Having reached the age when I'm inclined to talk about the "good old days" as if they were truly good (usually they weren't), I'm understandably cautious about claiming that Oregon was much wetter when I moved here in 1971.
That's sort of like us old folks blabbing on about walking to school in the snow while those dang young'uns nowadays get driven in heated vehicles. OK, I grew up in a part of California where it never snowed, so that's a bad example for me.
But I do have distinct memories of much more intense rain here in western Oregon during the 1970s and 1980s compared to now. Storm after storm would roll in from the Pacific, causing it to rain for weeks on end sometimes.
That happens rarely now. Not at all in recent years. At least, that's how I recall things. So to check my memory, I fired up Google and asked "has Oregon weather changed since the 1970s." Here's what I found out.
Regarding precipitation, the section on drought in the Sixth Oregon Climate Assessment report of January 2023 contained this interesting chart.
A green bar means precipitation in that year was above the long term average. A brown bar means precipitation in that year was below the long term average. The 1920s and 1930s were decidedly dry. This coincides with the dust bowl in the midwest, a horrendous drought.
The 1970s were quite wet in Oregon. Seven of the ten years were above the long term average. The 1980s had six years above average, and the 1990s six years above average, with 1996 being the wettest year ever. I remember 1996 well, as the very heavy winter rain caused two very large oak trees on our rural property to topple over.
By contrast, the 2000s were very dry in Oregon, with only one year out of ten having above average precipitation. The 2010s saw six wetter than average years. But so far in the 2020s, both 2020 and 2021 were drier than average, with 2021 being the fourth driest year since 1970, over 50 years ago.
The report says, "In 17 of the last 23 water years, Oregon’s precipitation was below average." So yeah, Oregon has been getting drier.
Regarding temperature, not surprisingly the Stacker web site shows Oregon as warming 1.8 degrees since 1970. However of the 48 states that have state-level temperature data (Hawaii and Alaska don't), Oregon ranked 46th in temperature change.
Meaning, every other state in the lower 48 other than Washington and Idah0 has experienced a greater increase in temperature than Oregon. So that's a benefit of living in the Pacific Northwest. We're getting hotter, but not so much comparatively. Salem, though, apparently has been experiencing more of an increase in temperature than Portland or Eugene.