Roland Derksen says:

    I’m hoping the rest of June will be relatively dry- if it is, and we don’t see a major warm up, the flood situation here in southern BC shouldn’t become a problem.

  7. Evan -- Cedar Mill says:

    Lol it’s snowing at timberline

  8. tim says:

    Extreme heat in the Midwest and the south it’s only a matter of time before we get ours, we are due.

  9. Winterfest says:

    Juneuary feels so amazing right now. Cold drippy rain all morning. Imagine if summer was like this the whole time.

  10. Joshua Lake Oswego says:

    The days start getting shorter in 10 days. No 80 degrees in the next 10-15 days. Hopefully we will be at least 40 degrees cooler than last year on June 28th.

  11. tim says:

    Some 12z gfs members are showing 95 on the 26th for Seattle that would be a big change if it happens, well see.

    • Joshua Lake Oswego says:

      You’re really grasping at straws. Both the GFS and Euro 12z ensembles show below normal temps through the whole run. Maybe one slightly above normal day middle of next week.

      • Andrew says:

        Yeah there are just no signs of even what I’d consider a warm stretch for this time of year, let alone a heat wave. Looking drier for rest of month for now but lots of low 70s.

  12. Weatherdan says:

    16 day outlook looking better and better. Mostly dry after about Tuesday. Mostly 75-85 after Tuesday through June 27th. So no hot weather, but more sun and somewhat above normal temperatures. Finally some good news. Peace.

  13. A bit off topic but here goes! A big shout-out to the local weather mets who somehow called in a favor from the “weather gods” and arranged a rain-free Rose Festival Grand Floral parade. It was a close run thing but we made it. I even saw a few glimpses of sun while watching.

  14. lurkingsince’14 says:

    Is a dry 5 day stretch too much to ask for? It’s friggin’ mid June.

  15. Scott Reeves says:

    Global warming at its finest

  16. Joshua Lake Oswego says:

    Up to 1.75’’ on the day and lots more to come. The dome has been breached. This will be the wettest day in years here.

    • West Linn 200 says:

      Yep it’s been pouring hard for hours here. I went for a 45 min walk in it, hoodie down and all because I’m crazy like that, it was fun.

    • Joshua Lake Oswego says:

      Up to 2.18’’ today. Unprecedented. Love it!

  17. OLIVER WATSON says:

    I am quite surprised how our weather has turned out for the last 3 months. Trough after trough. It seemed like the last few years of ridge after ridge would never end. It would be interesting to find out what atmospheric conditions are causing this cooler and wetter than normal weather. I can’t imagine it’s la Nina because we had that last spring and we all know how that went. Any one have any insight into this subject?

    • tim says:

      La Nina went neutral by last spring and so did the soi we’re as this year la Nina is still going and the soi is positive currently, i don’t know what other factors that could be contributing to our weather.

  18. Weatherdan says:

    I see some signs that the heat is moving West the last third of the month. Will not be over us so no hot weather in sight. But might be close enough to become warmer and drier. Say most days 75-85 towards the last week of June. Of course this could all change tomorrow, but for today hope is on the horizon. Peace.

  19. Roland Derksen says:

    I had 1.29 inches of rain from this event yesterday through last night. That makes my total for the month at 2.65 inches- about the same for a normal whole month of June. That’s still, however, nowhere close to my June 1990’s amount for the 1st-10th: 4.76 inches. So that’s at least something to console myself with! 🙂

  20. JERAT416 says:

    July will be here in a few weeks ……we will make it 😁

    • West Linn 200 says:

      I don’t know man… this year is different and while a cool July would be unusual, it certainly isn’t impossible. Was it you that said a rainy early May means nice Memorial Day weekend? That definitely fell apart

      • JERAT416 says:

        I said it could mean that but it was nice the weekend before memorial day so as usual we only get one sunny weekend in May …..

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  22. tim says:

    I think by july summer will be in full swing this cool trough can’t and won’t last forever change in the weather is inevitable just like death to be blunt.

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