PORTLAND, Ore. — Summer does not officially come to an end until Monday, September 23, but the mild season has many asking: Did Mother Nature shortchange us this year?
The short answer: not quite.
For many, this summer felt cooler than normal, but that might have to do with the multiple days Portland hit 90 degrees or higher the past two summers. This year Portland saw above average temperatures from June through August.
"We may not have had that heat wave that we've experienced in the last couple of years, but temperatures were around the low 80s a good part of the summer months,” KGW Meteorologist Joe Raineri said. “For the most part we saw temperatures above average for June, July and August.”
KGW asked people around downtown and posed the question online, and opinions on this year’s mild summer were largely mixed. Some wanted to see more hot stretches, others thought conditions were perfect, and few wanted less heat than what the area got.
“It was comfortable. It just wasn’t your typical Oregon hot summer,” Portland Saturday market vendor Michael Manahan said.
Manahan spends nearly every weekend in a tent outdoors at the Saturday Market. He has lived in the area for about two decades and noticed the lack of heat. He says his evidence is edible.
“I absolutely think we needed more hot days, because our tomatoes did horribly. So, that was the telltale sign,” Manahan said.
For many native or longtime Oregonians like Edd English, this summer was a storybook character’s dream: not too hot, not too cold. It was just right.
“It was perfect. You couldn’t ask for better,” English said. “What do they call that? The Goldilocks summer. That’s what we had.”
Ninety-degree days were few and far between in 2019. Portland only hit 90 degrees or above 11 times this year. 20 fewer 90-degree days than last year.
“A lot of people forget what we saw in the summers past. Especially last summer. That was a record. 31 times with temperatures at 90 or above for last summer. And over the last few summers we've definitely been above average with temperatures 90 or above,” Raineri said.
A mild summer also delivered some positives this year. Not only do cooler temperatures mean less work for your AC, it helped keep wildfires at bay.
"We only saw one major wildfire earlier this summer and that was the Milepost 97 fire throughout Southern Oregon," Raineri said.
There were no major heat waves in 2019. There were only a few times that we saw two or more days in a row past 90 degrees.
"We also saw a little more rainfall than we typically do during the summer months, which really helped the fire season this year," Raineri said.