Rain, rain go away, come again another day. This is our PDX mantra from fall through winter and even until late spring. But the average rainfall in Portland is one of the necessary things that provides us with outrageously vibrant outdoor colors throughout the year. Granted we live in kind of a west coast rain forest without the tropical elements and our daily view consists of lush green pines sweeping through hilly landscapes of the most emerald green fields you could ever imagine. So we think that this more than makes up for the amount of rain we get in Portland!

As Portlanders we have become accustomed to the rain for the most part, but people continue to ask how much rain does Portland get every year. The region has a PDX average rainfall per year of 39.14 inches. This is a statistic measured over the last 30 years of rainfall data for the Portland area. But guess what? Portland area rainfall is actually less than the nationwide average annual rainfall by about 0.03 inches. Are you surprised?


The drastic deluge of precipitation in Portland can be uncovered by breaking down the Portland rainfall by season. Most of our rain comes during the fall and winter periods, with little to almost no showers during Portland summers. This provides us with the best outdoor recreation time during the warmest season of the year — summer. If you look at the total rainfall for winter and fall, the average PDX rainfall totals are 26.84 inches, which is around 69% of Portlandia’s total rainfall for the entire year.

Average amount of rainfall in Portland OR

November, December and January seem by far the months that primarily get a hard soaking outlined in the Portland climate graph and it may be the best months to plan indoor activities or travel. Either way the benefits later on in the year far outweigh the downside.

The most difficult issues to deal with in the Portland rainy season, are the gray days that seem to go on forever. They really don’t go on forever and are usually broken up with a few short days of sunlight, but the perception of the gloomy Portland winter months has its stigma and we can’t refute it. The every now and again snowflake is actually a celebration for some and on occasion a nightmare for the commuter traffic, but that withstanding, the break from the steel gray skies and misty Portland horizons to white coatings of snow is a welcome surprise.

How To Survive The Rain In Portland

Have you heard of the Portlandia disorder? Formally, it is called Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).  Yes, it exists and many people in and around the beautiful Portland area are mired in it. The Mayo Clinic defines it as a type of depression that’s related to changes in the seasons — SAD usually begins and ends at about the same time every year, stealing your energy and making you feel down in the dumps.

There are ways to combat this malady. First, you have to approach it with a short-term mindset. Meaning that if you can get through 90 days with a good attitude and the bulk of the rainfall, you will be home free. If you focus on the very temporary aspects of the Portland liquid sunshine you will be halfway there in surviving the Portland rainy season in general.

Now let’s outline some other ways to help you cope with the soggy, wet PDX days.

Here are 5 key tips on how to deal with the rain in Portland –

  1. Have the right rain gear and outerwear – Get outside even during the rain showers just make sure you are prepared from head to foot. If you are protected from the wet you will enjoy the time outdoors way more.
  2. Indoor warmth in fun locations – Plan fun trips to local coffee shops, museums, art galleries and movie theaters. Make sure you get out of the house at least a few times a week and go to entertaining spots not just driving in your car or going to work.
  3. Extra light and vitamin D – Visit local destinations that have sun rooms or enclosed atriums. You can even invest in a small sun lamp for your home to use on occasion to grab those vital vitamin D light rays. If you decide to take a vitamin supplement make sure you follow the directions carefully and better yet select foods high in vitamin D and get it naturally that way.
  4. Exercise is vital – Move and get moving! Join a local gym or put on your favorite workout video to pump those curing endorphins into your system. You don’t have to do tons of it just 3 days a week will do wonders. If you are not into a formal exercise program you can go for walks either dressed for the weather or inside like at the mall. Make a decision to be active and your mood will improve.
  5. Water, water and more water – You would think that will so much water coming down outside that we would benefit from this abundant moisture. Well, we do but we need to also take in a good consumption too. You can add fruit into the water for better flavor or just space it out throughout your day to keep your body well hydrated. Warmed up with a slice of lemon is a nice way to begin the day as well.

Portland Rain Brings Benefits

So with the consolidated rainy season of untold forecasts of showers, drizzling, misting, pouring and bucketing down, there are some incredible benefits to all that Portland area rainfall.

The benefits of rain in PDX Oregon

Here are just a few of the wonderful rainfall benefits in Portland:

  • The large volume of rain is helpful to put moisture in the air.
  • Fills the lakes, streams and ponds and prevents droughts.
  • Washes the plants and vegetation and abundant drink to the animals.
  • The rain assists the worms to move in the earth and helps nourish our gardens and plants.
  • The rain erodes soil to form mountains, valleys and creeks.
  • It creates the most amazing natural landscapes of color, lushness and growth.

Now how are you feeling about the Portland rain?

It is not always with a smile that you will greet your Portland weatherperson, but you might have a different perspective after reading this article. We hope you do! We can also get excited for the amazing lush Portland summer that comes when we can cast our rain boots and umbrellas into the closet and head out into the sunshine.

How much rain does Portland get each year? A lot, but Portland wouldn’t be same green, beautiful place to spend dry warm spring and summer in if it didn’t.