PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Morning temperatures will be much cooler after a night of clear skies: upper 30s to low 40s. As a result, patchy fog may develop if temperatures drop low enough to meet the dew point. It will be partly cloudy for half the day. Highs will reach the mid 60s. Then light rain arrives in Portland by the evening. The big stuff arrives Saturday morning. See forecast graphics below.
Portland International Airport measured only 0.79″ inches of rain for the entire month of April. That makes Portland the 4th driest on record for the month. Data just released from Drought.gov shows 96.2% of Oregon is included in various levels of drought. Thanks to a very dry April and really the entire rainy season our drought conditions are worsening by the day.
The drought monitor shows a large portion of the Willamette Valley in a severe drought. Extreme drought has overtaken southwestern Oregon and crosses the northern California border.
The chance for rain increases tonight. Then an approaching cold front helps to destabilize the atmosphere which leads us to thunderstorms across the state this weekend. You could expect gusty winds Saturday associated with the front. Much cooler air settles in, bringing freezing levels down to about 4,000 feet Sunday morning. If you happen to be using mountain passes this weekend you’ll notice the snow falling. At this late in the season it would be pretty tough to get snow to stick to passes.
The green contour you see on the map for Saturday represents areas that could see thunderstorms, more of the garden variety, as opposed to severe. The Storm Prediction Center defines this area: “The light green area on the categorical graphic is for general, (non-severe) thunderstorms, with a 10% or greater probability of thunderstorms.” In general, you would expect to see small pea-sized hail, locally gusty winds, and as always lightning. As the saying goes, when thunder roars go indoors.
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