How is the Weather in Portland?
Portland has a pretty unique weather pattern and one we don’t like to share that often. Why? Because the Pacific Northwest feeds off the region’s mountain ranges making for extremely mild and tolerable weather pretty much year round. While the rest of the country bakes during the summer months, we tend to have mild summers and easy winters.
For our area, about 2/3rds of the rain only happens between October and March although we can get the occasional summer shower; just perfect for keeping those lawns green. Most of our precipitation gathers around the mountain ranges creating the naturally mild temperatures throughout our region. From late Spring to early Fall, high pressure to the west, out in the Pacific Ocean, generally keeps the Portland area dry due to atmospheric circulation.
The Cascade Mountain range is much to blame (or thank) for this shift. They keep a barrier between the ocean climates and the east or south high pressures that rise from Arizona and California. You can see from the picture that because of our mountain ranges, the west side stays fairly cool from the California border to the Canadian border.
In the low-lying valleys around our area, we have mild temps year round with wonderful winter rains and dry summers. Sound about perfect? We sure think it is! Although the rain fall is more in the mountains, this type of weather lets us ski from October to May and sometimes longer up on Mount Hood! If you want to ski in the morning and boat along the river in 75 degree weather in the afternoon, you can probably do it in Portland.
Our winters rarely reach below 20 degrees but it has been known to happen. Because our winters are so mild, snow is often a rare treat around here and kids will get their fix just in time for schools to open again. Typically, snow doesn’t stick around long, so build that snowman when you can for tomorrow may be in the 50s again.
Spring and Fall tend to be pretty wet around here but we have to have that rain fall to keep everything so green. The lush foliage of Portland makes for beautiful hikes in the parks and lush greenery year round. Most natives wouldn’t trade that rain for anything and know it’s what keeps this area looking the way it does.
Summer is one of our favorite times; with only about 5 inches of rain on average for the summer months, this is the time to get out there and enjoy the weather! With so many outdoor activities around Portland coupled with the abundance of sunshine and clear skies, this is the perfect atmosphere. While the rest of the country bakes in 100+ degree weather, we still enjoy beers on the patio, picnics in the park, horseback riding, hiking and biking throughout the summer months.
Portland’s weather certainly is unmatched anywhere in the country. Sure, we have the rain, and most of us wouldn’t want it any other way. But the mild winters, warm summers and stunning landscape make Portland one of the most perfect places in the country; but don’t tell anyone!
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