Feb. likely drier in Oregon's mini climate shift

Feb. likely drier in Oregon's mini climate shift

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Feb. likely drier in Oregon's mini climate shift

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by Rod Hill, KGW Meteorologist

kgw.com

Posted on February 5, 2013 at 7:16 AM

Updated Tuesday, Feb 5 at 1:22 PM

PORTLAND -- While many enjoyed a mostly dry Monday, the Portland Metro area's weather for the month of February seems to be changing, signaling a mini climate shift.

So far this month, there's been only a trace in the rain bucket and forecast charts - which are often too wet - giving Portland just 1.62 inches of moisture through the first 20 days of this month.

February average rainfall over the past 30 years is 3.66 inches, an average that ten years ago was 4.18 inches. Over the past 10 years, groundhog month has averaged nearly 1.5 inches below normal.  All but one February has seen below-average precipitation. 

The period of change is long enough for meteorologists to identify as a mini climate shift. In fact, the so-called "big four" rain months for Portland's rainy season used to be November through February.  That period, for decades, represented roughly half of the annual rainfall in Portland and the wettest months of the year.

Not any more. March is now the fourth-wettest month of the year, with an average of 3.68 inches. 

Perhaps the mini climate shift that catches your eye the most is the increasing trend of wet spring months: April, May and June all have higher rainfall averages then 10 years ago.  In fact, recent years have shown little difference in total rainfall between November through February when compared to March, April, May and June.

KGW Meteorologist Rod Hill

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