It's official: 2011 was not warm in Portland
Recent storms dash dryness record, however
This is not going to be the driest December on record after all.
After three weeks with practically no rain, the last few days of storm delivered enough precipitation to top .88 of an inch that fell in all of December 1876.
According to Steve Pierce, president of the Oregon Chapter of the American Meteorological Society, the record was surpassed around noon Wednesday when the Portland International Airport accumulated .90 for the month with more than three days to go before it ends.
However, Pierce is confident 2011 will break another record - the least number of 60-plus degree days recorded at the airport.
"The Portland International Airport will set a new all-time record for the least number of 60 degree or higher days in a calendar year. In 2011, the Portland International Airport reached 60 degrees or higher just 169 times in 2011, which eclipses every other year on record at that location. Records date back to 1940 at the airport. The next closest years to 2011 are 1950 and 1955 which each recorded 172 days at or above 60 degrees," Pierce says.
According to Pierce, looking even further back at downtown records, the last time Portland recorded fewer days at or above 60 degrees in a given calendar year was in 1909 - 102 years ago - with 160 days.
"Official records were taken in downtown Portland from 1875-1940 before moving the airport. The average number of days that Portland reaches 60 degrees or higher in a given year is approximately 200. The lowest is just 145 days, while the highest is 244 days," Pierce says.