I'm in Portland, Oregon this week for business. So I've been hearing a lot of stories like this one:
A newcomer to Portland arrives on a rainy day. She gets up the next day and it’s raining. It also rains the day after that, and the day after that. She goes out to lunch and sees a young child and, out of despair, asks, "Hey, kid, does it ever stop raining around here?” To which the child replies, "How should I know? I’m only 8!”
And then there's the one that goes:
Question: What do you call two straight days of rain in Portland?
Answer: A weekend.
I'm sure there are more; these are just the ones I've heard this week.
The trouble right now -- and it's no laughing matter -- is that Oregon is enduring a drought that is making people long for those rainy days. As you can see on this map from NOAA's Palmer-Z Index (a measure of the degree of drought) most of Oregon is right now experiencing drought conditions that are "severe" or "extreme."
I haven't spent a lot of time in Oregon, but early this morning when I headed out on a run to experience Portland's famous Wildwood Trail, I could tell that conditions were unusually dry. The trail surface itself -- likely moist and springy most times of the year -- was hard, cracked and dry. Moss hanging down from various branches is probably green and moist most of the time; today that moss was brown like dry grass.
The Wildwood Trail is still gorgeous -- it just felt much more like my "home trails" of arid Colorado, not the lush wonderland I was expecting. Hope Oregon's rain returns soon!
Praying for rain in tinder-dry Oregon... I'll see you on the trail!