Monday, October 3, 2011

A little weather perspective...

Yes I’ve been doing my fair share of complaining about summer ending (maybe more than my fair share?). Before I slip, not so silently, into attempting to celebrate fall I thought I would share a little bit of weather info that might surprise those of you in other parts of the country (world?), after all gardeners are weather geeks too right?

When you think of Portland, Oregon, you think of rain don't you? Actually we have a very dry summer, here are some rainfall statistics for June – September of this year (source)…

June = .73” (.34” of that falling on June 1st)
July = .96” (.67” of that falling on July 17th)
Aug = .17” (all of that falling on the 22nd-23rd)
Sept = .63” (that’s our second lowest September total since 1999)

Total = 2.49” of rain since June 1st! That’s why many lawns around town look like this…
And a field near our home (adjoining a neighborhood park) caught fire in early September… Now I don't mean to make it sound like we are suffering like those of you in drought stricken parts of the country, we're not! I just wanted to dispel a little of our "always raining" reputation. Of course October promises to be an entirely different beast. The rains are back... For those of you in the Portland area who want to gather with fellow weather geeks there are two upcoming programs of interest. The first is through the Hardy Plant Society of Oregon, and I believe you have to be a HPSO member to attend:

"Oct 18th: Garden School: "The Ways of the Weather in the Garden" with Paul Bonine, Tuesday, 7pm, Multnomah Arts Center. Weather is hard to predict, which leaves gardeners, especially those who like to push the boundaries of hardiness, out on a limb some years. Paul Bonine, owner of Xera Plants and author of "Black Plants", will talk about what hardiness zones really tell us, how to access our gardens' microclimates, how to prepare for cold or heat, and how climate change may affect us. Price is $10, Pre-registration suggested."

The second is from the Oregon Chapter American Meteorological Society and open to the public:

"The annual WHAT WILL THE WINTER BE LIKE meeting is all set for OMSI in October. This is by far the largest event our chapter organizes. Last year it was in mid October, this year we move to Saturday, October 29th at 10:00am. Mark it down on your calendars (source)"


  1. Blimey, you have had a very dry summer.

    Things over here in eastern central Scotland have been very different. Scotland is normally a wet place to start with, but this summer has really very wet with over 200% of average rainfall during the summer months!

    In total we have had almost 16 inches of rain and September has proven to be another very wet month. The ground around here is sodden, it's as wet as it gets in the winter to be honest. However, all is not lost as I have learned to garden with the climate rather than fight it and most of my garden has really thrived during the wet summer :)

  2. Adam, your comment "I have learned to garden with the climate rather than fight it" was very timely as I am starting to bring in my collection of dry loving plants to protect them from the long wet winter ahead. I admire those with your inclinations. I seem to always be just a little out of sync with my surroundings.


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