March Ended Cold & Wet! Can We Expect The Same In April?

March ended as one of the wettest and coldest in years across many locations in NW Oregon and SW Washington. But you did not need me to tell you that. We have been wetter than average almost every month since last fall. In fact, the water year to date total so far (October 1st through March 31st) is running quite wet. The Portland Airport has received nearly 35″ of precipitation since October 1st. Normal is just 27 inches. Last year we had received just 23″ over the same period of time. We have picked up 12″ (one foot) more rainfall this water year vs. last. I, as well as many of you are looking for light at the end of the rain-train tunnel. Looks like we are going to have to wait a little longer as there are several disturbances headed this way over the next few days that will bring more rainfall and very low snow levels. Looks like the Cascade passes will see snow this week. The Cascades are also making up for any and all lost snow this winter. They are getting dumped on up there lately! That is a great way to extend the ski season for sure.

The system that is on tap for mid-week will usher in some very chilly air behind it. Highs will struggle to get out of the 40’s by late week. If current model trends continue and we get some clearing, outlying areas could see temperatures near freezing by the end of the week. Historic? No. What about moving those tender plants from the garage into the yard? I would avoid that as well. It looks wet and cold for at least the next 5-7 days. For those in Washington, enjoy your wet and cold spring break this week. I wish it was sunny and 80-85 degrees like I remember back in 1992. Ahhh, good times!

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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