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Old 01-17-09, 12:10 PM   #1
Grundly
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Weather along the west coast during May

Hello all,

Just joined this forum, tons of great info here... Anyways, I have a bike tour planned along the west coast (Vancouver---> San Francisco) starting May 1. Anybody have experience with weather this time of year? Is this going to early? Am I going to be soaking wet the whole time? I pretty much have to travel at this time, with work scheduling and all. Please give me a hint of optimism.
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Old 01-17-09, 12:28 PM   #2
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Where are you from? I'll be touring the same area (WA or OR, time allowing, to San Diego) at around the same time this year.

My experience so far with that area is only Marin/Napa/San Francisco- the weather there should be amazing around that time of year, but the bay area has been a bit manic lately- You're likely to hit a dry, hot stretch in that area, especially if you go inalnd a bit, or perhaps even a shower or two. If you stay near the ocean, though, you should be alright. The southbound breeze is nice in that area
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Old 01-17-09, 12:42 PM   #3
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I am from Calgary, AB. Me and a friend will be driving to Vancouver, hop a couple of ferries to Port Angeles WA, and should be ready to start the ride south about the 2nd or 3rd.

I just looked and I guess generally speaking, July is the driest month. So May shouldn't be too much of an issue I guess.
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Old 01-17-09, 12:49 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Grundly View Post
Hello all,

Just joined this forum, tons of great info here... Anyways, I have a bike tour planned along the west coast (Vancouver---> San Francisco) starting May 1. Anybody have experience with weather this time of year? Is this going to early? Am I going to be soaking wet the whole time? I pretty much have to travel at this time, with work scheduling and all. Please give me a hint of optimism.
Not soaking, but - -





4 to 5 inches of rain in Washington in May
3 to 4 inches of rain in Oregon in May

Early May is wettest. Sometimes it dries out by late May, not always.
This year is already a very wet year and likely to stay that way.
High temps in low 60s and high 50s.

Here's a probability graph for Astoria in May.

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Old 01-17-09, 12:55 PM   #5
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We started in Seattle in May and headed north for a few weeks before going south. We were wet for much of the first month. It was not a constant rain, just a constant dampness.
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Old 01-17-09, 02:22 PM   #6
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...[/IMG]
jamawani, can you share where you got these maps, they look highly useful and i'd like to check out other time periods.

thanks in advance
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Old 01-17-09, 02:37 PM   #7
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It was not a constant rain, just a constant dampness.
Your rain risk will be along the Washington and Oregon coast.

There will be some clear days by May, but you should plan on light rain/wet roads most days.

Riding long distances in the PacNW on a bike requires fenders; even if it isn't raining the roads from October to June are likely to be wet and the constant spray of water coming up from the road will make it feel like it's raining non-stop unless you have fenders.

My personal experience is that once you have fenders, something over your feet to keep them dry, and any kind of decent rain jacket then riding in the intermittent rain / drizzle / fog in the spring is actually quite pleasant.


http://www.oregon.com/weather/history_coast.cfm
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Old 01-17-09, 03:43 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Grundly View Post
(Vancouver---> San Francisco) starting May 1. Anybody have experience with weather this time of year? Is this going to early? Am I going to be soaking wet the whole time?
I rode from Vancouver to Eugene the week following Memorial Day 1998. There was rain a majority of the days and occasionally strong storms. However, with some good rain gear I was fine.
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Old 01-21-09, 06:19 PM   #9
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Along the Washington and Oregon coasts, the most likely weather scenario will be a mix of lightly rainy days with some headwinds, and really pleasant partly cloudy to sunny days. Fog usually isn't a problem that time of year, except locally. Plan on temps between upper 40s to lower 70s.

Less likely but possible scenarios include a stretch of storms for a week or more, or an early heat wave with temps up to the 80s inland.

+1 on the suggestion for fenders.

Last edited by rnorris; 01-21-09 at 06:28 PM.
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