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Weather in Oregon varies a lot across the state, from generally cloudy and wet near the coast to wet, snowy, and cold in the mountains, and mostly sunny and dry east of the Cascades. Then again, weather varies from season to season, with Oregon having generally cool, wet winters and warm, dry summers. But weather also changes from day to day, and sometimes from hour to hour.

Put all these variations together, average them over 30 years or so, and you get climate, the long-term average of weather conditions. That's what this book is all about. Not clouds and rain and heat waver and ice storms — those are in the companion book, The Oregon Weather Book — but rather numbers, statistics, graphs, and maps. Dry, maybe (no pun intended), but that's climate for you: much less exciting than weather.

Less exciting, but very useful. Every week Oregon Climate Service's website gets over 40,000 "hits" (data requests). Farmers, scientists, engineers, students, attorneys — plus all those folks who just love weather and climate, and whose favorite TV station is the Weather Channel — log on, look around, grab data and images, and go away satisfied (we hope!). And more often than not, it's climate information they need, for making climate-oriented decisions: what to plant, when to plant it, where to build, how big to make it, when to vacation, where to vacation, and so on, and so on. The fact is, climate affects lots of people in lots of ways.

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