March Weather Record at PDX

Guest post by Steve Pierce, Vancouver

Vancouver, Washington (Monday, March 28th 2011) 7:00am PT It’s official! The Portland International Airport has set a new all-time record for the latest date to record its first 60 degree temperature in a given calendar year. The previous record was yesterday, March 27th, set back in 1955. Records at the airport date back to 1940. By this time last year Portland had already recorded 10 days at or above 60 degrees, including a 70 degree temperature on March 20th. This coming Friday, April 1st is the average date in which Portland reaches 70 degrees for the first time in a given year, yet Portland is still struggling to make it to 60 degrees. The new record will likely be written in the coming days as models are indicating that Portland may finally reach the elusive 60 degree mark later this week. If that forecast comes to fruition, it will be the latest date to reach the “first 60 of the year” in nearly 90 years, set on 3/31/1922. See data below. Looking even further back at records that date back 140 years to 1871 in downtown Portland, the latest date to reach the “first 60 of the year” is April 9th 1875.
The Portland airport has received just 6.10″ of rainfall through Monday, which is 2.80″ above normal for the month to date. March is now the 6th wettest on record at the airport from 1940-2011.  Through Monday, the Portland airport has picked up measurable rainfall on 29 of the past 30 days, dating back to February 27th. Only March 6th was dry. Here are a few additional March rainfall totals along with departures from normal, through Sunday. Most locations are running 125-140% above normal for the month to date.
Astoria – 9.41″  (2.87″ above normal)
Troutdale – 6.75″  (2.87″ above normal)
Salem – 6.59″  (2.86″ above normal)
Vancouver – 6.35″  (2.62″ above normal)
McMinnville – 6.09″  (1.93″ above normal)
Eugene – 5.70″  (0.53″ above normal)
Hillsboro – 5.06″  (1.55″ above normal )

Portland International Airport latest “first 60” degree temperature – 1940-2011 = 71 years
OLD RECORD – 3/27/1955 – 60 degrees
NEW RECORD – ???? TBD

Downtown Portland latest “first 60” degree temperature – 1871-2011 = 140 years
4/9/1875 – 62 degrees (all-time record latest)
4/8/1897 – 69 degrees
4/6/1880 – 63 degrees
4/5/1876 – 61 degrees
3/31/1904 – 61 degrees
3/31/1922 – 63 degrees

March Precipitation – Top 10 Wettest – Portland International Airport
1940-2011 = 71 years
1957 7.52″
1997 7.14″
1983 6.80″
1989 6.73″
2011 6.10″ (through 3/28)
1961 6.04″
2003 5.75″
1974 5.65″
1943 5.54″
1972 5.41″
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