Will this be the driest calendar year dating back to 2000?


We will have to see how the next 50 days play out, with a few rain chances in the near future

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – Let’s start this conversation with there are 50 days left of 2019, and we’re running out of time to catch up to our average amount of rainfall.

It’s not a clear answer until we finish off 2019, but we are behind the usual amount of rain by more than 5 inches.

As of mid-November, we’ve had five months at or above average and six months below average. That doesn’t mean much without the numbers, but you can see how far below or above each month concluded compared to our average in the graphics below.

A reason that we are still 5.80″ below is because of the gap that we fell short for a handful of months. Some noticeable months where we didn’t quite reach our averages would be January, March, June and October (along with potentially November). On the other hand, a month such as September helped improve our drought that was in place for a majority of Oregon and Washington.

Since 2000, the annual minimum rain for a calendar year was 26.72 inches in 2013. The annual mean from 2000 to 2018 is 35.96 inches. You will find below that that total is very close to the 1941-2017 average. Currently, we are sitting at 21.17 inches at Portland International Airport.

If we wrap this year up below that 26.72 inches total, it would be the driest calendar year since 2013 and the driest of the last 19 years.

We’ve had very wet November and December months in the past; in fact, 2015 brought over 15 inches of rain and was the wettest December on record. So it is not out of the question that we can reach our average by the time we wrap up 2019 or at least come close.

At this time last year, we were actually at 19.66 inches, which is slightly lower than where we are sitting year-to-date for 2019. That being said, 2018 finished at 27.30 inches, which was the third driest year since 2000. However, we haven’t had two back-to-back years below 30 inches since 2000. With our current total, we are on target to do that.

We are significantly below at 0.41 inches for November, with 17 days left for the month. Notice above that our November average is 5.63 inches over the span from 1941-2017. We will have to find a bulk of moisture to wrap up the month or we will likely fall short for the seventh month this year. A reminder, we are currently not in a drought regardless of a departure of -5.80 inches.

We will have to see how the next 50 days play out, with a few rain chances in the near future.

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