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Record Setting March Weather Continues Across Pacific Northwest

Record setting weather continues to unfold in the closing hours of March across the Pacific Northwest. Mother nature intends to cap off March off with an exclamation point in the form of record setting rainfall and localized flooding. This comes on the heels of record setting coastal and valley snowfalls earlier in the month. March of 2012 will be remembered as the month that saw as much as 8″ of record setting snowfall along the Oregon coastline, followed by a second storm that brought record setting Willamette Valley snowfall from Vancouver, WA. south to Eugene, OR. As much as 9″ of snow fell near Eugene, OR. Both of these snow events challenged or broke all-time March snowfall records at several locations west of the Cascades, including the coast. Portland recorded its latest measurable snowfall in history at the airport on March 22nd. Records date back to 1940 at the Portland airport.

Next up — record setting rainfall will close out the month along with flood watches and warnings posted. As of 12 PM PDT, the Portland International Airport has recorded 7.27″ of rainfall for the month of March. This is currently the second wettest March in Portland airport history. Records date back to 1940 at the airport. The all-time wettest March at the Portland International Airport is 7.52″ set back in 1957. The latest computer forecast model guidance suggests that rainfall will increase again later today and overnight tonight. The Portland International Airport is all but certain to set a new all-time wettest March on record before the month ends Saturday night. Even more impressive is the record that has already been set at Spokane, WA. As of 12 PM PDT the Spokane Airport has picked up 4.26″ of precipitation which eclipses the previous record of 3.81″ set back in 1995. Records date back to 1881 in Spokane which makes this the wettest March in Spokane in at least 130 years. All of this comes with more than 36 hours to go in the month and more rainfall on the way.

Here is a look at some of the records being set across the Pacific Northwest as of 12 PM PDT Friday —

RECORD DAILY MAXIMUM RAINFALL SET AT YAKIMA WA. ON THURSDAY.
A RECORD RAINFALL OF 0.28 INCH(ES) WAS SET AT YAKIMA WASHINGTON
YESTERDAY. THIS TIES THE OLD RECORD OF 0.28 SET IN 1983.

RECORD DAILY MAXIMUM RAINFALL TOTALS AT ASTORIA OR AND VANCOUVER WA. THURSDAY
ASTORIA = 2.54 INCHES. OLD RECORD WAS 1.26 INCHES (SET IN 1983). VANCOUVER = 1.26 INCHES. OLD RECORD WAS 1.12 INCHES (SET IN 1963)

A NEW ALL-TIME RECORD RAINFALL FOR THE MONTH OF MARCH WAS SET AT SPOKANE.
THE PREVIOUS RECORD WAS 3.81 INCHES SET IN 1995. TOTAL PRECIP THROUGH 12 PM PDT = 4.26″ RECORDS HAVE BEEN KEPT AT SPOKANE SINCE 1881.

RECORD DAILY MAXIMUM RAINFALL SET AT SEATTLE-TACOMA WA AIRPORT.
A RECORD RAINFALL OF 1.08 INCHES WAS SET AT SEATTLE-TACOMA WA
AIRPORT YESTERDAY. THIS BREAKS THE OLD RECORD OF 0.92 SET IN 2010.

RECORD DAILY MAXIMUM RAINFALL SET AT OLYMPIA WA AIRPORT.
A RECORD RAINFALL OF 1.98 INCHES WAS SET AT OLYMPIA WA AIRPORT
YESTERDAY. THIS BREAKS THE OLD RECORD OF 1.38 SET IN 2010.

RECORD DAILY MAXIMUM RAINFALL SET AT QUILLAYUTE WA AIRPORT.
A RECORD RAINFALL OF 1.8 INCHES WAS SET AT QUILLAYUTE WA AIRPORT
YESTERDAY. THIS BREAKS THE OLD RECORD OF 1.37 SET IN 2011.

RECORD DAILY MAXIMUM RAINFALL SET AT EPHRATA WA AIRPORT.
A RECORD RAINFALL OF 0.40 INCHES WAS SET AT THE EPHRATA AIRPORT
YESTERDAY. THIS BREAKS THE OLD RECORD OF 0.33 SET IN 1983.

Reminder — The Oregon Chapter of the American Meteorological Society (AMS) will co-host a two hour meeting at Portland State University’s Grand Ballroom with Oregon Climatologist Dr. Phil Mote on Tuesday, April 10th from 7-9pm. This free public meeting will explore humans role in global climate change. It is being billed as, “The Scientific Case for Human Influence on Global Climate: What We Learn From Analyzing ALL The Evidence.” If you would like complete details about this meeting, including a PSU campus map and driving directions, please see: http://www.ametsoc.org/chapters/oregon. Joining Dr. Mote will be Andreas Schmittner, Oregon State University Professor of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences and Dr. Christina Hulbe, Professor of Geology at Portland State University. The panel plans to give a single joint presentation that will educate attendees on the influence humans have on climate, as backed by scientific evidence. The panel may also raise counterpoints to data presented at a similar Oregon AMS meeting last January. In that meeting, the Oregon Chapter of the American Meteorological Society (AMS) hosted a panel of scientists that asked the question, “Is Human Caused Global Warming the Greatest Scientific Myth of Our Generation?” For a recap of the January meeting click: http://tinyurl.com/6vk27km.

Stay tuned!
Steve Pierce, President
Oregon Chapter of the American Meteorological Society (AMS)
http://www.ametsoc.org/chapters/oregon

Don’t forget — you can now get my latest in depth weather and climate updates via Facebook. Send me a friend request at http://www.facebook.com/stevepiercevancouver and I will add you in. Not on Facebook? E-mail me at stevejpierce@comcast.net. Don’t forget to bookmark this blog at http://www.columbian.com/weblogs/weather for my latest thoughts. Are you a professional meteorologist or just interested in weather? Why not join the single largest chapter of the American Meteorological Society (AMS) in the country with nearly 200 fellow members? The Oregon chapter of the AMS is just $7 a year. We host eight monthly meetings from Sept-June, including the annual Winter Weather Forecast Conference in Portland each fall! Even if you are not a local resident you can still stay updated via e-mail on all of the latest chapter happenings, upcoming meetings and historical weather stats. For additional membership details or to download a membership application please see http://www.ametsoc.org/chapters/oregon/membership.html

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: http://www.piercevideo.com/weather.shtml