Phillip Elden: Visiting Oregon

Phillip EldenWith its diverse landscape and abundant wildlife, Oregon is a top vacation destination all year. Here, conservation specialist Phillip Elden reports on one aspect people don’t often take into consideration when visiting for the first time: the weather.

Oregon is a fickle state, says Phillip Elden, with wildly varying temperatures and unpredictable weather patterns. In summer, for instance, Medford in the southern part of the state enjoys highs in the low 90-degree range. Much of the coast rarely jumps above the 75 to 80-degree mark. Throughout the state, low temps can drop by 20 to 30 degrees throughout the year.

Winter in Oregon is very cold with average temperatures dipping into the 20s and lots of snow in many regions. Phillip Elden notes that the Mt. Hood and Columbia River Gorge can get as much as 60 inches of snow in a single season; Portland doesn’t see snow that often but averages nearly 6 inches of rain in the cooler months. And rain can be an all-day event although hardly ever a washout.

Phillip Elden explains that precipitation also varies wildly by regions. A few coastal areas, which experience more humidity than inland regions, can get soaked with more than 200 inches of rain each year. The desert region gets nowhere near that. The Alvord Desert is bone dry with 5 inches of rain on an average year.

According to Phillip Elden, the diverse landscape and morphing climate makes the perfect environment for wildlife. As a conservation advocate, Elden says it is up to humans to keep the land in as great a shape as possible so that the climate can do its job of keeping the flora and fauna alive and thriving. He says Oregon is a wonderful place to visit and the weather, although unpredictable at times, is part of the reason to enjoy this coastal gem.