PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – We’re on the hunt for some refreshing summer rain in Portland.
We’re still looking for our first one-hundredth of an inch out of the Portland airport this month. Currently, Portland is on a streak of 41 days without measurable rain, which goes back to July 6.
You may be thinking, well, didn’t it pour downtown the other day? This is true, we have had some spots around the city that brought in a sporadic downpour or two, but again nothing measurable over at the observation site at the airport. What we are really looking for is sweeping rain that will bring in at least some measurable rain for all.
Are we approaching the consecutive dry days top list yet? We aren’t close to the top five right now, but by the time we wrap up the month, we could be.
The most recent time that we broke at least 55 days in a row of measurable rain, was back in the summer of 2017. We had a dry stretch from June 17 all the way to August 12. That means we didn’t have much more than a trace of rain in the month of July that summer. Of course, this is the time of the year that something like this may happen around here. It isn’t abnormal for the Willamette Valley to go on dry streaks during the summer. The weather pattern and consistent summer high pressure keep much moisture from breaking in to soak us down. Most years the anomalous high rain totals come from an isolated thunderstorm.
Regardless of the lack of rain, we are still avoiding any of the drought conditions in the northern Willamette Valley. We are also still doing pretty well out near Pendleton and the higher terrain there. However, drought conditions remain from central Oregon through the high desert. Monsoonal moisture that has seeped up into southern Oregon may help, but it also is leading to lightning and a high wildfire danger. We mostly need the soaking rains of the transition months of fall and spring to help out.
As far as August is concerned, we have many years where rain is scarce. Just last year we only had a total of 0.05 inches of rain at the airport. The last time we broke an inch of rain in August was in 2019. We also topped the normal a few times in both 2015 and 2013. The average rain in the month of August for Portland is 0.54″ (1991-2020). The graphic below will show you the rain totals for the month of August going back to 2010. We know it’s a dry month and the green grass turning brown backs that up.
Well, how often do we actually break one inch of rain in the month of August? Going back to 1990, we have only had five total August months that brought in over an inch of rain. You may recall 2004 if you’ve been around for a while. That summer, Portland actually brought in over two and half inches of rain! Talk about a soaker for a summer month.
We are running the complete opposite this year as we wait patiently for our next soaking rain.