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too much rain?

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Napa Valley...
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too much rain?

Hi. We're planning to move to Portland this December. I know that there's lots of winter rain, but today someone told me that it rains constantly for 9 months out of the year. Is this true? If so, how do you adjust to the darkness/wetness?

Thanks very much.

Portland
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1. Re: too much rain?

GoreTex

Seriously. Someone is exaggerating. It drizzles. It gets very gray. You're a lot farther north than Napa so the days are shorter. But not as drizzly/gray/short as Seattle.

You keep doing what you were doing, only wearing water-resistant stuff. Wusses carry umbrellas.

But yes, you don't see the sun much for long, long stretches. So you plan a winter vacation. And spring break is a religion.

But nine months of rain? No.

Today it's in the 70s & absolutely glorious. Mount Hood is beaming bright.

Oregon/Washington
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for Portland, Sunriver
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2. Re: too much rain?

I completely agree with chime-in. Especially on the umbrellas, lol!

I can't really help with how to adjust to the climate here. I was born and raised in the PNW. After being a military spouse and living all over the country though, I wondered when we moved back if the weather would affect me. It didn't, and actually I was happy with it. I am one of those that loves the rain and it does not stop me from doing anything.

Buenos Aires...
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for Buenos Aires
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3. Re: too much rain?

Celle, don't listen to them, carry your umbrella!!

that way I won't be the only newbie with an umbrella LOL

We have only been here about 6 weeks so we have not really seen Rain happen yet. But the weather is so wonderful when it is Not raining, that I think we can stand the weather when it is raining.

chime in, I like that idea- Spring break is a religion lol.

Portland, Oregon
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for Portland
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4. Re: too much rain?

It rains sometimes and sometimes it doesn't. Constantly would be an overstatement In the winter it sometimes snows, but not very often. Summers can be hot. Fall can last into October. It's a beautiful city of all four seasons year round.

Napa Valley...
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5. Re: too much rain?

Thank you all for the reassurance. I guess I had better get a lightbox for the gloomy times. But I adjusted to a bunch of years in Baltimore, so maybe Portland's rain/clouds won't be so bad.

And otherwise the city sounds as perfect as one can get!

Perpetually...
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6. Re: too much rain?

Wow, if it truly rained for 9 months out of the year, I am not sure I would be living here....

The truth is that rain is definitely a reality in Portland during the late fall and winter season, but it is all tolerable (and this is coming from an ex-southern californian). It gets rather drizzly and misty and we rarely get any torrential type of rain. Portlanders rarely let the rain interfere with any of their activities, and most of us don't even own umbrellas.

I believe that in terms of actual inches of rainfall per year, Boston and New York get more, but our rainy season seems a little more protracted.

The grey sky does get tiresome towards the end of the rainy season, but then our beautiful summers are incomparable. This weekend was a perfect example!!!

Portland, Oregon
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7. Re: too much rain?

I also hear so much about the rain. But I figure if it was that bad no one would want to live there...think some locals just want to scare us and keep us away!! Didnt they name Iceland because they wanted to keep others away...its really green there!

anyway, how is the driving with all that rain? I live in Orlando and it rains alot every summer...big down pours about 3pm everyday. people drive like idiots, either way too fast or 20MPH causing accidents all the time, like they've never driven in rain before. Are there Lots of accidents on the freeways because of the rain?

Portland, Oregon
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8. Re: too much rain?

We get about 40-45 inches per year, which really doesn't sound like a lot. But as I remember from Oregon geography waayyyy back when, much of it falls as drizzle. And it takes a long time to accumulate 45 inches of drizzle. I don't know if I'm different from others that have been here a long time, but my mindset is to expect grey skies from mid-October to mid-April. If the sun shows up at times during that period - and of course it always does - I count it as a bonus of living here, so I enjoy it all the more.

Bend, OR
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9. Re: too much rain?

Over 3 decades living in OR and grew up in the valley. I most likely was the one that said it rains for 9 months straight and that is somewhat of a fish story, but not much. The last post hit it right on. It is most likely grey 8 1/2 of those 9 months and the rain does indeed tend to come more in drizzle form, so it takes a long time to accumulate four feet of precip. I think my 9 month statement is mostly spawned by the flood of 94? I believe it was. I was going to school in Eugene and it really did rain for 9 months straight. Within a year of graduatiing I moved to the dessert never to return. : ) Valley summer nights are the best anywhere, but the winter. Zoiks!!!

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10. Re: too much rain?

Rain? Define rain... :-) If you define rain as having to pull out the umbrella to walk through town, then it almost never rains here. Look around you - umbrellas are rare - Portlanders don't usually even notice light rain - it's just part of the atmosphere.

Some statistics for you -

Portland averages 36.3 inches of rain per year, with over 88 percent of the annual rainfall coming from October through May. This is much less than other major cities in the U.S. who aren't thought of as "rainy". There are 150 days a year with measurable rainfall.

November, December, and January are the rainiest months, averaging 18 days of measurable precipitation each month, and between 5.3 and 6.1 inches of rainfall each month, double that of the next rainiest month, February.

These three months can be quite dreary - the days are short, dark, and rainy for the most part, but I personally enjoy this time of year - it means lots of snow in the mountains and I really do like taking hikes or walking through the downtown in the rain. It's almost never the heavy rain that leaves you scurrying for the nearest storefront - almost never wind-driven either. Just the peaceful, romantic kind of rain.

Springtime has many days of rain as well, but the rainfall totals are much less - it's more of short cloudbursts, followed by hail, followed by bright sunshine, followed by snow followed by more sunshine, all in the matter of a couple of hours. Every day is Partly Cloudy to Cloudy with chance of showers for about five months of the year.

Summer is the absolute best I've ever experienced - it doesn't rain, it's warm, not hot, and sunny every day. Not too humid, not too dry.

So if I had to answer - no, it doesn't rain for nine months of the year - it rains for three months, followed by eccentric weather for five months, followed by amazing weather for four months.

Here's one more interesting statistic:

# of clear days: 68

# of partly cloudy days: 74

# of cloudy days: 222