Climate of Oregon

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Climate zones of the Continental United States.

Oregon's climate varies greatly from the western and eastern regions of the state. An oceanic climate (also called "west coast marine climate") predominates in Western Oregon, and a much drier semi-arid climate prevails east of the Cascade Range in Eastern Oregon. Major factors determining Oregon's climate include the large semi-permanent high pressure and low pressure systems of the north Pacific Ocean, the continental air masses of North America, and the Cascade mountains.[1] Oregon's population centers, which lie mostly in the western part of the state, are generally moist and mild, while the lightly populated high deserts of Central and Eastern Oregon are much drier.

Precipitation[edit]

Oregon experiences extensive variation in rainfall

Precipitation in the state varies widely: the deserts of eastern Oregon, such as the Alvord Desert (in the rain shadow of Steens Mountain), get as little as 8 inches (200 mm) annually, while some western coastal slopes approach 200 inches (5,100 mm) annually.[2]

Temperature range[edit]

Snowfall in Oregon is concentrated along the Cascade Range.

Oregon has a wide range of temperature extremes throughout the state, varying from a low of −54 °F (−48 °C) to a high of 119 °F (48 °C), though these record temperatures are rarely experienced.[2] The temperature in the Willamette Valley is mild compared to the desert regions of the state, with high temperatures at or above 90 °F (32 °C) occurring only five to fifteen times per year, and low temperatures below 30 °F (−1 °C) similarly infrequent.[3] The hottest area of the state is the southwest; Jackson County is the warmest place in the state during summer.[4]

The High Desert region of Oregon.
Monthly Normal High and Low Temperatures (°F) For Various Oregon Cities[5]
City Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Annual
Precipitation
hi lo hi lo hi lo hi lo hi lo hi lo hi lo hi lo hi lo hi lo hi lo hi lo
Astoria 48 37 51 38 53 39 56 41 60 45 64 50 67 53 68 53 68 50 61 44 53 40 48 37 67.1 inches (1,700 mm)
Bend 40 23 44 25 51 27 57 30 65 36 73 41 81 46 81 46 72 39 62 32 46 28 40 23 11.7 inches (300 mm)
Brookings 55 42 56 42 58 42 60 44 63 47 67 50 68 52 68 53 68 51 65 48 58 45 55 41 73.4 inches (1,860 mm)
Burns 35 14 40 19 49 25 57 29 66 36 75 41 85 46 84 44 75 35 62 26 45 21 35 15 10.5 inches (270 mm)
Eugene 46 33 51 35 56 37 61 39 67 43 73 47 82 51 82 51 77 47 65 40 52 37 46 33 50.9 inches (1,290 mm)
Medford 47 31 54 33 58 36 64 39 72 44 81 50 90 55 90 55 84 48 70 40 53 35 45 31 21.1 inches (540 mm)
Pendleton 40 27 46 31 55 35 62 40 70 46 79 52 88 58 87 57 77 50 64 41 48 34 40 28 13.9 inches (350 mm)
Portland 46 37 50 39 56 41 61 44 67 49 73 53 79 57 79 58 74 55 63 48 51 42 46 37 43.1 inches (1,090 mm)
Salem 47 34 51 35 56 37 61 39 68 44 74 48 82 52 82 52 77 48 64 41 52 38 46 34 40 inches (1,000 mm)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Lew, Allen A. (2004). "The Pacific Coast". Northern Arizona University. Retrieved 2010-04-16. 
  2. ^ a b Western Regional Climate Center. "Climate of Oregon". Desert Research Institute. Retrieved 2010-04-16. 
  3. ^ Taylor, George, Cadee Hale and Sarah Joos. "Climate of Multnomah County". Oregon State University. Retrieved 2010-04-16. 
  4. ^ Taylor, George, Cadee Hale and Sarah Joos. "Climate of Jackson County". Oregon State University. Retrieved 2010-04-16. 
  5. ^ Portland, OR monthly averages. US Travel Weather.com. Retrieved October 16, 2007.