The weather in Bend is one of the best kept secrets in the state! Bend enjoys the predominately dry climate of the high desert with an average of almost 300 days of sunshine per year! Sunny days, low humidity, and cool nights provide the most common weather pattern for the area. Bend is just one of many microclimates located within Central Oregon that has its own variation of temperature and precipitation relative to elevation and proximity to the Cascade Mountain Range.
Central Oregon’s weather is typically influenced by storms that come off the Pacific Ocean. These storms most often bring warmer, moist air. The majority of the mositure is dumped in lowland regions of Western Oregon in the form of rain and snow in teh upper elevations as storm systems hit the Cascades. However, very little of the mositure makes it into Central Oregon, which helps to create our high desert climate.
The average annual precipitation in Bend is about 12 inches. The average snowfall is 33.8 inches.
Bend’s Average Temperatures
Because of Bend’s high altitude and crisp, clear air, evening temperatures average 30° to 40° below the daytime highs. Evenings are generally cool, even in the summer, requiring sweaters or jackets. Annual temperature extremes show that only one year out of five has a temperature colder than –17° or warmer than 100°.
Bend’s average annual precipitation is less than 12 inches – over half of which falls between November and February, often as snow. Brief, and often unexpected, thunderstorms usually provide most of the summer rain. The average annual snowfall is 33.8 inches. Snow rarely accumulates to more than a few inches in depth nor lies on the ground for an extended period. Snow depth in Bend exceeds 24 inches in only one winter out of twenty. At the Mt. Bachelor Ski Resort, 22 miles southwest of Bend, snow normally reaches depths of 160 to 180 inches.
Bend has the highest average number of sunny days in the state. With an average of 158 days clear days per year and an additional 105 days that are mostly sunny. Many of the remaining days provide substantial sunshine.
Because severe frosts have occurred as late as May 31 and as early as September 1, the general advice is to plan for a 92-day growing season. Any transplanting of annual bedding plants in Bend before Memorial Day involves some risk. Central Oregon has been known to experience some freezing temperatures during the months of June, July, and August.