Weather Patterns

Gayle Rich-Boxman, Broker with Vernonia Realty (503)755-2905

Many clients come from other states and ask about the weather patterns here because they are looking for milder temperatures, less heat or more seasons when exploring places to buy a 2nd home or retire. I recently had a client in AZ who is specifically looking to be able to enjoy the outside and not be stuck in air-conditioning 24/7!  He also asked about global warming as that’s a concern of his, too. I haven’t seen that occurring here at Fishhawk Lake in the 7-8 years we’ve been here. We also don’t experience the drastic humidity of the south.

There are four seasons at Fishhawk Lake.  I’ve seen everything from 90+ degree summers to four feet or more of snow and that was all in the year of ’09! Because we’re located in the coastal range, our temperatures can vary 6-12 degrees from the climate in Portland and around that city. We are at 600 feet elevation and tucked in amongst some trees, mountainous area, so we can have 50 degree mornings (perfect for a run or a hike) and then enjoy 90 degrees in the afternoon which warrants a good long swim in the lake.


The winter of ’09 was the most amount of snow on record in Northwest Oregon. I measured 4′ on our deck. I took our ATV out and got many photos around the lake to capture the beauty. We have snow removal as one of the many amenities we appreciate in our Homeowners’ Association.  We have the equipment to clear our main roads, however you need to do your own driveway. ATVs are a great way to get around in inclement weather, but are also fun for going up Greasy Spoon Rd. and hitting 3500′ elevation where you can see Astoria and barges heading for the ocean. It’s a series of old logging roads that can be hiked, driven with four-wheel drive vehicles or the efficient ATVs, but wear your helmut!


This spring was unusually wet and long, but the upside to that was the amount of greenery we have and the plethora of flowers this year. I even got to see seven blooms of calla lilies in my water feature–a first since they were planted 5 years ago.


I get asked a lot about mosquitoes!  If you’ve ever spent time at a lake, especially lakes in Michigan, you’ve experienced the unpleasantness of mosquitoes. We hardly see any at this lake and certainly not the size that can carry away a small child, like in Michigan! We do have “critters”: dragonflies, lizards, frogs, and of course waterfowl.


We’ve got Canadian Geese, ducks, bald eagle, osprey (Fishhawk), herons and other wonderful feathered friends who visit and  sometimes stay–maybe they got lost or just found paradise and didn’t want to leave!

Male Mallard Duck at Fishhawk Lake
Photo by: Gayle Rich-Boxman


One of the pleasures of the weather patterns we delight in is the mist on the water in the early mornings here, even in the summer. Since moving onto the lake recently, I’ve relished those early trysts outside with a cup of coffee and taking in the view before it burns off.

Fishhawk Lake mist by the spillway
Photo by: Gayle Rich-Boxman
Spring Mist Fishhawk Lake
Photo by:Gayle Rich-Boxman

Usually right after the 4th of July is when we kick into summer. Septembers are quite often lovely as well. We can see Indian summers at times, too. What I suggest for attire: layer-and-peel types of clothing are best!!

Fishhawk Lake Winter
Neighbors using their ATV