Super Saturday sunshine; get out there before rain returns

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Saturday will be a stellar day to get outside. This is expected to be the warmest day for Portland so far this year. That’s right, 65 is the forecast high with lots of sunshine. Showers return Sunday early afternoon as a low-pressure system moves into the region.

On average Portland sees its first 64° on March 16. The earliest date on record is January 7, 1986.

While sunshine and warm temps are great as a mood lifter, we need to keep the rain coming to improve drought conditions across Oregon. It will rain again Sunday afternoon and most of next week, our first week of spring officially.

This map shows a comparison of this time last year on the left and the current drought status on the right. This map is labeled to show Oregon drought conditions across Oregon using a five-category system, from Abnormally Dry (D0) conditions to Exceptional Drought (D4).

Drought update Oregon

According to, 1,709,720 people in Oregon are affected by drought. There are 23 counties with USDA disaster designations. The 23rd driest January occurred in 2023, over the past 129 years. And 2023 is the 23rd driest year to date, over the past 129 years.

Snow Telemetry (SNOTEL) snow water equivalent (SWE) values for watersheds in the western U.S. as a percentage of the 1991–2020 median recorded by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). Only stations with at least 20 years of data are included in the station averages. The SWE percent of normal represents the current SWE at selected SNOTEL stations in or near the basin compared to the median value for those stations on the same date from 1991–2020. This map is valid as of March 12, 2023. NRCS

Snow water equivalent

According to NIDIS, National Integrated Drought Information System, the snow water equivalent, SWE, ranges from 82%–133% of normal. However, numbers can be deceiving. NIDIS warns that with dry soil moisture profiles, low streamflows, low water levels in many reservoirs, and below-normal water year precipitation, there is concern that drought conditions will continue or worsen. Everything hangs on spring precipitation and when the snow will melt.

As Reported by