How Much Does it Really Rain In Portland?

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when people find out i live in portland, oregon usually one of the first questions is “how much does it really rain in portland?” and the second one “is it just like portlandia?!” the answers to both are “umm a fair amount” and “yeah, we take our brunch seriously.”

in order to prepare for this article, i’ve been doing some very thorough research into just how much it actually rains here because i had no idea.

How Much Does it Rain in Portland, ORbefore we jump into this, there is one caveat into sharing the truth about how much it rains in portland. when i reveal more about our weather, you must promise to come visit but not actually move here. our rent has doubled in six years we’ve been here so no moving here (unless you’re my soul friend lindsey…then you get out here right now).

according to bustle, we get 43 inches of rain on average in a year and 154 rainy days per year. the rainiest city in the united states is not forks, washington but rather mobile, alabama! they get 67 inches of rain but only have 59 rainy days per year. other sources say we get anywhere from 35-43 inches of rain so know it’s somewhere in there.

long story short, it does rain here but it’s often dreary and mists instead of torrential down pour so we don’t have the highest amount of actual rain. moving from the abundant sunshine state of colorado 6 years ago has been an adjustment to say the least. i do remember the first winter we lived here i counted 13 straight days of no sun…just a solid grey sky trying to take my happiness (season affective disorder is real people).

it’s perfect weather if all you had to do was snuggle, drink hot cocoa and read all day but apparently people have to function beyond those important responsibilities. cookies help as a stand-in for sunshine sometimes.

how much does it rain in portland

i actually really like thinking and talking about the weather. i have all 10 locations on my weather app filled out with the cities where my family is spread out and look at them every day. i blame my dad and grandpa for getting me into weather but it’s fascinating to me. i know, exciting stuff happening in my brain folks.

let’s start with fall and move towards the present, okay? ya with me? good.

fall is very pretty here and if you plan to visit, come between late june and play through september and maybe even october. the leaves change gorgeous colors, the days still feel long and you’re still of the mindset like “yeah. portland rocks. i can handle this weather all day every day!”

how much does it rain portland fall

then you slowly start to see your daylight shrinking and the rain becoming more frequent. at first you say “that’s okay, i’ve missed the rain a little bit” or “welp, that’s what keeps it green around here, am i right?!”

then winter hits and the rain settles in like a big grey cloud to engulf your soul. you’re lucky if you see any light break through most days. when this fleeting light does make an appearance, this is when everyone shoves back from their computers and races out doors to try to get a ray of light to land on their skin. free vitamin D, ya know?

how much does it rain in portland

november, december and january can feel like the longest months. we also experience more darkness than other places around the continental US during this time with the average sunrise after 7:40am and the sun gone by 4:30pm.

according to travel portland, “during the mild winter, high temperatures fall below freezing a few times each year, with rare snowfall. It does rain — but as locals will tell you, rain in portland means snow on nearby mount hood.” remember when i pulled off a surprise with my friend alison to take our guys snowshoeing on mountain? oh and i got to drive a baller 4runner too!

we had a pretty mild winter this year but last year it snowed and iced us in for a few days and it was nuts. who remembers snowpacalandia last year??

how much does it rain in portland

how much does it rain in portland

the city doesn’t fair well with snow, which is always super hilarious to this coloradan. and i laugh until i fall because apparently here they measure ice because that’s what often happens with our snow but still…most everyone freaks out at the threat of snow because we aren’t equipped to deal. our cold does feel colder here than in colorado though and it’s something to do with the dew point and moisture in the air. it goes straight to the bones and quick. i’m still researching why (help me out dad and gramps!)

just as you are looking at how much it would cost to move to a sunnier state, you will see the first buds of spring and consider sticking around to see what blooms. you are highly rewarded because spring time here is spectacular!chelsea avery flowers dc

we are in the midst of spring now and it hit almost 80s earlier this week, which is super hot and weird for us. our average temperatures range form 65-40 degrees fahrenheit so best believe we were sweating. this is a photo from earlier in the spring because all the cherry blossoms popped out early and then were blown away with rain and wind.

how much does it rain in portland

of course not every day looks like paradise and we get some funky hail storms and bouts of torrential downpour, which leaves the whole anti-umbrella city looking like wet dogs.

