Southeast's weather was ahead of itself all year'so far
It's been a while since we sat down to give you an update on our weather year in 2018 so far. Was it a long hot summer? Yes. And it's been a pretty dry year so far, too, although not yet uniquely so.
But, in looking through our daily readings, we have been struck by a pattern we have not seen here before, in the close to two decades that we have been keeping these detailed daily records of weather in Inner Southeast Portland: This year has been out of synch with itself from the very beginning!
By that we mean that January's weather was more like what we see in February. February's weather was more like what we get March. March was more like April usually is, and so forth.
The heaviest rain all year – the only day we had more than an inch – was April 8, when 1.84" fell in Inner Southeast Portland. Generally, we have several over-an-inch days in our normal rain years – and usually those few days contribute significantly to the whole year's total. May was our second driest May ever, said the Weather Bureau, and with the warmest average daily temperature for the whole month of May actually the highest ever. But neither statistic would have been as notable, had they instead happened in June.
We had no Portland snow at all this year, except for a light morning dusting on February 19. We had three 80-degree days in a row starting April 24 – and hit 90 degrees for the first time at the Portland Airport on May 13 (although it only reached 89 degrees in Inner Southeast that day). We had four days over 90 degrees in June. None of that would have made as much news, had they had happened one month later.
Legend has it that the rain ends for the summer around July 5th each year. This year, June was the month that turned out that way – with the last significant rainfall before September 11 being the .11 inch on June 18. Only a grand total of .15 inch fell between June 19 and September 10 – and half of that, .07 inch, fell on August 27. That was the week that it began to feel like autumn here. (The leaves on deciduous trees were beginning to change color!) It seemed that fall had begun almost a month before it normally would! September ended with .96 inch of rain – on the dry side; but again, not unprecedented for September.
Only one weather event all year happened exactly as it always has, and probably always will. That it happened on the very same day as in every other year makes the annual Rose Festival Grand Floral Parade a force of nature that even the weather itself cannot change.
It rained on the parade – .52 inch! – on Saturday, June 9. That was the heaviest rain day between April 17 and when the November issue of THE BEE went to press – and somehow, that's no surprise. Fortunately, folks here are used to that, and the turnout downtown for the parade was as good as ever. Just take an umbrella when you go!
So, other than that, the pattern we see in the weather record this year is that every month was like the next month normally would have been – at least, going into September.
The big question now becomes – so, are we in for an early winter too?
Nobody knows at this point, but it's something you might want to keep in mind. If it does turn out that way through the end of the year, will that same strange pattern continue right on into 2019?
Or – are we due for two "Januarys" in a row at some point, to catch up with the calendar?