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Surprising dry weather to continue

by KGW Meteorologist Rod Hill

Bio | Email | Follow: @kgwrodhill

Posted on May 3, 2013 at 7:40 AM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 30 at 4:49 AM

The only way to describe our dry spring weather so far is "surprising!"  The photo above shows a clear sky over Mt. Jefferson this morning, looking south from Timberline.  Going back to March 1st, today will become the 38th dry day with no more than a trace of rain.  Compare the number to recent years.

Dry days March - April (a trace or less at PDX): 

2012 - 21 days

2011 - 14 days

2010 - 17 days

2009 - 22 days

Forecast outlooks continue to show below normal rainfall through July.  Current forecast charts show no chance of rainfall for Portland through Friday of next week.  With projections of an early and possibly bad wildfire season, you have to wonder just how dry we could be?  The driest May of record at PDX had .10 inches of total rainfall back in 1992.  The driest June only recorded .03 inches in 1951 and July has had no measurable rainfall more than once.

This past week, I visited the National Weather Service and spoke with several meteorologist about our record dry start to the year.  Everyone agreed there were no known indicators to predict how dry we have been since January 1st or if we will approach records for lack of rainfall in the coming months.  There is concern that we are about to enter the driest climate portion of the year, meaning normal rainfall is typically low and below normal rainfall can be next to nothing until next October.  The temperature forecast looking forward to summer is uncertain but does not show any strong indication of warmer than normal numbers.


KGW Meteorologist Rod Hill

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