Summer is out, fall is in. Now we wait for rain


PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – Is it just by coincidence that once Fall arrived that even the weakest systems are now nice enough to bring in rain?

Most of the summer Portland was hoping to squeeze out some showers from any sign of incoming clouds that found a way to the Pacific Northwest, but we usually fell short. However, our first day of fall had a similar story with a different outcome, bringing a weak front producing rain — and we will take it. But now we have to wait a little while before we see more rain.

Before we get to that, I want to show you the breakdown of the rain we did soak up this summer (astronomical). In the stat-keeping world of weather, we typically break down the summer to June, July, and August. This is known as the meteorological summer. Well, for the fun of the everyday summer that most folks live by, the window is slightly different. I took the observed rain from June 20 to September 22 and tossed it on the graphic below. Today, before 12:20 p.m. officially hit, we did have a trace of rain. Not enough to impact the total for the summer.

As you may have expected, the totals for June, July and August were bleak. Outside of the final weekend of summer, only .05 inches of rain was recorded back in August. There is a reason that the popular rock song is named “November Rain” and not July rain. I’m just surmising that, but if you’re from the west coast, it is likely you wouldn’t name a song after summer rain that doesn’t often exist. We can definitely say that we finished summer wet, with that 2.52 inches of rain that came barreling in.

Our first official afternoon of fall is feeling more like it, with clouds and spotty showers in the region. It’s not very wet, but we have had measurable rain around the valley and out to the Oregon and Washington coast today. You’ll notice the clouds and the gloomy look coming out of Washington and the Oregon coast. There are broken clouds around Portland, which is expected for the remainder of the day. One thing to note, there haven’t been many changing leaves yet. That shows up in October for the people around here.

Wednesday afternoon’s satellite and radar keep plenty of clouds out near the Oregon coast and even an area of vorticity over the Pacific Ocean. However, there isn’t enough moisture to bring in steady rain today. This system is trying its best to generate some showers without much of the needed supplies. Regardless, there are some patchy areas that may have some light rain even in the afternoon today. Clouds will be difficult to fully remove, but the dissipation of those clouds in the valley, especially to the south is common this afternoon.

These are a few of the rain totals from the last few hours of summer and the first few hours of fall. Florence was the late summer winner, with a quarter of an inch of rain. Showers reached the coast range, but they didn’t quite make it to the valley. Although areas like Scappoose and Kelso picked up some late summer rain this morning. A lot of locations had a trace of rain or it was just too dry and that rain was evaporating before it reached the surface (locations to the east).

I mentioned we will have to wait for another opportunity for rain around here. The good news, we won’t have to wait nearly as long as most of the summer. We are expecting a brief shower or two to arrive late on Sunday and Monday. Instead of going through the rest of the month without any rain, it sure looks like the fall pattern is starting to move in. Those large west coast ridges, are now going to be short-lived and followed up with cooler air from the Gulf of Alaska. We aren’t quite to the serious months of rain, but we definitely can see it in the distance. I don’t think we are in need of binoculars anymore.

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