how much does it rain portland dark skyduring the spring in portland, the days start becoming slightly longer and with this there is hope. the is hope for the rains to go away so that we can all bask in the unreal beauty of the summer months because they are sort of jaw dropping (but remember our deal, visit…don’t move here unless we’ll be best friends).

we are rewarded for dreary, dark, short days because in the height of summer, the sun kicks us out of bed by 5:20am and stays to play until after 9pm. 

this photo of my husband and our brand-new pup was taken last year on the summer solstice at 9:15pm!

summer solstice ryan avery with dog

it rarely rains during the summer. the joke is always that summer starts on july 5th because sometimes the 4th of july gets rained on. oh look at me letting you in on the jokes of the locals, har har har. we have low humidity too so none of that sticky crap the south gets. that just makes me constantly cranky, even to think about.
the 5 love langauges mt hood portland

it’s hard not to smile and take selfies when the sun is filling your soul. these moments actually start to accumulate and drug you to believe that 154 days of clouds is bearable and worth it. i suppose after all is said and done, it is and that’s why we’ve called portland home for quite some time.

summer solstice ryan and chelsea averycurious as to what portlanders do for quirky dates, rain or shine? i’ve got you covered right here!

thanks to amanda for the link up ‘tell me about your town’ to get my nerdy weather girl to come out and play!

Amanda Moments

so there you have it, the dark and dreary but not always that rainy truth about portland! come play, the weather is about to get real nice, but not toooo nice.

1) let’s talk about the weather where you live. fill me in, including sunrise/sunset times because i’m a nerd and need you to be one too for a minute.
2) what do you love about spring?
3) what’s do you like to complain about most in terms of weather where you live?


  1. Audrey

    April 22, 2015 at 7:55 am

    Oooh man, Ohio can be compared to a crazy, hormonal teenager as far as weather goes. UGH.
    I can’t even begin to predict when seasons start or end because it changes every year. Plus, we’re currently in spring and saw 70 degrees last week, but today I woke up to 50 degrees and they said we might get snow this afternoon. Seriously. Ohio weather is drunk.

    That being said, I love this state 🙂 I love that we get to see all four seasons- the good and the bad. We see snow, sun, sub-zero temps, hazy hot days, hail, rain, storms, tornadoes, and the dryness of winter with the humidity of summer. (Those last 3 things would be my least fav…) I also love our topography!

    Good to know what to expect in Portland someday when we VISIT!
    Audrey recently posted…NASCAR: Bristol, Tennessee

    • chelsea

      April 22, 2015 at 6:34 pm

      ha! ohio weather sounds a lot like colorado weather is! blizzard in the morning and sunny in the afternoon. it’s nuts. hopefully you didn’t get that snow today…go back to last week when it was 70s!

      i totally miss that we don’t have snow very often in portland especially when the holidays come ’round. wow you really do have all of the weather…but hold the humdity for me 🙂

      oh my goodness yes come play in portland, it’s so fun!

  2. chelsea jacobs

    April 22, 2015 at 10:23 am

    It looks like a beautiful place, rain or shine!
    chelsea jacobs recently posted…Books I Read in April and Whether or Not You Should Read Them.

    • chelsea

      April 22, 2015 at 6:35 pm

      it really quite lovely…even when it’s dark for days in a row chelsea (and let’s just do another high five for chelseas…especially us ladies who spell our name correctly) 🙂

  3. carissajade

    April 22, 2015 at 10:51 am

    Gosh, I can’t wait to go to Portland this fall! I love rain and dreariness so I’m even excited about that. Texas is always hot. It rains, but we’re somehow still always in a drought. Right now our sunset is around 830, which I love.
    carissajade recently posted…Welcome to Earth (Day) Let’s Celebrate!

    • chelsea

      April 22, 2015 at 6:36 pm

      oh yay you’re coming to portland in the fall carissa jade?? it’s going to be beautiful and you’re going to LOVE it! oh man…i lived in houston for like 4 months during the summer of 2013…never again. i cannot even remotely begin to handle that humidity there, whew! wow 8:30pm sunsets already are awesome! we are on the cusp of 8 and it’s glorious!
      chelsea recently posted…How Much Does it Really Rain In Portland?

