Challenging Rose Festival weather this year; a look at the numbers

9pm Wednesday…

Cue the “it always rains on the Rose Festival” jokes right? I’ve been in Portland for 30 of the last 31 Rose Festivals, and lived within two hours of here most of my younger years. I know it’s not true that it’s “always wet” in early June in Portland. But this year that WAS pretty much the case. The stats below are from a brief report I sent to the folks over at the Rose Festival, all based on PDX weather station records.

The Portland Rose Festival normally encounters changeable weather since it occurs during the seasonal transition from spring to summer in the Pacific Northwest. Typical high temperatures during Rose Festival are in the lower 70s. Some years are showery, some almost all dry; but most years it’s an agreeable mix of the two. This year was much different.  Frequent showers, steady rain, or even downpours fell at the worst possible times.  This included: opening night and ribbon cutting, during the Starlight Parade, and record rainfall in the 12 hours leading up to the Grand Floral Parade. One bright spot was the Junior Parade; skies were partly cloudy with comfortable temperatures and no rain.

Starlight Parade was soaked this year!
Starlight Parade was soaked this year!


  • This was the 3rd wettest Rose Festival since at least 1940, only exceeded by 2010 & 1997. 3.67″ rain fell from May 26th-June 12th (this year’s dates)
  • 12 of those 18 days saw measurable rain
  • The 1.42″ rain on Friday, June 10th, was the 4th wettest day recorded during a Portland Rose Festival.
  • Temperatures were the coolest in several years, but not “record setting cool”
  • Most notable was that coolest temperatures occurred on weekends with warmer midweek days; poor timing for those weekend events Take a look at high temperatures since Memorial Day weekend
Chilly weekends, but warm weekdays
Chilly weekends, but warm weekdays


During the 11 main “event days”, rain was recorded on ALL of those except one. That was Junior Parade day. These 11 days include: Thursday-Monday opening weekend (Memorial Day Weekend), Friday-Sunday 1st main weekend, then Wednesday-Saturday ending parades/weekend.

Opening weekend:  A downpour for the ribbon cutting was followed by a well-advertised cool and wet Memorial Day weekend.  High temperatures struggled to get above 60 degrees Friday, Saturday, & Sunday, well below normal for late May.

Starlight Parade and weekend:  A steady and/or heavy rain was forecast for Saturday evening and it arrived.  It was a very wet evening.  That was followed by frequent showers on Sunday.  On the parade block KPTV was set up on this year, attendance appeared to be 1/3 to 1/2 of previous years.

Junior Parade:  A great day!  Partly cloudy skies with temperatures in the 70s

Grand Floral Parade:  This weekend was forecast to be a “cool and showery” weekend, but not excessively wet.  Parade forecasts called for just a few light showers or even mainly dry.  Little or no rain fell on the parade.  But extremely heavy rain fell all day Friday and into Friday night leading up to the parade.  As mentioned, that rainfall was some of the heaviest observed in the month of June in the Portland area. In fact it was the 4th wettest day in June history. This may have led to the perception of a “washout weekend” ahead for many Portlanders as they slogged through a Friday evening commute.

32 Responses to Challenging Rose Festival weather this year; a look at the numbers

  1. tim says:

    98 for pdx now again 100 is likely and it’s only June, July and August is gonna be intense, about time.

  2. tim says:

    Mark’s new 7 day is going for 97 now I don’t think a 100 is out of the question heatwave #1, it’s gonna be another long hot summer.

    • Joshua Lake Oswego says:

      You have been waiting months for this. Enjoy it. I hope it’s the last time we see 90 this year.

      • West Linn 200 says:

        I hope it’s the last time we see 90 this year.

        I’m not a fan of the constant gloom and rain like you are, but I’m 100% in agreement with you on this point. 90+ is too hot

        • Roland Derksen says:

          I’m expecting some warm to hot days this summer too- but let’s not expect a repeat of summer 2021.

    • Timenators says:

      Whatever the temp ends up being the models do not show any sign of an extended heat wave

  3. Roland Derksen says:

    Looks like we are finally turning the corner here after Wednesday My first 80’s to come by the weekend!

  4. tim says:

    This upcoming warm/hot spell is a good sign were not gonna have a cool summer despite what same local Mets are saying and la Nina is dying as well.

  5. Evan -- Cedar Mill says:

    First 90-degree day incoming!!! So hyped. Crazy to think 1 year ago we were looking at 115+ F

  6. tim says:

    Next weekend is looking really warm 80s will be a nice change.

    • Joshua Lake Oswego says:

      Outside shot at 90

      • tim says: now has 91 for pdx next Sunday and it’s still a week out it could go even higher as we get closer.

        • tim says:

          Up to 94 now on weather. will go too 100?, well see

        • Zach says:

          There is going to be a lot of moisture evaporating off of the plants and the soil during this short heat wave, which might prevent the temps from hitting quite as high as some of the models show. On the flip side, humidity will be worse…

  7. tim says:

    Both the 00z and 12z gfs brought the heat im back for late June even is trending warmer the ibm model appears to be cool bias just like the euro king gfs. ethier way the warmup is coming.

    • Joshua Lake Oswego says:

      The fun is over regardless of whether we get heat or not. Summer will start on June 20th this year. Dry and warm probably until at least September from that day forward. We had a good run.

      • Anonymous says:

        dude no sane person thinks this weather pattern we were stuck in was fun. I’m convinced you have no outside life if you think that it’s “fun”.

        • Oliver Watson says:

          I disagree. While it might not be “fun” to be stuck inside if someone likes the wet cooler weather it’s understandable. It’s not like this weather is devastating to the environment. On the other hand extreme heat and drought is. If someone wanted that weather that would border more on insane

        • Joshua Lake Oswego says:

          Convince yourself of whatever you want. I love the outdoors. I also happen to love cool and wet weather.

  8. Roland Derksen says:

    I was expecting showers by this time today, but skies cleared up late this morning, and it’s really pleasantly warm now- about 70F. I think the last half of June this year is going to see near normal temperatures and a few light rainfalls.

  9. Weatherdan says:

    The weather finally looks to have turned the corner to warmer and drier weather next week and beyond. Still no hot weather in sight as of yet. June 21st to the 4th of July looks mainly sunny and warm. Hopefully this proves correct. Peace.

  10. Joshua Lake Oswego says:

    I have never seen the Portland dome working so hard. It’s like there is a force field along I205. Impressive futility.

  11. tim says:

    Cpc released it’s July outlook today and well I completely disagree. I’m expecting a warm/hot July based on the data I seen.

  12. tim says:

    Liking the cfs model it’s been showing a very warm July for the past few weeks now it will be a big change from what we been experiencing this spring, finally.

    • JJ78259 says:

      I was born in 1960 in Portland and the spring rains were more common than not until I left for San Antonio in 2013 then it changed to warm dry springs! Now it has changed back nice to see all the complainers that mirrored myself, they may have to put up with the June Gloom for the next 50 years!

      • West Linn 200 says:

        I highly doubt that. Almost half the country is dealing with a heatwave right now. Our little corner just got lucky (or unlucky for some folks) this year. I’d be surprised if this pattern repeats next year and beyond. Even with a third La Nina, there’s no guarantee it won’t be like last year’s dry La Nina.

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