PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Most summers around here the grass is going to be brown (unless you water it, of course).
Although Portland is known for rain, it’s also fairly dry over the summer. In fact, Portland is now at 46 days of no measurable rain. You have to go back to July 6 for our last significant rain this summer.
You may recall that this summer started with a rush of rain. We brought in over three inches of rain in June. A bulk of that was early in the month, which makes the summer feel even drier than it has been.
Meteorological summer is the three-month period of June, July and August. This is when the summer stats are recorded. This summer, we had a total of 3.26 inches of rain, with only a trace of rain this month.
It’s well known that the summer months can be pretty dry around here. On average, the three-month period in Portland comes out to 2.67 inches (1991-2020). That means we were already above average for the summer by the time we finished the month of June.
We have basically been playing with house money in July and August. That doesn’t mean we couldn’t use some more rain for the vegetation around here. Also, when we aren’t seeing rain here, that usually means we aren’t seeing much rain across the state. We still need rain for central Oregon and the high desert.
TOP FIVE WET SUMMER YEARS
If you’ve been hanging around Portland for some time, there have definitely been a few wet summers. There have been three years where the rain total has come in over six inches! The most recent year was 1983 when Portland accumulated 6.92 inches of rain. It didn’t just come from one serious thunderstorm. It came from three wet months: June 1983: 1.95 inches, July 1983: 2.68 inches and August 1983: 2.29 inches.
Some of the notable wet summers below are wetter than some of our spring months. That is when you know it was a soaker of a summer.
Warm air can carry more moisture and some of those thunderstorms can really dump rain in the summer. That means we can see the rain totals jump quickly after an event.
The most recent seriously wet summer was in 2010. The three-month period of time brought in over five inches of rain for Portland. NOT TOO SHABBY! No one was needing to water their lawns that year.
DIVING A LITTLE DEEPER
Going back eight decades from this year, we can track how much rain each decade brought during the summer. For example, the months of June, July, and August, from 2012 to 2021, collected 23.60 inches of rain. This is the data that goes back to 1941 over at the Portland Airport. Some of our wettest summers occurred during the period between 1982 and 1991! For those of you that have been around here for some time, you’ve had some wet summer camping years and others that have been plenty warm and dry.