  4. Vivien

    April 22, 2015 at 1:27 pm

    I think weather where I am is quite similar to yours. I do agree with you, the cold we have is the “wet” cold that goes straight to your bones. I speak of this from exactly one experience I had going on a ski trip to the interior and using that as a comparison to winters here.
    Vivien recently posted…Reaching Deep, Being Brave

  5. Kayla

    April 22, 2015 at 5:39 pm

    I love all the rain! Also your pup is adorable. One more thing, usually your entire post shows in Feedly but today I had to click over. Is this a new/normal thing? Say it ain’t so!
    Kayla recently posted…Lately.

    • chelsea

      April 22, 2015 at 6:03 pm

      thanks for letting me know, kayla! it could be because i scheduled this post to go out because i was just so damn productive last night. that would be a bummer if that effects it. hopefully it shows up normally when i live publish on friday!

      thanks for clicking over!
      chelsea recently posted…How Much Does it Really Rain In Portland?

      • April

        April 22, 2015 at 9:39 pm

        I’m moving to Seattle this week and can’t wait to come visit Portland! As much as I love Texas, I’m excited to be missing the miserable heat this summer!!
        April recently posted…Tattoo Twins

        • chelsea

          April 23, 2015 at 1:43 pm

          wooohooo that’s so awesome, april! safe travels and glad you are escaping that crazy texas heat!

  6. Melissa C

    April 23, 2015 at 6:37 am

    Portland is SO PRETTY!! fun fact about the rain in Alabama! haha
    Melissa C recently posted…Good-Bye Diapers, Hello Savings!

  7. Farrah

    April 23, 2015 at 8:34 pm

    Yay! I loved reading this! I’ve never had the chance to visit Portland, but have a feeling that I’d really like it! It’s so beautiful there (and all the food options! *-*)!
    Farrah recently posted…6F Cakes of Yore

    • chelsea

      April 24, 2015 at 9:16 am

      ohhhh man the food here is nuts farrah! definitely put it on your travel list to come play because i know you’d love it!

  8. Amanda Wood

    April 27, 2015 at 11:56 am

    Portland is on my list of places to move to if we could pick anywhere. And if it happens, I promise we will be besties!
    Amanda Wood recently posted…F o u r

    • chelsea

      April 28, 2015 at 3:15 pm

      YEEEES! okay now just make a plan and move out here! please and thank you.

  9. Amanda

    April 27, 2015 at 12:37 pm

    I have actually never watched Portlandia but keep meaning to. You know my question is…is it just like Grimm? As much as I want you to say yes, actually I hope not, or else you’re in trouble of getting killed by Hexenbiests and other scary creatures.
    How is Alabama rainier than you? Who knew?! I also kind of love that you’re that into weather. It’s an underrated subject.
    Thanks for linking up! You better be back next month!!
    Amanda recently posted…TV Roundup: What I’m Watching Lately

    • chelsea

      April 28, 2015 at 3:14 pm

      you should check it out…it’s pretty accurate and hilarious and ridiculous.

      haha thank goodness it’s not like grimm otherwise i’d have to leave immediately but when you come visit (hint hint) we can find all their filming locations! i never would have guessed alabama either!! so crazy.

      me+weather=weird infatuation.

  10. Kristy

    April 27, 2015 at 4:15 pm

    Portland and it’s weather. As a native Oregonian, I like to say that we can complain about any weather. It’s too hot, too wet, too grey, too bright, too dry, too humid. It’s a real art! But you’re so right about our summers, and everyone else, don’t move here. Please and thank you.

    And Chelsea, it was so nice meeting you yesterday at the pdx event. Happy to have found your blog. 🙂
    Kristy recently posted…Why I Haven’t Ran Since My Half Marathon… 6 Months Ago

  11. Shawna

    May 1, 2015 at 12:38 pm

    I LOVED Portland! Granted I was only there for about half a day, and half of that was spent in Powells, but I still loved it. I too am a weather fiend. I too save locations I have been to or want to move to in the weather app ha. I loe the rain so much, but probably because it rarely makes an appearance in Arizona. When it does, people go nuts and forget how to drive.
    Shawna recently posted…50 Ways To Tell You Were A Kid of the Late 80’s/Early 90’s

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