Batten down the hatches, Central Oregon

Downtown Bend recorded 0.61 inches of rain on Friday morning, the wettest day since Nov. 16 when Bend had 1 inch of precipitation, according to the National Weather Service website.

The rain Friday was the first precipitation in Bend since Aug. 3, when the city recorded 0.03 inches of rain, according to the weather service.

Redmond Airport also received 0.61 inches of rain, Madras received 0.52 inches of rain, and Prineville received 0.54 inches, according to the weather service.

While rainy days have been few and far between, this summer was wetter compared to 2020. From June through August this year Bend had 0.88 inches of rain compared to 0.31 inches during the same period a year ago, said Jim Smith, observation program leader for the weather service. In 2019, Bend recorded 1.83 inches of rain during the summer months.

The highest temperature recorded this month was 90 degrees Fahrenheit on Sept. 8. Last month the mercury reached 98 degrees twice and in July the high was 99. June had three days in triple digits, with a high of 107 on June 30.

The rain helped to eliminate some of the wildfire smoke that has consumed Bend in recent days but the Air Quality Index was still in the “unhealthy for sensitive groups” category on Friday afternoon, according to data compiled by the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality. The AQI was 123 in Bend and 102 in Redmond.

Most of Central Oregon remains in the two highest categories of drought, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. The National Weather Service is forecasting a clearing through the weekend, with highs of 73 degrees Fahrenheit.

Reporter: 541-617-7818, mkohn@bendbulletin.com

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