April 2022 ends as wettest on record in Portland, plus a possible tornado this evening

Published: Apr. 30, 2022 at 9:23 PM PDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

It’s rained a lot this month, in fact we’ve seen 24 days of measurable rain in Portland, just one under the 25 day record set in 2010. Oh that spring...yep, both 2010 and 2011 were something else. In fact we haven’t seen a cool/wet spring since that time. It’s possible that we’re now in “payback mode” for all the warm/dry springs we’ve seen recently. I am quite confident we won’t have a dry start to May, after tomorrow.

With just 3+ hours to go, it IS the wettest April we have seen in Portland. I think we are done with the rain so these should be the final numbers. Official PDX records go back to 1940.


Records have been kept at various locations around downtown Portland since the 1870s too. At that location, it’s probably the wettest since 1937 (over 6″), and only 1883 was wetter with almost 8″ of rain. Do you remember LAST April? The DRIEST on record


Some other numbers around the region...


Notice Portland is wettest in the Willamette Valley. This is not the wettest April on record in either Salem or Eugene. Both have seen 7″ at some point. April 2003 was one real soaker. It’s also disappointing how little snow/rain made it into Central Oregon. We’ve seen lots of westerly flow in the lower part of the atmosphere and the Cascades block much of that moisture. The far eastern 1/3 of the state has done well though. Breaking the month down a bit more, only 6 dry days, but only 3 were really wet with more than 1/2″ rain. Lots of showery days.


We’ve all notice the cool temperatures too, but that hasn’t been record-breaking. 3 degrees below normal and the coldest in 11 years. This April is similar temperature-wise to 2003, 2008, & 2011.


Last night’s stratiform (steady) light/moderate rain combined with some heavy cells east metro this afternoon led to some big rain numbers. Gresham and Corbett areas picked up 1.00″to almost 2.00″. The 1.53″ and 1.65″ and 1.33″ numbers in Corbett are part of PGE’s new fire weather network. High quality Campbell Scientific instruments. They’ve also installed some of those around North Plains, Scotts Mills, and a few other fire-prone spots.

Heavy rain east Multnomah county
Heavy rain east Multnomah county(NOAA/NWS)

As the last of the showers were winding down this evening, it appears a weak tornado (or landspout?) touched down at Cook Park in Tigard. I’ll admit I briefly thought this video was fake, but then watched a couple more times. A child could have been crushed or anyone seriously injured as that heavy metal roofing few through the air. Notice the circular motion. If you listen closely you can hear the rush of wind and see it on the parent’s clothing just before it tears the roof off. Maybe a landspout? A gustnado? That 2nd one seems less likely since there was no widespread gusty wind occurring anywhere nearby, this was a highly localized gust. There are 3 home weather stations within a mile and they didn’t pick up any significant wind.

Speaking of swirling wind...could have been serious injuries at Cook Park in Tigard at 6:15pm this evening. Appears to...

Posted by Mark Nelsen on Saturday, April 30, 2022

Enjoy tomorrow because May starts with dry weather...for one day. I think it’s very unlikely we stay dry as a wet system comes inland Sunday night and again late next week. I’m somewhat confident the streak of very dry Mays will end this year. Seems like 1″ of rain is likely just in the next week, possibly more. We will see if we get a “wet” May. that hasn’t happened since 2013! That would require a continuation of the cool/wet pattern with frequent upper-level troughs moving through the region.


That’s it for now. Happy May!