There's a widespread perception among old-timers that Bend's climate has been getting suckier in the past few years -- that the winters hang on later, the summer comes later, and the so-called "spring" is chillier and grayer than it used to be.
Is there any empirical support for this perception? Jack Elliott has come up with a link to a national weather service site that offers a lot of data, but no conclusive answer.
From the site Elliott found I followed another link to a site that has, among other things, data for average monthly high temperatures in Bend going all the way back to 1901. (That's even older than any of the old-timers here who currently are bitching about the climate.) The daily average highs for the spring months during the period from 1901 to 2010 are:
April: 58.3 degrees F
Not too sucky, I'd say. Here are the corresponding numbers for 2009:
So the April average high was 2.1 degrees below the long-term average, the May average high was about 2 degrees ABOVE the long-term average, and the June average was a mere 0.4 degrees below the long-term average -- pretty much a wash.
But now we come to the numbers for April, May and June of the current year:
Brrrr! Those months were about 5 to 7 degrees colder than the long-term average -- I'd call that significantly suckier. But one year does not make a trend, and we can hope that this miserable excuse for a spring (and summer) was an aberration.
Long-term data on average monthly precipitation in Bend show this:
April: 0.70 inches
Last year we had a notoriously soggy and sucky June -- more than 4 inches of rainfall -- following a slightly drier than average April (0.56) and May (0.73). This year April's rainfall was considerably above average (1.23 inches), May's was considerably below average (0.39) and June's was a bit above average (1.0).
Unfortunately the data don't tell us anything about sunniness, which, as those of us who have lived any length of time in Bend know, is not the same thing as absence of precipitation.