OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

November weather: a record in Astoria, darn close elsewhere

12/01/1998

CORVALLIS - In Astoria, this was the wettest November on record, with 19.6 inches of rain - nearly double the average monthly total.

And elsewhere in Oregon, November provided near record totals.

The gradual displacement of a powerful El Nino with the wetter, cooler La Nina weather phenomenon is largely responsible for the soggy conditions, according to George Taylor of Oregon State University, the state climatologist. But Oregon also is in the early stages of what Taylor believes is a 20-year wet cycle.

In other words: Get used to the wet weather.

"La Ninas tend to produce wet, cool winters in Oregon and the Northwest," said Taylor, who directs the Oregon Climate Service headquartered at OSU. "There likely will be continued wet conditions in December followed by very cool temperatures and near normal precipitation in early 1999.

"There is a good chance for snow in the Willamette Valley and other western valleys this winter, particularly in January and February," he added.

In November, however, Oregon mostly saw rain. The 19.6 inches in Astoria easily broke the old record for November of 17.47 inches set in 1995. The average for the area is 10.05 inches.

Total precipitation for the Hyslop Experiment Station between Albany and Corvallis was 12.8 inches - the fourth highest total since records began in 1889. Nearly twice the average November of 6.82 inches for the area, the total nevertheless fell far short of the record for that station. In 1973, a whopping 18.28 inches fell.

Rain lovers should have been in Brookings in November. The southern Oregon town received 25.03 inches, its third highest total ever and near the 1973 record of 26.01 inches. The area averages just 11.49 inches.

Other coastal areas also received a lot of rain, Taylor said. Seaside recorded 18.08 inches, its third highest total, though short of the 23.8 inches logged - or waterlogged - in 1937. Nearby Tillamook received 20.46 inches, though that was only the 11th highest total for that station. The record: an unbelievable 28.0 inches recorded during November of 1897.

Portland also was near a record with 11.03 inches, more than double the 5.34 average. The third highest total in its history, the station neared its 1942 record of 11.57 inches.

Other totals are listed below:

STATION - NOV. 1998 - NORMAL - RANK - RECORD (YEAR)

Astoria: 19.60 inches, 10.05 inches, 1, 17.47 inches (1995)

Brookings: 25.03 inches, 11.49 inches, 3, 26.01 inches (1973)

Corvallis: 12.80 inches, 6.82 inches, 4, 18.28 inches (1973)

Eugene: 11.35 inches, 8.32 inches, 7, 20.48 inches (1973)

Klamath Falls: 3.93 inches, 1.97 inches, 8, 7.94 inches (1926)

Medford: 7.67 inches, 3.23 inches, 2, 8.62 inches (1942)

Pendleton: 2.31 inches, 1.58 inches, 7, 3.76 inches (1973)

Portland: 11.03 inches, 5.34 inches, 3, 11.57 inches (1942)

Roseburg: 10.90 inches, 5.67 inches, 3, 15.91 inches (1973)

Salem: 10.58 inches, 6.28 inches, 6, 15.23 inches (1973)

Seaside: 18.08 inches, 10.90 inches, 3, 23.80 inches (1937)

Tillamook: 20.46 inches, 13.08 inches, 11, 28.00 inches (1897)