And based on months of driving through detours — all under blue skies — we can safely say road construction won this time around!
This chart to the right is proof that Portland has just finished its driest three month stretch on record at Portland Airport, where records date back to the 1940s.
Not only was this our driest three month stretch, it was that way by a long shot! Just look at the difference between 1952 and this year. That’s huge!
All but .04″ of the July-August-September rainfall fell in July. That was followed by Portland’s driest August on record (a statistical tie) and then an incredibly dry September as you can see below.
A persistent area of high pressure over us or just off the coast of Oregon and Washington blocked the storms and sent the storm track to Northern B.C. and Alaska. In fact, Alaska has already had three unusually strong storms at this point in the season. They could have come out way if not for the fact high pressure played incredible defense for us!
And after all this–to start October 2012 with highs around 80 degrees–it feels like it may never rain again around here. Of course, we know there are usually paybacks. But as of now…it could easily be a week and half or longer before we have a real shot at significant rain.
Update: Here’s Special Weather Statement From The National Weather Service in Portland on other cities that broke records July-September 2012.
RECORD EVENT REPORT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE PORTLAND OREGON
735 AM PDT TUE OCT 2 2012
…DRIEST JULY THROUGH SEPTEMBER ON RECORD…
VERY DRY CONDITIONS ACROSS THE REGION THIS PAST SUMMER INTO EARLY
AUTUMN. FOR MANY LOCATIONS…JULY TO SEPTEMBER OF 2012 WILL GO DOWN
AS THE DRIEST FOR THE PERIOD OF RECORD (POR).
NEW RECORD DRIEST JULY TO SEPTEMBER FOR…
JUL-SEP 2012 PREVIOUS RECORD NORMAL PERIOD OF RECORD
PORTLAND AIRPORT 0.25 INCH 0.51 IN 1952 2.45 1940-2012
VANCOUVER 0.28 INCH 0.57 IN 1952 M 1896-2012
SALEM 0.11 INCH 0.23 IN 1952 2.17 1892-2012
HILLSBORO 0.15 INCH 0.36 IN 1952 2.24 1929-2012
SITES THAT FINISHED NOT TOP…BUT AS SECOND DRIEST ON RECORD
JUL-SEP 2012 CURRENT RECORD NORMAL Period Of Record
PORTLAND DOWNTOWN 0.52 INCH 0.49 IN 1952 2.81 1890-2012
EUGENE 0.21 INCH 0.18 IN 1942 2.45 1896-2012
MCMINNVILLE 0.15 INCH 0.03 IN 1994 2.32 1894-2012