Portland’s recent, unseasonably sunny weather could be record breaking. This month could the could be the driest April ever recorded.
Currently, the driest April on record happened in 1956, when Portland received just 0.53 inches of rain. With only a few days left until May, April 2021 has only seen 0.29 inches of precipitation.
According to the National Weather Service, there are only two days between now and May 1 that could bring rain. Precipitation is possible this evening as well as on Friday. Models are currently predicting that a dry air mass moving in midweek will be pushed east by Friday, giving way to a wetter system.
“There’s a lot ifs in that,” says meteorologist Dave Elson. “Really, the question is how quickly will this system move in and how strong will it be.”
Even if it does rain Friday, this month could still become Portland’s driest April on record— the weather service predicts we won’t see more than another 0.16 inches of rain this week.
Though the unusually warm and sunny weather has offered a reprieve for stir-crazy Portlanders, it’s an ecological concern for a region still recovering from a devastating wildfire season. Earlier this month, the Portland branch of NWS issued a statement warning that warm, dry winds put the area at increased risk for wildfires, months ahead of Western Oregon’s usual fire season.
According to Elson, the first few days of May will likely bring more typical, rainy spring weather.