PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – Believe it or not, Portland has only had five dry days this March, but it’s not enough to help the region break its deep drought.

Despite it raining in some form or fashion for the other 17 days, you may think Portland would be soaring above our monthly average this month, but the reality is we aren’t. Most of northwest Oregon is just hanging in there right now. It has taken some work to get there, with an atmospheric river and a soggy day or two.

However, there is some good news: we have already topped our spring total from last year, meaning we have had more rain this March than we had all together from March to the end of May in 2021. We are on a sneaky rain spell in Portland right now. We have had a trace of rain or more for the last 10 days! Some of that rain has come overnight, not bothering much of the daily routine.

Can we keep the showery weather going this month? The possibility is definitely there as we look at the extended forecast through early next week.

We have had two of our wettest days of the year, this month. Even with those wet days, we are just five-hundredths above average this month. It has taken us 17 days of rain to get us on the right track. That means we’ve had plenty of days where the rain has been more of a light sprinkle. The normal rain count for March 22 is 2.76 inches.

We are hoping to bring in another inch or inch and a quarter by the time we wrap up the month. That leaves us with eight more days to work with, and right now, we have at least two or three more rain chances by the time we get to Monday.

However, the forecast is not calling for more than a quarter of an inch of rain through Saturday. We will have to use the final week of March for our last jump to average rainfall for the month.

Our first opportunity for more rain arrives Wednesday. Light showers will begin in the morning, with a moment of light steady rain in the afternoon. That period of time in the afternoon and evening will be pivotal to our rain total for the day. If we end up with just a trace of rain by the evening commute or something real minor, we won’t be concluding the day with much rain. The moisture will be limited for mountain snow too.

This will not impact central Oregon much, as the mountains will soak up the rest of that moisture today. The wind and the clouds will pick up for central Oregon as the main front moves in Wednesday.

The surface map analysis below shows the approaching cold front off the Washington and Oregon coast by 7 a.m. The front will push through in the afternoon, creating a moment of lift. That action will help form steady rain showers until the stable air moves in behind by late evening. You can see that the layer of clouds and all development that is involved with this system is tied to that front. Conditions will dry up on Thursday and Friday as high pressure tries to fight back up the west coast. It is expected that we stay dry for two days before a chance for rain come the weekend.

It is critical that we avoid a 2021 spring after the drought has remained a massive issue through the winter. Even with improvements across Multnomah County and points west, we have a large area of the state that is still hurting. We will discuss this in more detail in April, but we are nearing the end of our snow season. We are not going to get a ton of fresh snow after early April.

We are then relying on a wet spring to help carry us over into summer.