All-Time Rainfall Records Fall
As of 8AM PDT Saturday, the Portland International Airport now joins Spokane, WA. in surpassing its all-time wettest March on record. Records date back to 1940 at the Portland airport. As of 12 PM PDT, the Portland airport has recorded 7.77″ of rainfall for the month of March, with more rain on the way. The average monthly rainfall in Portland during the month of March is 3.68.” The previous all-time record rainfall for the month of March at the Portland airport was 7.52″ set in 1957. With twelve hours left in the month, 8″ is not out of the realm of possibility. Looking back even further, downtown Portland records pre-date the airport and go back to 1871. When taking these into consideration, this is the wettest March since 1931 (81 years) when 8.12″ fell. The all-time wettest March on record in downtown Portland is a whopping 12.76″ set in 1873.
Here are some additional noteworthy facts about the March 2012 precipitation in Portland —
- March of 2012 was more than three times wetter than December, when just 2.51″ of precipitation fell.
- March of 2012 was the third wettest month in Portland in the past five years. November of 2006 recorded 11.92″ and December of 2010 recorded 8.35″ of precipitation.
- Portland International Airport records date back to 1941 (71 years). Portland has now set new all-time record wettest monthly rainfall totals on three different months in just the past five years. June of 2010 set a new all-time monthly record with 4.27″. In November of 2006 a new monthly all-time record was set with 11.92″ of precipitation. March of 2012 will now be added to this list.
Not only is it wet, but it is also quite cold in Portland as of late. Calendar year 2011 saw the coldest annual average temperature in Portland since 1985, at just 52.9 degrees. The average temperature for March in Portland so far is just 44.8 degrees, which is currently the coldest March since 1976. We are in the final months of what has been a multi-year La Nina, coupled with what is all but certain to be a new long term cold phase of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO). These two factors combined can lead to wetter and cooler than normal winters and springs, on average.
Here is a look at some of the rainfall totals across the Pacific Northwest as of 12 PM PDT Saturday —
Reminder — Oregon Chapter of the American Meteorological Society to Host Regional Climate Change Meeting with Oregon Climatologist Dr. Phil Mote at Portland State University on Tuesday, April 10th 7-9pm —
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.
Steve Pierce, President
Oregon Chapter of the American Meteorological Society (AMS)
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