Yes, I know this is a screenshot from Garden State, a movie about New Jersey. But its pretty, sad people standing in the rain, and thats Portland imagery if I ever saw it.
  • Yes, I know this is a screenshot from Garden State, a movie about New Jersey. But it's pretty, sad people standing in the rain, and that's Portland imagery if I ever saw it.

I've never not lived in Oregon: Born in Portland, spent my formative years in Salem, lived in Eugene for a little bit before coming back to the PDX. I'm no stranger to rain, and I'm definitely no stranger to the collection of cliches borne from decades of living here: Real Oregonians don't use umbrellas, 50 degrees is shorts weather, etc. etc.

So this following admission seems like maybe I'm betraying my cultural heritage, because "Real" Oregonians (whatever that means anymore, if it ever really meant anything) don't complain about the rain. They withstand it. They endure it. They pretend as if it's no big deal, and most times, it isn't.


This is probably the first time I've ever gotten legitimately angry at the sky, which says something about how oppressive these ever-floating grey sacks of moisture and depression hanging about the atmosphere have gotten. It also tells me that my future as Grandpa Simpson is all but secured, a future I grudgingly welcome.


So I decided to apply my internet detective skills to the question that popped up into my brain this morning after reading that some Tri-Met users were forced off a MAX train because the wipers stopped working: How many combined days of sunlight have we actually had this year?

I applied tried and true internet detective methodology: only two google searches tops, no real cross-referencing, take the first official-ish looking sources you discover and never question them. FIRST STOP: WIKIPEDIA!


As you can see, according to this graph, Portland has, on average 619.7 hours of sunshine through April. That's 25 days worth of sun, almost a full month. Not bad for winter, really.

Then I went to, and searched in the history for 2012.


That's April so far. Using loosey-goosey maths, and looking at the three previous months, I calculated that Portland has accumulated about 12 total days of sunshine, or about 288 hours. Normally we get about 620, this year we've gotten less than half of that. It's almost May, and we've accumulated just over a week and a half's worth of sunshine.

The least sunny year in Portland's history was 1972, with 2117 hours of sun, or 88 days total, according to 2012 is definitely making a run at that rusty, drooping crown.

So if you've been feeling drab, grumpy, floaty, angry, disillusioned, or any other form of negative feeling, I'm not gonna say "blame it on the weather," partially because you've probably got bigger problems than whether the sky is pissing on you, partially because a lot of you would never betray your Portland Pride by complaining about how wet it is outside.

But I wouldn't be surprised if that's at least part of it, whether anyone wants to admit it or not.