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Guest Author | 11/03/2021 | Fall, Outdoor Recreation, Winter

The Truth About Oregon's Rainy Season

As the last leaves begin to fall and mornings are coated with a layer of frost, winter is slowly creeping its way through Oregon. Having not only the right gear, but the right attitude can better prepare you for our seasonal transition to rain.

The late Greta Wrolstad's poem "Fontaine de Vaucluse" speaks of rivers being released into a parched valley. The dry weather has shriveled up lakes and river systems into a series of puddles making it difficult for anadromous fish to travel upstream to spawn. As the seasons change in the Pacific Northwest, the lack of vitamin D, also known as the "Sunshine Vitamin," changes our moods along with the weather. Rain, although a mild irritation, is a necessary element to our environment. Welcoming, rather than lamenting the transition of sunshine into precipitation is merely a matter of changing your perspective. Replacing your resentment with gratitude will change your attitude.

With the rain, the dust settles. The moisture of the soil invites mycelium to spread beneath the layer of debris on the forest floor and mushrooms to fruit at our feet. Rising rivers push smolts out to sea, and invite adult salmonids upstream to create the next generation. Birds begin their migration to the south. While the exposed limbs of deciduous trees and dilapidated annuals are a symbol of death and passing, wildlife begins to hustle, bustle, and make moves. The darkness and rain can make shorter days seem dreary, but water is life. As Wrolstad says, "The Season of Rain is Coming, Hold out Your Hand."

It's important for our mental health to be like water, and go with the flow during the transition to the rainy season. Pull your rain gear out of the closet and run it through the wash. Have a good pair of boots. Replace your windshield wipers and tires. Prepare yourself mentally for the challenges of maintaining an active lifestyle and have all the necessary items to prevent yourselves from being discouraged to go outdoors, rain or shine.

  • Average Winter Temps: Daytime temps of upper 40s to lower 50s; nighttime temps in the mid-30s.
  • Average Summer Temps: Daytime temps of upper 70s to mid-80s; nighttime temps in the mid- to lower 50s.
  • Average Sunshine: On average, there are 159 sunny days per year in Corvallis. (The US average is 205 sunny days.)
  • Average Wind: About 5 mph, depending on time of year (high winds are rare).
  • Average Rainfall: About 51 inches of rain per year, most of which happens between November and March.

Article by Randall Bonner. Keep up with Corvallis news, events and happenings by signing up for our email newsletter.

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