Weather Record Broken

It’s official folks! The Portland International Airport has set a new all-time record for the latest date to record its first 60 degree temperature in a given calendar year. The previous record was yesterday, March 27th, set back in 1955. Records at the airport date back to 1940. By this time last year Portland had already recorded 10 days at or above 60 degrees, including a 70 degree temperature on March 20th. This coming Friday, April 1st is the average date in which Portland reaches70 degrees for the first time in a given year, yet Portland is still struggling to make it to 60 degrees. The new record will likely be written in the coming days as models are indicating that Portland may finally reach the elusive 60 degree mark later this week. If that forecast comes to fruition, it will be the latest date to reach the “first 60 of the year” in nearly 90 years, set on 3/31/1922. See data below. Looking even further back at records that date back140 years to 1871 in downtown Portland, the latest date to reach the “first 60 of the year” is April 9th 1875.

The Portland airport has received just shy of 6″ of rainfall (5.96″) through Sunday, which is 2.66″ above normal for the month to date. March is now the 6th wettest on record at the airport from 1940-2011. The #5 position (6.04″) is certainly within reach before March comes to a close this Thursday. Through Sunday, the Portland airport has picked up measurable rainfall on 28 of the past 29 days, dating back to February 27th. Only March 6th was dry. Here are a few additional March rainfall totals along with departures from normal, through Sunday. Most locations are running 125-140% above normal for the month to date.

Astoria – 9.41″ (2.87″ above normal)
Troutdale – 6.75″ (2.87″ above normal)
Salem – 6.59″ (2.86″ above normal)
Vancouver – 6.35″ (2.62″ above normal)
McMinnville – 6.09″ (1.93″ above normal)
Eugene – 5.70″ (0.53″ above normal)
Hillsboro – 5.06″ (1.55″ above normal )

Portland International Airport latest “first 60” degree temperature – 1940-2011 = 71 years

OLD RECORD – 3/27/1955 – 60 degrees

Downtown Portland latest “first 60” degree temperature – 1871-2011 = 140 years

4/9/1875 – 62 degrees (all-time record latest)
4/8/1897 – 69 degrees
4/6/1880 – 63 degrees
4/5/1876 – 61 degrees
3/31/1904 – 61 degrees
3/31/1922 – 63 degrees

March Precipitation – Top 10 Wettest – Portland International Airport 1940-2011 = 71 years

1957 7.52″
1997 7.14″
1983 6.80″
1989 6.73″
1961 6.04″
2011 5.96″ (through Sunday 3/27/11)
2003 5.75″
1974 5.65″
1943 5.54″
1972 5.41″

Stay tuned!

Steve Pierce

Steve Pierce

Steve Pierce is widely known as Oregon and Washington's "go-to-guy" when it comes to fast, accurate historical meteorological research and forecasts. Steve is currently the President of the Oregon Chapter of the American Meteorological Society (AMS). Steve is also recognized as a regional weather commentator and blogger who can be heard on local radio stations and seen in print media outlets across the Pacific Northwest. His Weather Blog is hosted by the Columbian Newspaper in Vancouver. Check it out! He is a third generation resident of Vancouver, Washington and holds a degree in Communications. Both sets of Steve's grandparents migrated to Vancouver during World War II. One set traveled from Lenox, Iowa to work in the Kaiser Shipyards supporting the war effort. The other set came to Vancouver from Olympia, Washington to work as educators for the rapidly expanding Vancouver School District. When the war was over, both sets of grandparents decided to stay in Vancouver and continue raising their families, as did thousands of other families at the time. Those who are most familiar with Steve can attest to the fact that weather is his true passion. His love for "all things weather" began at the age of 7 when Mt. St. Helens erupted in 1980. He was fascinated with which direction the ash plumes were headed. Then came the very powerful windstorm of Friday, November 13, 1981, also referred to as the "Friday the 13th" storm. This was the strongest storm to hit the Portland / Vancouver area since the great Columbus Day Storm of 1962! At age 11, he was asked to publish an extended weather forecast for his elementary school's weekly newsletter. In the 1980's, at age 14, Steve was the youngest of KGW-TV's local "weather watchers" and would phone in his daily Vancouver weather stats to then television meteorologist Jim Little for use on-air. Steve has lived through all of the major Pacific Northwest weather events of the past 30 years, and then some. The most notable events include; the bitterly cold winter of 1978-1979, the record setting snow storms of January 1980, the summer heat wave of August 1981, the windstorms of November 1981 and December 1995, the severe arctic blast of February 1989, the record flood of February 1996, the historic ice storm of January 2004, the Vancouver tornado of January 2008 and the record setting snow storm of Christmas 2008. Not to mention every Mt. St. Helens volcanic eruption in between. With access to the most extensive set of historical weather records available to date, Steve has personally designed and integrated a proprietary system that gives him the ability to quickly locate and manipulate weather data as far back as the 1800's. As one local Meteorologist put it, "Steve has fast access to historical weather data that is needed for media, agriculture, business, personal, historical and other climatological needs. He can quickly manipulate the data in many different ways. His forecasts are also quite accurate, especially at longer lead times." Steve also provides local storm assessments, narratives and weather presentations to the general public, as requested. In his spare time, Steve enjoys spending time with his family, the outdoors, vacationing at his family's coastal cabin and just relaxing! By the way, do you like your weather on the "extreme" side? So does Steve! Whether it is collecting damage assessment data & photos after record setting 125 mph winds at the coast in December 2007, being one of the first on the scene after the January 2008 Vancouver tornado, or feeling (literally) the awesome power of 100 mph wind gusts at Oregon's Crown Point in January 2010, Steve has experienced it all! As Steve says, "don't just love weather, live weather!" Check out Steve's personal weather website at:

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