How Portland Climate and Weather Contributes to the Local Lifestyle

Considering moving to Portland? Here's how the drizzly, "subtropical" (yep, you heard that right) weather of Portland plays into the everyday life of its residents!


Annual Weather & Climate

Let’s dive into the nitty gritty. While the rain is ultimately unavoidable, there is so much MORE to Portland’s yearly weather and climate. In fact, the rain has some beautiful benefits. Throughout the year, temperatures typically range between 36° and 84° Fahrenheit, moody gray skies can last for 8 months, and the rainy season peaks in November with an average of 8.8 inches.


But what do the locals think? Cough cough, us! 


Sure, opinions vary, but most residents will tell you that it’s easy to grow accustomed to the drizzly atmosphere when you reap the benefits of a LOVELY summer and bountiful spring. The saying “April showers bring May flowers” could not be more true for Portlanders. Spring shows off the Pacific Northwest’s luscious greenery and abundant wildflowers. OH, and let’s not forget the countless neighborhood gardens springing back to life!


Okay, we won’t lie… fall and winter is typically gray, wet, and a little brisk. However, watching the surrounding forests and local greenery change to bright hues of orange, yellow, and red help ease the fading summer days. Portland winters are moderately cold, with an average low temperature in December of 36°. We rarely experience a White Christmas — if Portland sees snowfall, it is typically in January and averages 2.4 inches.


Overall, our seasons are mild, yet if you are looking for a change of scenery, Portland is a short drive away from any type of climate you could dream of. Our famous beaches, forests, deserts, and mountains are all within a 2-hour drive. Yet another perk of living in PDX!




Not to brag, but Portland does have one of the highest annual rainfalls in the country … okay, so maybe this isn’t exactly brag-worthy, but that does mean we have to take some extra steps to make sure our homes stay in good condition! So what do we look for? Here is a quick list of the top areas to watch out for:
  • Roof & Gutters
  • Foundation
  • Paint & Siding
  • Basement & Attic


Roof inspections are critical for Portland home maintenance. Rain, snow, wind, and ice can have an impact on the quality of your roof. Missing, cracked, or loose shingles will need to be remedied straight away to prevent any possible water damage. Clearing away any moss, leaves and branches will also help with maintenance and upkeep. 


While you are checking your roof, don’t forget to clean out those gutters! We suggest cleaning your gutters in the last weeks of summer when the annual rain has died down. Once roof and gutter debris have dried in the summer sun, removing gunk becomes a much easier (and less gross) process. 


Foundation inspections may be the most important for long term maintenance and overall home value. Puddles collecting around your home shouldn’t last for more than 24 hours, and if they do, you may have a drainage issue on your hands. Additionally, check for any cracks or gaps in your foundation. These types of issues increase your likelihood of mold growth and leaks — no thanks!


Aside from neighborhood curb appeal, your home’s paint and siding is important for protecting your home against the moody Portland weather. Check out some acrylic home exterior paints, they are the best type for resisting water and home damage. 


Finally, we ALWAYS remind our clients to be checking their attic and crawl spaces for any hidden leaks. These areas are often forgotten and naturally the easiest place for pesky water damage. Eager for more? Check out our Summer Home Maintenance guide!

 Photo sourced from Unsplash artist Slava Keyzman (CC)


Rain or shine, Portlanders aren’t afraid to enjoy everything that the city has to offer. Although umbrellas are a rare sight, there are plenty of trendy waterproof outdoor brands that can be spotted. Some of our top brands would be REI, Patagonia, and Columbia Sportswear — all West Coast founded brands, with Columbia founded right here in Washington County.


Aside from clothing, Portland’s event and night scene are always bustling with countless coffee shops, taprooms, shops, concert venues, and quirky restaurants (don’t worry, we have plenty of covered outdoor seating) to try! Looking for more local recommendations? Check out our Featured Portland Community guides for a comprehensive list of different things to try, categorized by neighborhood! 



Health & Wellness

How do locals from the PNW take care of their health? Well naturally, since there is little sunlight between October and March, monitoring your vitamin D is a MUST! It isn’t uncommon for Portlander’s to also purchase sun lamps to help with regulating production of melatonin and serotonin, two hormones that help with sleep and mood. Both of these are key to aiding your mental health when the seasons change.


As far as physical health, biking is a HUGE culture within the city. Not only does it help keep you fit, it also is a small change that helps positively impact the environment. Sounds like a win-win to us! Otherwise, Portland offers countless spots to enjoy a hike within the city or within a short drive, the Columbia Gorge is famous for its stunning hiking trails. 



Key Takeaways

Let’s face it, living in Portland means accepting the recurring rainfall. From bundling up in rainproof activewear to prepping your home for the seasonal weather, the drizzle is a small sacrifice to living in this epic city. Portland is a city known for its tight-knit community and lively culture. We are so PROUD to be Portland locals and absolutely love serving our clients here in the Rose City. If you are looking for more information about the area and are curious about moving here, we would love to talk more!


All photos sources from Unsplash

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