Daylight shrinks, but valley rain increases this week


PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – Psych yourself up for some quick afternoons as we enter our shortest daylength of the year the next few weeks.

We know winter is coming, but it just hits you in a breeze when the clouds are around, there isn’t much sun and it’s dark by 4:27 p.m. We will be back to nine hours of daylight come January 11, if that feels any better.

However, on Monday, we will bring in eight hours and 49 minutes of daylight and that should come with sun and clouds; many locations are also dealing with lingering fog.

The National Weather Service over in Spokane, Washington, tweeted the graphic below. You can match up your location with the sunset time. They are one of the few locations that have sunsets before 4 p.m. in the NW! I thought a sunset at 4:30 p.m. was tough. I forgot to mention at Thanksgiving that I was grateful for 4 p.m. sunsets.

It’s not that bad if you have sunshine, but there are a handful of days in the winter that just come with clouds and rain. We may have a few of those in the five- to seven-day forecast. Hopefully, there will be a slice of sun for you to soak in before that early sunset.

We have rain moving in Tuesday, Thursday and this weekend. Below is a weather model depicting the setup and development over the Pacific Thursday, with high pressure in place west of California, leading to most of the action sliding in from the northwest out of the Gulf of Alaska.

We will have at least two systems moving across this week to bring in valley rain. So far, December hasn’t produced much. We have a scant amount of rain in the tank right now, .05 inches for Portland. We are already an inch behind where we should be for the month. This week will get us back on track for average, but I don’t think it’s going to be enough water to play catch up. However, there are signs of a wet system by the weekend. We will have to wait to see how that unfolds.

You can see the higher totals from the atmospheric river striking Vancouver Island and areas of the Olympic Peninsula, producing well into the 2-3 inches range. I wouldn’t say we are hardly seeing any rain, but it pales in comparison to those locations to the north.

What are the totals we are looking at in Portland and nearby neighborhoods? Likely somewhere around .50 inches by Friday night. Totals will be higher for the northern Oregon coast and less impressive for areas of south in the Willamette Valley. Now, models have been up and down about our rain totals this week but they have been coming into agreement that these two fronts aren’t going to supply much south of Portland.

Additionally, snow levels remain pretty high until Thursday. This moisture will translate into some snow for the mountains later in the week, but I wouldn’t expect much impactful winter weather out of this.

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