Record Setting Barometric Pressure

Record Setting Barometric Pressure

Are you feeling the pressure today, literally? If so, you are not alone. The Portland International Airport recorded a maximum barometric pressure reading Thursday (rounded to the nearest hundredth of an inch) of 30.76″ (4:53am observation) which is tied for the second highest reading since records began at the airport in 1940. This is also the single highest barometric pressure reading since December 1998. Looking even further back at downtown Portland records, the record for the month of December is 30.79″ set back in 1879. The all-time Portland highest barometric pressure reading (for anytime of the year) was set back on February 2nd, 1880 at 30.84″. At this point, neither the December or the all-time record appear to be in jeopardy. But these are worth noting none-the-less.”

Here are the top 10 hourly barometric pressure records from the Portland Airport (1940-2011) sorted first by pressure, then by date (most recent first) —

Date / Max Sea Level Pressure

1/28/1949 30.81
12/1/2011 30.76
12/21/1998 30.76
1/11/1963 30.76
12/20/1998 30.75
1/23/1988 30.75
1/12/1963 30.75
1/16/1957 30.75
1/11/2009 30.74
2/11/2002 30.74

Here are the top barometric pressure readings for a given month of the year in Portland. Records for this data set date from 1871-2011 and include both the airport and downtown —

Month / Highest Baro / Year

January 30.81 1949
February 30.84 1880

March 30.70 1955
April 30.68 1936
May 30.59 1931
June 30.51 1895
July 30.41 1944
August 30.39 1876
September 30.49 1937
October 30.63 1935
November 30.74 1928
December 30.79 1879

Annual 30.84 February 2nd, 1880

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Steve Pierce
President, Oregon Chapter of the American Meteorological Society (AMS)
Phone: 503-504-2075
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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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