The rain has returned. Starting now until March, it will most likely rain every day. Rain in Oregon seems to never stop and provides a sharp contrast to the fine summer we enjoy here. I saw Mount Hood the other day. By the looks of the forecast, I may not see it again for several weeks.
We just don’t do umbrellas here. That’s right, Portlanders don’t carry umbrellas. A rain slicker will do. When you see a brolly, it almost always belongs to a newly arrived Oregonian or visitor.
I live about 95 miles east of the Pacific Ocean. Rain pushes in off the water. Once it encounters the Coast Range, it is forced up sharply where it cools rapidly. The moisture is lost through condensation, which in turn produces heavy rain.
The elevation of the Cascades can produce as much as ten feet of precipitation along the coast of Oregon. It is no surprise why Oregon is so green. Lush forests are everywhere, streams and rivers are constantly refreshed. Rain gear and duck boots are a must. New wiper blades and window wax are de rigueur for the driver. It’s part of the attraction of living in the Northwest. You get used to it.
Let’s estimate 150 or so days of rain here in the PNW. Compare that to New York City - which gets a little more than 100 days of rain. We get rain every other day. NYC gets rain every third day. The rain isn’t all gloom and doom - when it clears, our weather goes right back to glorious. The three sisters come out, and we have clean air and stunning views of Mt St. Helens, Mt Adams, and of course, Mt Hood.
So if you are planning a visit during the winter months, bring your duck shoes and slicker. Leave your umbrella at home.